Having strong language skills is very important in school. Students who have auditory processing disorder have weaker language skills compared to others of their age and can therefore have serious problems as students. Even though individuals with auditory processing disorder are intelligent in other important ways, students with language disorders are apt to find school especially difficult and sometimes frustrating and embarrassing.
Kinds of problems that students with Auditory Processing face:
Students with auditory processing are sometimes slower at learning, understanding and using new words.
- Comprehending spoken language: Some students with auditory processing feel that the teacher is speaking much too fast. They start getting mixed up or confused when a teacher gives them complicated instructions or explanations.
- Reading: Individuals with auditory processing disorder might find themselves falling far behind in their reading skills. In the beginning grades, these children might have trouble sounding out or identifying individual words because of poor phonemic awareness and phonological processing skills. Others might understand the sounds but have troubles remembering them. As the grades get higher, these students often have more and more difficulty with understanding or remembering what was read which hinders their reading comprehension skills.
- Communicating ideas in words: Sometimes students with auditory processing skills have a strong vocabulary but have difficulties recalling, finding and using the right words quickly when they need them. This hinders their abilities to participate in classroom discussions or makes them nervous when they are called upon in class. Many times these students have excellent ideas but difficulties expressing them in language.
- Writing and Spelling: Students who have difficulties expressing their ideas out loud often also struggle expressing themselves on paper. Compositions, book reports, essays and stories are a huge obstacle of them. Because these kids don’t have a strong sense of the sounds of the language, they will struggle in spelling. They won’t apply spelling rules, usually spelling the words exactly as they look.
What can be done about Auditory Processing Disorder?
Get Help from Teachers:
- A teacher needs to be informed that the student does indeed have an auditory processing disorder and how this might affect the student’s classroom performance.
- The teacher dealing with a student with auditory processing needs to be flexible in their approach, so that they can find a method that suits the child, rather than expecting that all students will learn in the same way.
- The teacher can be cautious not to talk too quickly or in sentences that are too long or complicated.
- The teacher can give the student some visuals and illustrations on what is being said.
- Most often, the student with auditory processing needs to sit in the very front of the class so that he or she can listen and focus on the language better.
- The teacher can also give the student extra time for a response when asked a question, or focus more on yes and no questions for these students.
Get Outside Professional Help:
Students with Auditory Processing Disorders will need extra outside the school help with reading, writing, and spelling. The tutor who does this should be knowledgeable and experienced in working with students with learning disabilities and trained in a reputable multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing, spelling ad comprehension program.
Many students with Auditory Processing benefit greatly when working together with a speech and language therapist. Speech Therapists have been specially trained to work with individuals who are having difficulties understanding or communicating. Both the tutor and the speech therapist can work side by side and also help the classroom teacher understand auditory processing and the student’s language difficulties.
Don’t Give Up!
Students that have Auditory Processing Deficits should never get discouraged. Most of these students do improve as they go through school. However, there might be some students who fall behind in school because of their language problems. It is easy for these kids to get discouraged and give up. When this happens their academic skills end up further behind those of kids who get a lot of practice through schoolwork. Work hard and stay motivated. Get outside help and stay positive.
Karina Richland, M.A. is the Founder and Director of PRIDE Learning Centers, located in Los Angeles and Orange County. Ms. Richland is a certified reading and learning disability specialist. Ms. Richland speaks frequently to parents, teachers, and professionals on learning differences, and writes for several journals and publications. You can reach her by email at email@example.com or visit the PRIDE Learning Center website at: www.pridelearningcenter.com