If your child’s teacher has indicated that they are concerned with how reading acquisition is going for your child, you immediately start looking for a reason they are struggling and how to best help them. This article will briefly cover auditory processing. A weakness in this area is the number one reason kids have trouble learning to read (along with some other learning problems).
As a bit of background, there are 5 components of auditory processing. For every person, these components develop to differing degrees and at differing rates. They are:
- Retention and organization: This relates to information that is heard and the order that it was presented. If weak, a person may have difficulty following spoken directions, remembering information, and retelling or describing experiences or things they have seen. They may have difficulty with task completion (at home, school, or work.)
- Auditory discrimination: This is the ability to distinguish between the small variances in our language (bit vs. bet, bid vs. bed, etc.) On a higher, more advanced level, it’s the ability to hear variations in speech patterns and pitch. If weak, a person may misunderstand what was said, may confuse one word for another word, may have trouble with maintaining focus and attention, may mispronounce words (amblance for ambulance), and experience difficulties learning to read
- Sequencing: This area is chiefly responsible for following directions. As you can imagine, this is the most easily observed area: work completion, not attentive and easily distracted, not able to complete assignments, reading and learning difficulties.
- Ability to conceptualize what is heard: If a person is unable to “make a mental picture” of what they hear, they are assigning no meaning to what they hear and they then have difficulty acting upon it. Conceptualizing at a more advanced level governs the ability to tell time and understand direction and space. If weak, you may observe disorganization, reluctance to accept change in environment or schedule and other new situations. They are typically thought of as inflexible, easily confused and literal,
- Executive Synthesis: This means that all aspects of auditory processing are working together like a well-oiled machine. All of the previous 4 components must be strong for success, but they also have to work seamlessly together.
If you have questions about whether or not someone you love may have weak auditory processing, call Metro Learning Solutions and talk over your concerns. Some may be developmentally appropriate. If further testing is indicated, that can be done at a convenient time for you and your child.
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