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Ideas to help children who have an Auditory Processing Disorder


Many of you have asked about additional activities to do with your kids or students that have auditory processing difficulties due to CAPD, ADD, dyslexia, a learning disability, a learning difficulty or autism.

I found this list send out by Bonnie Terry and I thought I’d share on this website.  You can choose from whether you are tutoring a student, homeschooling, or a concerned parent tutoring your own child.

Computer work adds to the hands on work we have already done.

Computer programs enhance the progress. There are a variety of good programs out there. Earobics and Fast Forward are the two that I’m most familiar with. They are both sound programs and do help with auditory processing difficulties. But, again, I would NOT use computer programs exclusively because students gain so many more benefits from one-on-one and small group work.

Students reap a triple impact when you work directly with them: in addition to their skills improving, their auditory processing improving, their self-esteem also improves dramatically.

Here are some other activities you can do with things you typically have around the house or in the classroom to strengthen auditory processing.

These activities are from Children With Learning Disabilities by Janet Lerner

These activities can be done at home whether you are homeschooling or helping your child after school.

These activities help those children with dyslexia, learning disabilities, ADHD, auditory processing problems such as auditory memory. Teaching strategies are just that, teaching strategies. A strategy can be done by a parent that is interested in helping their child improve their auditory processing skills.

Auditory Sensitivity to Sounds

  1. Listening for sounds. Have the children close their eyes and become auditorily sensitive to environmental sounds about them. Sounds like cars, airplanes, animals, outside sounds, sounds in the next room etc., can be attended to and identified.
  2. Recorded sounds. Sounds can be placed on tape or records and the child is asked to identify them. Planes, trains, animals, and typewriters are some of the sounds that may be recorded.
  3. Teacher-made sounds. Have the children close their eyes and identify sounds the teacher makes. Examples of such sounds include dropping a pencil, tearing a piece of paper, using a stapler, bouncing a ball, sharpening a pencil, tapping on a glass, opening a window, snapping the lights, leafing through pages in a book, cutting with scissors, opening a drawer, jingling money, or writing on a blackboard.
  4. Food sounds. Ask the child to listen for the kind of food that is being eaten, cut, or sliced: celery, apples, carrots.
  5. Shaking sounds. Place small hard items such as stones, beans, chalk, salt, sand, or rice into small containers or jars with covers. Have the child identify the contents through shaking and listening.

Auditory Attending

  1. Attending for sound patterns. Have the child close his eyes or sit facing away from the teacher. Clap hands, play a drum, bounce a ball, etc.Have the child tell how many counts there were or ask him to repeat the patterns made. Rhythmic patterns can be made for the child to repeat. For example: slow, fast, fast.
  2. Sound patterns on two objects provide a variation on the above suggestion; for example, use a cup and a book to tap out sounds patterns.

Discrimination of Sounds

  1. Near or far. With eyes closed, the child is to judge what part of the room a sound is coming from, and whether it is near or far.
  2. Loud or soft. Help the child learn to judge and discriminate between loud and soft sounds.
  3. High and low. The child learns to judge and discriminate between high and low sounds.
  4. Find the sound. One child hides a music box or ticking clock and the other children try to find it by locating the sound.
  5. Follow the sound. The teacher or a child blows a whistle while walking around the room. The child should try to follow the route taken through listening.
  6. Blind man’s bluff. One child in the group says something like an animal sound, sentence, questions, or phrase. The blindfolded child tries to guess who it is.
  7. Auditory figure-background. To help a child attend to a foreground sound against simultaneous irrelevant environment noises, have him listen for pertinent auditory stimuli against a background of music.

Awareness of Phonemes or Letter Sounds

For success at the beginning stages of reading the child must perceive the individual phoneme sounds of the language, and he must learn to discriminate each language sound that represents a letter shape from other sounds. Such abilities are essential for decoding written language.

  1. Initial consonants. Have the child tell which word begins like milk.
    Say three words like “astronaut, mountain, bicycle.”
  2. Ask the child to think of words that begin like Tom.
  3. Find pictures of words that begin like Tom, or find pictures of words in magazines that begin with the letter T. Find the word that is different at the beginning: “paper, pear, table, past.”
  4. Consonant blends, digraphs, endings, vowels. Similar activities can be devised to help the child learn to auditory perceive and discriminate other phonic elements.
  5. Rhyming words. Learning to hear rhyming words helps the child recognize phonograms. Games similar to those for initial consonants can be used with rhyming words.Experience with nursery rhymes and poems that contain rhymes is useful.
  6. Riddle rhymes. Make up riddles that rhyme. Have the child guess the last rhyming word. For example: “It rhymes with book. You hang your clothes on a _________.”

Sourced from:   Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET



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