Children with auditory processing disorder will often struggle in a classroom setting, especially in the areas of following directions, reading, spelling, writing and comprehension. Auditory processing disorder results in a child mis-hearing, mis-pronouncing, and mis-repeating information. These children often have difficulty hearing the difference between sounds or words that are similar (coat/boat or sh/ch/. If you can’t hear the sounds properly, you can’t say the sounds properly you will also not read or write the sounds properly.
Here are some strategies for teachers and other professionals that work with children diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder in the classroom:
- Sit the child as close to the teacher as possible. Most children with auditory processing disorder will have difficulties hearing among other noises. If the child is sitting towards the back of the class he will only hear the sounds surrounding him – not the teacher’s voice. Therefore, just by moving the child nearer to the sound, at the front of the class will make a huge difference.
- Have the child look at the speaker. The child with auditory processing disorder needs to see the face and mouth of the speaker. Give the child as much eye contact as possible.
- Encourage all participants in the classroom to project their voices clearly. So many children have soft voices. When the teacher is asking questions and calling on students, the teacher can repeat the answer of the quieter voiced children so that everyone is able to hear and understand the answer. Not being able to hear is a lost opportunity for learning!
- Implement lots of visual images. Using visual stimuli when explaining will give the child with auditory discrimination problems lots of clues. These can include charts, pictures or illustrations. Teachers can use their own body language to serve as a visual. This could be hand movements or facial expressions. Think of ESL teachers and how they utilize TPR (total physical response).
- Praise the child often for being a good listener!
Karina Richland 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Pride Learning Center website at: www.pridelearningcenter.com
If your child has difficulty paying attention in a way that adversely impacts his or her ability to learn, they may have ADHD. ADHD is often first suspected by attentive parents and teachers who notice these symptoms:
- Easily Distracted by Noises
- Difficulty Sitting Still
- Displays excessive excitement/protestation at changes in the routine
- Has difficulty transitioning from one task to another
- Leaves assignments incomplete
- Has difficulty coping with physical distress such as hunger, thirst, and mild bodily pains
These symptoms listed above are common symptoms that kids with ADHD may demonstrate in a school or home environment. A child with ADHD will experience these types of symptoms across environments, meaning their symptoms will not be confined to just occurring at home, or just occurring at school.
The following are suggestions for helping children with these types of symptoms to function more effectively and adaptively:
- Clear the child’s desk between assignments to minimize distractions and promote organization.
- When working on math problems, give the child one problem at a time, gradually increasing the amount to two or three at a time, rather than a full page of problems. Presenting many problems at once may overwhelm a child with attention problems.
- Limit choices in problem solving techniques to ones that the child has already demonstrated successfully, thereby teaching the child to rely on his or her strengths.
- Schedule breaks to allow the child to release pent up energy.
- Always make and maintain eye contact when giving simple, direct instructions. This promotes attentiveness.
- Provide incentives for completing assignments and also reward the ABSENCE of undesired behavior patterns. This creates an effective pattern of reinforcement.
- Let the child know what is expected of him/her when giving assignments, thus helping the child to focus on what is crucial to successfully completing the assignment.
- Make sure your child always understands the directions before beginning his or her work.
These suggestions can help a child with attention problems to function more effectively on in-class assignments as well as homework assignments. They can help manage the child’s difficulties, but do not represent successful treatment of their attention problems. In order to treat your child’s attention difficulties effectively, contact a mental health professional such as a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist to begin the assessment process to definitively determine an ADHD diagnosis. Correct assessment is crucial as many times a learning disability can appear to be ADHD, but their treatment options are actually vastly different.
Learn more about the New PRIDE Reading Program
Dr. Jared Maloff is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist working with adult, adolescent and child clients in Beverly Hills, CA. Dr. Maloff also conducts psychological testing for clinical, educational and forensic issues with both adults as well as children. This includes obtaining testing accommodations for standardized tests such as the SAT, LSAT, GMAT, Dental Boards, California State Bar Exam, and most others. Below is a listing of the diagnoses and symptoms that Dr. Maloff often treats in his clinical work:
ADHD, Adult ADHD, Asperger’s Disorder, Autism, Anxiety, Bereavement and Loss, Body Dysmorphia, Depression, Hypochondriasis, Learning Disabilities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Problems with Motivation, Self Esteem Issues, Social Phobia, Somatization Disorders, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Trouble with Relationships. Learn more at www.beverlyhillspsychologist.com
One of the saddest aspects of the American elementary-high school educational system is that it fails to acknowledge the reality that we all learn differently. Students’ development is not always even, temperaments are different, and each child has their own learning style. While it is perfectly normal and all right to have learning differences and “glitches” (gaps between capabilities and performance) many educators ignore these variations and when they teach basic skills, there is little acknowledgement that information is processed differently.
In our current system this disrespect for a variety of learning styles can undermine the self-esteem of learners as young as those in kindergarten. Yes, even children this young compare themselves to their peers, seeing themselves as less successful then their classmates can make them feel “less then” and “stupid”. In reality, it is not that these students are less intelligent rather they may simply need to be taught the material in another way.
Some children prefer and learn better auditorally, others visually, and others need to manipulate objects and are tactile/kinesthetic learners. Knowledge and understanding the types of learning style your child uses and prefers early on can be the most valuable information for parents and educators. This information can make homework easier and learning in general less stressful and a lot of fun. It is also important to realize that the learning style a child uses in early elementary school might not lead to a successful approach later on. Learning to compensate and combine the different approaches and styles when your child is young can help prevent those possible struggles in the future.
The child that cannot subtract in second grade might become a PhD mathematician in the future if they understand they are not “stupid”, but that they might just need to approach the task differently and learn a different style. Just as important to understand is that the child who is the best reader in first grade, might not be able to comprehend what they read by the third grade.
Luckily, today professionals, parents and pupils have access to tools to evaluate, diagnose and then remediate teaching techniques to work with the variety of learning styles that students have, by administering comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations. When differences and glitches are observed they can be examined, diagnosed, and new strategies can be implemented to make learning a more successful and pleasant experience for the struggling student.
Learn more about the New PRIDE Reading Program
Dr. Abbe Barron, DMD, PhD is a clinical psychologist licensed in California. Dr. Barron (PSY21730) holds a number of professional degrees and has worked with children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings throughout her private and professional life. She is a parent of exceptional children, a dentist and educator, and a clinical psychologist who conducts neuropsychological and psychoeducational assessments. Dr. Barron provides comprehensive psychological, educational and neuropsychological diagnostic services to children, adolescents, and young adults. Her specializations include testing for ADHD, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, memory problems and psychological disorders. In addition, she provides school consultation (for both private and public schools), parent education, and classroom observations in order to improve classroom functioning. She attends IEP and school meetings providing diagnosis intervention, treatment planning and accommodations for school and standardized testing. Dr. Barron can be reached by email: email@example.com, Office: 310 476-7810, Fax: 310 476-7322.
Happy New Year! New Year’s resolutions give a perfect opportunity for you and your child to discuss areas in which there’s room for improvement. The one resolution you should always try and make as a family is to spend more time reading. Why is it that some children seem to take to reading with no effort and no nagging, while other children would rather do almost anything than read? If you are a parent interested in ways to inspire those reluctant readers in your family, then this article will offer valuable information for you.
Reading is a skill that needs to be practiced regularly. Without practice, young readers will not develop the vocabulary, the skills, and the fluency necessary to become strong readers. But many children, even those with strong reading skills, do not get enough practice and as a result become disinterested in reading, and can quickly become discouraged. Here are some practical tips for encouraging reluctant readers:
• Find books with cartoons or humor — which only a child would find amusing
Books that make children laugh are more engaging for young readers. Not everything needs to be a learning lesson. Letting children read books such as Captain Underpants or Diary of a Wimpy Kid will keep them engaged and entertained. Although adults might find the language and humor distasteful, children find it very funny and are therefore more motivated to read.
• Zero in on your child’s passions and choose books and magazines focused on areas of interest
Find books on specific topics to keep your child’s interest, such as science, baseball, American Girl dolls, etc. Children who already have the background knowledge, language and vocabulary before beginning a book will have an easier time getting through the reading. Order a magazine subscription to Sports Illustrated for Kids or Nickelodeon. Children love receiving mail and reading ‘their’ magazines.
• Get your child an email account and, together, check it regularly
Using the computer to read and write is a huge advantage for most students. By letting young children write and send email, they practice reading, writing and spelling. Teach your child how to use spell check before sending off messages. Be sure to monitor your child’s ‘pen pals’ – who is your child writing to and receiving mail from? Let your child pick out a few family members, including grandparents and maybe two or three friends. You will find that by using email regularly, your child becomes very strong in keyboarding and using the computer.
• Find an author that your child likes and stick with it
If your child loves reading Hank Zipzer by Henry Winkler or Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, then you have found a writing style which stimulates your child’s interest. Go through the entire series. Don’t worry if the reading is below grade level: your child is reading for pleasure and for practice. Also remember, just because you loved a certain author or series when you were a kid, this doesn’t mean your child will love the same books you did. Browse the bookstore or library and find the newest, most modern series. Usually these books contain language and themes to motivate the most reluctant reader. Kids need to relate to what they are reading, and modern language usage helps.
• Let your child talk to you about the book they are reading.
When we adults read books we enjoy, we like to talk about them. After reading a book, we don’t necessarily want to write a summary, book report or make a project of it. We just want to discuss it with someone else. Look interested in what your child is reading (yes, even if it is Captain Underpants) and ask questions and have your child tell you about it. Laugh with your child about the funny parts (even at the bathroom jokes) and help your child feel good about reading.
• Limit media.
Television, phones, computer time, and video games can quickly take up all of your child’s free time. Limit the amount of media you allow your child and your family will have more time for reading.
Enjoy the New Year and keep reading!
Learn more about the New PRIDE Reading Program
Karina Richland, M.A., E.T. is the Director and Founder of Pride Learning Centers. A former teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District, Ms. Richland has devoted her life to the field of reading and learning disabilities, working as an educational therapist and director of PRIDE Learning Centers. Ms. Richland speaks frequently to parents, teachers, and professionals on learning differences, and writes for several journals and publications. You can visit her website at: https://www.pridelearningcenter.com
Would you like to spend your summer vacation in Southern California this year? Well… this can be a wonderful opportunity for you to also address your child’s reading, writing and comprehension skills with some summer instruction at the same time!
At PRIDE Learning Center we offer an amazing summer reading program that gives students a giant boost in their weakest areas.
Spending the summer at PRIDE Learning Center is a wonderful opportunity to catch up and get ahead in skills that might be affecting school performance in reading, writing and comprehension as well as getting a vacation at the same time!
Our summer instruction is taught one-on-one with our credentialed reading specialists and utilizes our multisensory, Orton-Gillingham, structured, sequential and cumulative approach that we at PRIDE Learning Center are experts at. Students who came last summer all improved 1 to 2 grade levels in just 4-6 weeks of instruction.
Sample Daily Schedule:
9:00 – 10:30 Orton-Gillingham Reading Instruction
10:30 – 11:00: Snack, Fun and Movement
11:00 – 12:00 Orton-Gillingham Reading Writing and Comprehension Instruction
Your child will still get a summer break, our summer instruction is only 3 hours a day Monday – Friday. Don’t worry, there is still plenty of time in the day to play, go to the beach or just relax.
PRIDE has 14 Southern California summer locations in Calabasas, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Pasadena, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Hancock Park, Redondo Beach, Yorba Linda, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo, Temecula, Carlsbad and San Diego.
Tuition per weekly session is $1150. PRIDE Lessons are always One-on-one!
For our out of town families, we are happy to help with information on local hotels, short term housing and after camp activities.
Call us at 866-774-3342 or visit us at our website www.pridelearningcenter.com. We are looking forward to speaking with you regarding how we will make a huge difference for your child this summer!
Research suggests that the amount of interactive language a child is exposed to in the home correlates greatly with the development of verbal expressions and reading skills. To put your child on the right track for language and reading development, make sure your home is a rich and encouraging language environment.
Here is a list of tips and strategies that can be used to promote healthy language and reading development in children:
Read together daily for language and reading development
Often parents stop reading to their children once the child learns to read independently. This is a big mistake. Parental reading skills are usually more advanced, so they can expose children to higher grammar, vocabulary, images, and ideas in speech. Be aware when reading to your child that they often may not ask what an unfamiliar word means. When coming across an unfamiliar word you can ask your child to define it and if necessary provide them with the definition, synonym, antonym or physical enactment of the meaning.
Don’t interrupt or fill in the blanks
Patience is essential for encouraging language development in children. Give your child time to put their thoughts into words and opportunities to practice. If simply waiting doesn’t do the trick for a child with word retrieval problems, then prompt them with a ridiculous alternative. For example, if your child says, “I’m looking for the, uh… um…er…,” you can ask “rhinoceros… leprechaun?” Usually after a few giggles the child is relaxed enough to find the right word.
Spend time each day having your child describe the details of their day or particular topics of interest or ideas
The dinner table tends to be a natural conversation venue for the family to talk and catch up on daily events. Also, before turning out the lights in bed is another great time to let your child fill you in on the day’s events as well as create conversation and bonding time in a relaxed environment. If your child speaks very little or has nothing to say, you can provoke them by taking a stance with which you know they’ll disagree. For instance, if the child loves legos, say, “some people think buying legos for children is a bad idea, because they cost a lot and don’t serve any purpose. What do you say?”
Make sure your child’s skills are constantly challenged and force to grow
Home is a place where children feel free to take risks with language. They feel comfortable making mistakes, asking questions and discussing complex topics they would otherwise be afraid to explore. Continue to build and challenge your child’s vocabulary. Introduce a new word and offer its definition or use it in context that is easily defined. For example, “I think I will drive you in the vehicle this morning instead of making you walk to school.”
Avoid electronic devices, television, etc. whenever possible to encourage language and reading development
Research has shown that the encounters that best promote language growth are interactive – back and forth, face-to-face exchanges conducted in a relatively quiet background. Children that are receiving more noise stimulation than language stimulation will fail to develop the language skills they need to succeed in school or to communicate effectively with their parents, teacher, and peers.
Speak in complete sentences and use words with precise meanings
Instead of letting your child hear you say “ where is that thingy,” or where is that whatchamacallit” try to always speak with precision and accuracy. Model the richness of language for your child by adding multiple word meanings and using different words to express the same thought.
Try these simple Language and Reading Development Tips at home – and please let us know if they helped.
Karina Richland is the Founder of Pride Learning Centers, located in Los Angeles and Orange County. Ms. Richland is a reading and learning disability specialist and speaks frequently to parents, teachers, and professionals on learning differences. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the PRIDE Learning Center website at: www.pridelearningcenter.com