Many of our students at Pride Learning Center have been diagnosed with auditory processing difficulties due to CAPD, ADHD, dyslexia, autism, or a learning disability. Often parents will ask me the question, “what can I do at home to help?” I have composed a list of activities that strengthen and support auditory processing deficits that are simple, quick and easy to incorporate at home.
1. Listen for Sounds. Have your child sit at your desk, close their eyes and identify sounds that you make. You can drop a pencil, bounce a ball, tap on the window, tear a paper, use a stapler, cut with scissors, open the door, type on your computer, sip a cup of coffee or write with a marker. Trade roles and then let the child make different sounds that you have to identify.
2. Take a Nature Walk. Sit outside under a tree and listen for various sounds outside of the house. Sounds like birds chirping, airplanes flying overhead, cars driving by, voices of children playing are fun to identify. You can have a little notebook on hand and keep a list of all of the different sounds you came across.
3. Repeat a Pattern. Sit across from your child and clap your hands to a rhythmic pattern alternating between slow and fast tempos. Have your child repeat the pattern. You can also use various instruments, play a drum or bounce a ball to a variety of rhythms. Switch roles and let your child be the sound leader as well.
4. Hide and Seek. Hide a metronome or a ticking clock somewhere in your home. Have your child find it by locating the sound. Another variation of this game can be played outside. You can hide somewhere and blow a whistle. The child will then follow the sounds to find where you are hiding.
5. Sing Songs. Sing songs together that involve repeating previous verses, such as “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”, “Over in the River”, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and “The Green Grass Grows All Around.”
6. Read Rhyming Books Together. For beginning readers, repetitive and rhyming books help children listen carefully to the similar sounds of rhyming words. Some great rhyming books are “Hop on Pop”, “Fox in Socks”, “Goose on the Loose” and “Goodnight Moon.”
Karina Richland, M.A., E.T. is the Managing Director of Pride Learning Centers, located in Los Angeles and Orange County. A former teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District, Ms. Richland is a 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
By Karina Richland, M.A., E.T.
The most effective teaching method for children with learning differences is a multisensory approach. Multisensory teaching utilizes all the senses to relay information to the students. The teacher accesses the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic pathways in order to enhance memory and learning. For example, when learning the vowel combination “oa” the student might first look at it and then have to trace the letters in the air while speaking out loud. This combination of listening, looking, and moving around creates a lasting impression for the student as things will connect to each other and become memorable.
Multisensory learning started back in the 1920s by Dr. Samuel Orton at the Mobile Mental Health Clinic in Iowa. Dr. Samuel Orton, one of the first to recognize dyslexia in students, suggested that teaching the “fundamentals of phonic association with letter forms, both visually and kinesthetically presented and reproduced in writing until the correct associations were built up,” would be the best learning approach for students of all ages. Dr. Orton had his patients trace, copy, and write letters while saying their corresponding sounds and associations. Today this method is known as multisensory learning.
Children with dyslexia often struggle with auditory and/or visual processing. They have trouble recalling words and how they are pronounced. This means that they do not comprehend the roles that sounds play in words. These children have difficulties rhyming words as well as blending sounds together to form words. Dyslexic children do not understand or acquire the alphabetic code or system expected of them in the primary grades. If a child with dyslexia is given a task that uses just hearing and vision, without drawing upon other senses, the student will be at a disadvantage. When taught with a multisensory approach, children will learn alphabetic patterns and words by utilizing all pathways – hearing (auditory), seeing (visual), touching (tactile) and moving (kinesthetic).
Dyslexic students do not need more of the same instruction in class but a different type of instruction. They need to learn basic language sounds and the letters that make them, starting from the very beginning and moving forward in a gradual step by step process. For all of this to “stick” they need to do this by using their eyes, ears, voices, and hands.
Tell me, and I will forget.
Show me, and I may remember.
Involve me, and I will understand.
Karina Richland, M.A., E.T. is the Managing Director of Pride Learning Centers, located in Los Angeles and Orange County. A former teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District, Ms. Richland is a 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: