A simple explanation of an auditory processing disorder is that your child is having a hard time understanding what you are saying to them. There are a couple different names for auditory processing, but the most common include “language processing disorder” and “auditory processing disorder”. These auditory processing strategies may help your child understand the speech and language that they are hearing.
1. Reduce background noise when you are talking to your child
This helps your child by limiting distractions. Having less noise will help your child concentrate on what you are saying and less on the surrounding environment.
2. Gain your child’s attention before you start your conversations
This is a key step with having your child understand better. When communicating with your child, be close to them and maintain eye contact. Try to be at the same eye level as your child. Repeat your child’s name and try to remind them to listen throughout your conversations.
3. Speak slower to your child
This is important because children with auditory processing problems need more time to understand/process what you say to them. Give them time to think about what they have heard and ask them if they need you to repeat what you have said.
4. Repeat important words and phrases
By repeating words and phrases, your child can better understand the main part of the conversation instead of guessing what you want/need him to do. Hearing things more than once will help to increase comprehension.
5. Allow your child to have extra time before responding back to you
You child needs more time to answer and respond to you because their brain processes things at a slower rate. By being patient and giving them time to respond, they will feel more comfortable and less rushed to come up with a response.
6. Advocate for your child
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your child’s teachers and/or principal about concerns you have. Talk with them about what would be best for your child when at school. A few strategies that are helpful in the class room include seating near the teacher, in a place where there will be the least amount of distractions. A visual schedule and written directions might be helpful for your child so they can follow along and better participate in the classroom.
Jeannine Abel M.A., CCC-SLP