Does your school-aged child seem to have difficulty following multi-step directions?
Perhaps they tend to leave out details when you give them instructions?
Does your child get easily distracted by background noise? They might have an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD).
APD is a hearing problem that occurs in 3% to 5% of school-aged children. Another name for APD is Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)
Children with APD/CAPD are unable to understand what they hear because their ears and brain aren’t coordinated in the right way to match up and make sense of what is being said to them. There is an obstacle with the pathway that the brain identifies and deciphers sounds, especially speech sounds.
Here are some strategies you can implement to help your child who has APD/CAPD:
- Reduce or move away from background noise. Background noise can include people talking, tv, traffic noise, running water, fan.
- Rephrase the information you are trying to communicate instead of repeating it.
- Highlight key words and important information by emphasising the point with your inflection and slowing your speech rate down. E.g. Take the RED cup and put it in the sink.
- Present directions in short, concrete segments, with visual cues.
- Write down important information or send a text message instead if you’re using a phone.
- Get your child’s attention first before you start talking. (Don’t talk to them when they are not looking at you).
- Don’t talk to your child from a different room.
- Speak slower and allow time for processing.
- In the classroom, request to move your child to sit closer to the teacher.
- Request for your child to take tests or do their assignments in an area away from distractions in school.
Written by Isabel Tan, Senior Speech & Language Therapist
To read more about Isabel, visit our Speech & Language Therapists team