Auditory Processing Problems & ADHD – Part 4

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Auditory processing is a skill. It can be increased by using techniques and technology. The following can help you increase auditory processing skill:

1. The game Simon Says is perhaps one of the easiest, fun exercises that can help stimulate processing of auditory information. Set aside time to play with your student or child. Start simply; work one on one initially in a non-distracting environment. Use simple commands and then progress to more complex commands over time. The immediate feedback and reward inherent in Simon Says makes this game a powerful tool.

2. Create flashcards. For example, a card might say, “Jan read a book under a tree.” Read the card to the child and let them view the card. Then ask, “Where did Jan read the book?” Start simply and then progress to more complex scenarios over time. Progressively wean off the visual component (card viewing) once basic mastery has been obtained.

3. Play Attention has games for auditory processing, auditory processing for school, auditory processing for home, and auditory processing for the office. 800.788.6786.

You can gain significant improvement using these exercises and technology. Starting simply and working one on one initially in a non-distracting environment is essential.

Auditory Processing Problems & ADHD, Part 3

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I need you to take your text book out, turn to page 32, SQUIRREL!

That’s how an ADHD student often pays attention to direction from the teacher. The child’s textbook may be retrieved, but forget the rest of the instruction — it won’t happen.

Two more great strategies that work for school and home:

1. Sequencing. Limit your instructions to one or two at a time. Once you’ve said them slowly, then reiterate them using your fingers, essentially bullet pointing the verbal instructions for the child. For example, you hold up your index finger and say, “Remember, the first thing I need you to do is…” Then, with the first instruction carried out, hold two fingers up, say, “Great, the second thing I need you to do is…”

This is a simple but effective method. Sometimes having the child or another child repeat the sequence can help.

2. Private signals. The teacher or parent moves within proximity of the child before the instruction is delivered. Prior to instruction, the child and teacher/parent have created a secret signal. “I’ll gently tug on my ear when I need you to listen.”

Auditory Processing Problems & ADHD, Part 2

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It’s important to realize that inability to follow multiple step instructions is part and parcel of the ADHD child’s or adult’s condition. Therefore, it’s also important to pick your battles; they are not trying to be defiant. Auditory processing problems can easily be construed to be ODD (oppositional defiant disorder).

Parents and teachers often perceive auditory processing problems as defiance, and this can lead to poor relationships. Students will come home to tell their parents, “The teacher doesn’t like me. She’s always yelling at me.” As many parents know, this can ruin the entire school year.

Spouses often get infuriated with their partner when he or she can’t seem to stay involved in conversations. A simple conversation can often turn into a major fight.

Your first priority is to discuss auditory processing problems with the other party. Be prepared with documentation courtesy the internet or your physician. Inform the other party that this is a real problem, and the two of you need to develop strategies to address it.

Strategy number 1: Proximity. Do not start a conversation with your spouse from across the room. Do not have your child seated at the back of the classroom. Do sit down at the table with your spouse and make eye contact. Do have your child’s desk closer to the teacher for auditory clarity and eye contact.

Strategy number 2: Keep it simple. Spouses, parents, and teachers realizing that multiple step instructions are going to be problematic will deliver one instruction/concept at a time while making eye contact. Make certain you are not condescending, but rather simply direct and clear. Wait for it! Wait for it…Deliver your second instruction upon completion of the first.

Strategies to improve auditory processing skills ahead. Stay tuned!

Auditory Processing Problems & ADHD

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Go to your bedroom, put your pajamas on, brush your teeth, and get ready for bed. Simple enough. You go to your child’s bedroom an hour later, and your child is sitting on the bed playing with a video game. You’re not only irritated, you’re stumped. Why can’t he or she take multiple step instructions?

It’s likely your ADHD child never processed anything beyond, “Go to your bedroom.” This is a form of auditory processing difficulty. But, it has nothing to do with ear problems. Auditory processing is actually a term used to define a variety of disorders that affect the way the brain processes auditory information. Attention is critical to following multiple step instructions. ADHD children have diffused attention — attention that is scattered. The part of their brain that allows them to sustain and direct attention is often not functioning as well as it could. So, when you deliver multiple step instructions, often the very first direction is processed, but the following instructions are not processed.

Try not to become angry when your child fails to comprehend multiple step instructions. In the upcoming posts, we’ll provide strategies to help you manage auditory processing problems.