26 Ways to Help Kids With Receptive Language Disorder Understand Instructions

Are you looking for ways to help kids with receptive language disorder understand instructions? If so, keep reading.

1. Make sure the student knows that you expect them to listen to you (e.g., by saying, “William, it is essential that you listen carefully to what I have to say. Your rough draft is due on Wednesday.” etc.).

2. Reward the student’s peers in the classroom for listening to and following instructions.

3. Urge the student to ask for clarification of any directions, explanations, and instructions before starting a task to ensure all needed information was heard.

4. Select various people (e.g., peers, paraprofessionals, counselors, family members, etc.) to help the student improve their listening skills.

5. Do not give instructions to the student from across the room. Go to the student, get their full attention, and explain the instructions to him/her.

6. Get the student’s hearing reviewed if it has not been recently reviewed.

7. Get the student to silently rehearse information just heard to help them remember the essential facts.

8. Be positive. On occasions where correcting the student, be honest yet compassionate. Never cause the student to feel negatively about themselves.

9. Provide a consistent format in the oral delivery of information.

10. Urge the student to ask for clarification if they do not understand instructions that are given orally or in writing.

11. Provide the student with short directions, explanations, and instructions to follow. As the student shows success, slowly increase the length of the directions, explanations, and instructions.

12. Let logical consequences happen due to the student failing to listen to and follow instructions (e.g., miss instructions for the task, miss information on school learning activities , etc.).

13. Get the student to repeat or rephrase what is said to them to ascertain what they heard.

14. Be firm, fair, and consistent, expecting the student to listen to and follow instructions. Do not Let the student fail to listen without accepting natural consequences.

15. Praise the student for listening to what is said (e.g., making eye contact, hands are free of learning materials, looking at tasks, etc.): (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., classroom privileges, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

16. Provide the student instructions with no more than two or three steps (e.g., “Please open your text and turn to page 28.”); directions that involve several steps can be confusing and cause the student to have difficulty following them.

17. Put the student near the source of information.

18. Separate at crucial points when delivering directions, explanations, and instructions to check the student’s comprehension.

19. Urge the student to create an understanding of themselves and those around him/her. Train the student to periodically step back and ask themselves, “Am I listening and paying attention?” “What should I be doing now?”

20. Urge the student to create an understanding of the consequences of not listening by writing down or talking through problems that may happen due to their need to have oral instructions and questions regularly repeated (e.g., if you do not focus on the instructions, you may miss information and produce poor quality work).

21. Consider using a classroom management app to help the student follow directions and instructions . Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

22. Consider using Alexa to help you with classroom management. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

23. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

24. Read this article that we wrote on developing listening comprehension skills.

25. Read this article that we wrote explaining why verbal comprehension skills are important to academic success.

26. Read this article that we wrote on what you should do when your child struggles with verbal comprehension.

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