Helping Children Develop Listening Comprehension Skills

Listening comprehension can present a struggle for learning disabled kids. Many disorders can make it difficult for them to attend to information delivered verbally, including difficulties processing sounds and prioritizing sensory input. Even kids with mild deficits may find auditory learning difficult since some learners are visual or even kinesthetic.

What Disabilities Affect Listening Comprehension?

Auditory processing disorder or a language-processing deficit can have an impact on listening comprehension. These kids can hear, but imagine a world in which every noise you heard was at the same volume—it’s just impossible to sort out the “essential” sounds from the unessential ones.

Reinforcing Listening Comprehension at Home and School

For a kid with these kinds of needs, listening comprehension work can’t only happen in school. Parents will have similar struggles at home. Here are some general strategies for kids with auditory processing delays.

Reduce distraction. To help regulate volume and keep a kid on task, it’s essential to remove extraneous noises. A quiet room can help. Noise-canceling headphones can do wonders for easily sidetracked learners.

Let the kid see you when you speak. A kid with difficulty interpreting sounds or making them on their own should see the shape of your mouth as you speak. Let them put their hand on their throat when saying words that present difficulty, and have them look in a mirror while speaking.

Take movement breaks. Some kids will need a refresher in the struggle to listen attentively. Every 30 minutes or so, give them 5 minutes to move around the classroom.

Read aloud, a minimum of 10 minutes a day. Spend time reading aloud to kids with auditory deficits. It’s essential to cater to the kid’s interests.

Help them with the process of listening. Have the kid repeat what you’ve said, summarize what they read, or explain to you how they will finish a task. When teaching a lesson, give information in short and simple sentences.

Always check to ensure that the kid understands by repeating or rephrasing your instructions. Use voice intonation to keep their attention.

Whenever possible, utilize visual aids and or charts. This can make all the difference. Help kids with the organization by presenting the sequence of the lesson before you teach it. Reference them as you’re giving instructions.

Teach strategies to these learners that include rehearsing mentally, focusing on keywords, and utilizing mnemonics. Making connections when presenting new content can help them overcome the sensory deficit.

For learners for whom distractibility is not the main issue, group learning situations may help. Peers will often help or direct a kid with deficits and lend additional support to preserve a kid’s self-esteem. Consistency is the most efficient strategy to support kids with challenges in listening comprehension.

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