Language Based Concentration  

“What?, what did you say mom?”  Do these words drive you crazy?

Do you notice this happening consistently, even in a close one-on-one conversation?

Often children who mimic hearing problems are first referred to an audiologist for a hearing test.  Their teachers notice the following symptoms in class:

  • Short term memory problems
  • Difficulties with following instructions
  • Slow speed of processing both spoken and written language
  • Battling listening to a story and retelling it, or grasping the main idea
  • Misinterpreting phrases/sentences-“Look out the door” not “Look out, the door”
  • Poor spellers/readers
  • Normal expressive language, with word finding problems

The trouble starts when the hearing test results are clear-now what?  Perhaps there really is a neurological problem.  The next stop is usually a doctor.  The symptoms above also mimic Attention Deficit disorder (ADHD).  Many parents reluctantly medicate their children to find in some cases, there is no improvement.  Why not?  If your child has normal hearing the problems may lie in  LANGUAGE AND AUDITORY PROCESSING

Language Based Auditory Processing Disorders:

This is a condition where children have difficulty processing sounds, language, beyond just a simple language delay.  Some children, who have had persistent middle ear problems, do not develop the same level of response when spoken to and miss verbal cues.  Attention problems develop from this critical period in a child’s development.  Children, who are not exposed to a complex and a word-rich environment, also present with poorer understanding of language.  This is evident as they begin senior primary phase.  This affects studying and comprehension.  Instructions will be harder to follow if you don’t understand the instruction word eg: “Find the picture that has fewer marbles”.  I have had children who said that they did not know what fewer meant.

Some supporting Strategies:

  • Try to pair looking and listening-if possible show what must be done
  • Keep instructions short and specific-don’t waffle
  • Good classroom placement is required
  • Ask the child to repeat instructions, keeping a diary might help
  • Emphasize key words by stressing on theme-eg: Everyone must bring TWO pictures of fruit
  • Maintain eye contact when story telling
  • Stop during story telling to check that understanding is there, and ask inference questions-What do you think they will do now?
  • Older learners may benefit from mind-maps to organize information
  • Younger learners will benefit from Speech Therapy to work on creating strong vocabulary, and a good understanding of the meaning in  language
  • In severe cases an F.M. system may be required for the classroom, a small microphone to transmit directly from the teacher. (Contact Audiologists)

A language based attention problem requires specific intervention by a Speech Therapist; parents can encourage language interest at home by regular reading of a variety of books/magazines and by talking about language.

By: Sohana Kaliprasad                                                                   011-8691026(Speech Therapist & Audiologist)                                                   083 447 1894


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