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Auditory, memory and processing disabilities describe problems people have in understanding or remembering words or sounds because their brains fail to understand language correctly. This often can be mistaken by parents and doctors as a hearing problem or ADD (not paying attention), but in fact, an individual with this disability is not able to process or memorize this information.
The inability to understand language without a hearing loss is identified as poor Receptive Language or Central Auditory Processing (CAP). Problems usually surface in preschool and kindergarten when a child is recognized as having difficulty following directions, especially of the language is complex, spoken rapidly or there are a lot of distractions or noise around him. Some audiologists describe Central Auditory Processing as, “How well the ear talks to the brain and how well the brain understands what the ear tells it.”
There are several remediation methods used to treat oral language problems. Changes also can be encouraged at home and in the classroom. A child’s seat should be away from auditory and visual distractions to help him pay attention to the teacher. A seat close to the teacher and away from an air conditioner, door, or pencil sharpener can cut down on distractions.
Here are a few tips suggested by specialists in this area::
· Gain the child’s attention before giving directions.
· Speak slowly and clearly.
· Use simple, brief directions.
· Use visual aids to supplement the spoken word.
· Vary loudness to increase attention.
· Recognize periods of fatigue and give breaks when necessary.
· Avoid asking the child to listen and write at the same time.
· Try not to show frustration when the child misunderstands instructions.
Problems with Receptive Language and CAP can affect learning, particularly in areas of spelling and reading. Other symptoms are that a child is a poor listener, frequently misunderstands speech and has difficulty following directions.
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