2. Auditory Discrimination
Auditory discrimination is the ability to differentiate, process and understand sounds. Words are made up of individual sounds joined together. For children with learning issues, this is such a big challenge. I had one case where in, it took me a little while to figure out that the problem in spelling rooted in the child’s weak auditory memory and discrimination skills. I changed and presented in a variety of different activities to him but none of them targeted improving his auditory discrimination skills. And so we were stuck and I had to think back and reflect for a few nights what could be the problem why he isn’t learning the spelling words I taught. After I realized that it should be because of his poor and weak auditory discrimination, I re-created the goals and focused more on improving his auditory discrimination skills.
I’d like to quote what Dr. Mel Levine said to support my principle. “I should never try to understand and deal with differences in learning until I know how learning works when it’s working. So I can’t figure out why a kid is enduring serious grief in algebra unless I understand what it ordinarily takes to master algebra — in other words, how that kind of learning works. “
As teachers and parents, it is our ultimate duty to learn and think the way our kids think, to see what they see, and to hear what they hear and we have to understand how learning takes place for them. It is the only way we will understand them therefore, addressing learning problems will be easier. I know it is a very challenging task to do because sometimes we run out of energy, patience, ideas, but then we always have to get back to our feet and peruse.
What we need to remember: To improve this skills, we have to provide exercises that will enhance listening and processing what he heard. Tasks can include:
- Following directions (2-3 steps to a more challenging instructions)
- Sound Awareness activities
i.e. listening to recorded sounds, sounds made by the teacher, imitated sounds, listening to instrument sounds, listening to the sounds of nature (birds chirping, gushing water, sounds swaying branches,) discriminating animal sounds, or sounds from house appliances, road sounds and etc.
3. Music Therapy
4. Sound Retention activities
i.e. Play sound memory games with your child.
5. Letter / Phonemes Awareness activities
You and your child can read and sing rhyming songs and poems. Rhyming songs and chants are great way to enhance phonemic awareness because passages are repeated and usually the words used end with the same sounds.
Read an interesting story aloud to your child and highlight certain words and repeat them. You may also encourage your child to read aloud, that way he can hear how he reads on his own.