Help the Child With Auditory Processing Issues to Block Out Background Noise and Unpleasant Sounds

Kids with auditory sensitivities may become distressed by background noise and in places where unexpected loud sounds can disturb them: public bathrooms with toilets that flush loudly, parties where balloons pop, and so on. One effective way to help them is to provide earplugs. Contrary to popular belief, earplugs do not block out all sound. They simply reduce overall volume. Foam earplugs are cheap and easily found in drugstores, and you can teach your child with sensory issues how to roll them between her fingers to make them smaller and then insert them into the ear. While you don’t want your child to become used to wearing earplugs all the time, in particularly challenging situations they can be a real stress buster for the sensory child with auditory sensitivities.

Noise cancellation headphones are another option and especially helpful for concerts and Monster TruckĀ® shows, but also to provide a child with sensory breaks from excess auditory stimulation. Noise cancellation headphones block far more noise than do earplugs so use them judiciously, ideally under the guidance of a sensory smart OT who can set up a sensory diet that incorporates breaks from auditory stimulation. These headphones can typically be found for $15-35 in hardware stores although you may want to do an internet search to find them in the smallest sizes.

If background noise makes it difficult for a sensory child to fall asleep or focus on schoolwork, you can use a white noise machine, a radio turned to static, a fan, or an aquarium to provide masking for distressing and distracting sounds. Experiment with music designed specifically to improve focusing, such as Hemi-Sync MetamusicĀ®. New Age music or nature sounds may help some children with SPD focus better, or they may distract them further. Work with the child to find the music that enhances his focusing ability. Observe his responses and ask him if the music is helping or hindering him.

The information contained in this article is provided as a public service. It is for informational and educational purposes only. This information should not be construed as personal medical advice. Because each person’s health needs are different, a health care professional should be consulted before acting on any information provided in these materials. Although every effort is made to ensure that this material is accurate and up-to-date, it is provided for the convenience of the user and should not be considered definitive.

15 Parenting Tips on Classroom Help For Children With Auditory Processing Disorder

Are you the parent of a child with autism or a learning disability that has been diagnosed with auditory processing disorder? Would you like to understand how this disorder affects your child’s education? Would you like to learn about some things that your child’s teacher can do in the classroom, to help your child learn? This article will give you 15 parenting tips that will help your child in their classroom.

Auditory Processing Disorder is the inability to attend to, discriminate among, or understand auditory information. This disorder negatively affects a child’s education in many ways that will be discussed.

#1: Make sure that your child’s teacher understands what auditory processing disorder I,s and how to work with your child. This disorder can negatively affect reading in many ways as well as other areas of academics. Your child’s teacher may require special training in this area, to be able to effectively work with your child.

#2: Make sure that your child is receiving preferential seating near the person that is giving the instruction. A distance of three to four feet is best, and will allow your child to receive the most benefit not only from auditory communication but from visual as well. Ask your child’s teacher not to put them near a noise source such as bathroom, equipment etc.

#3: Make sure that your child’s teacher is giving visual cues, which will make it easier for your child to understand what the teacher is saying.

#4: A peer partner may be helpful in keeping your child on task and helping them to understand verbal directions and instruction.

#5: Ask that your child’s teacher provide a separate work area for your child to limit distractions.

#6: Ask for FM amplification to improve access to auditory information. The recommendation for this system is usually made by an audiologist, who is especially trained in this area.

#7: Ask your child’s teacher to speak in a clear modulated voice to increase the chance that your child will understand what is being said.

#8: Ask your child’s teacher to break down verbal directions to small steps. Also ask that the directions be repeated and perhaps used with visual cues.

#9: Your child can repeat the verbal instruction or the directions to ensure that he or she understands them.

#10: Children respond better to positive feedback than negative feedback or punishment. Work with your child’s teacher to put in place positive supports that will help your child.

#11: Have your child’s teacher review, preview and summarize a class lesson.

#12: If your child needs more time on assignments ask their teacher to allow this as a accommodation.

#13: Long complicated directions could be tape recorded so that your child could listen to them several times.

#14: Open classrooms are very difficult for children with auditory processing disorder. Doors and windows should be closed as much as possible to reduce or eliminate distractions.

#15: Ask your child’s teacher to allow them to use special organizational materials such as organizers, notebooks to write verbal directions down, etc.

Homeschooling: Plan Your Home Education Program Based on Learning Styles

Ultimately, many parents bring home, the very elements of the educational program that have caused their children to struggle in school. Why? There are a number of possibilities:

For one, parents feel more secure in duplicating the “experts.” School has been the predominate form of education in our country for so long that we are afraid that we are going to miss something important. Remembering why you decided to homeschool and what is important to you guards against this problem. Also, keep in mind that there are almost as many ways of homeschooling as there are homeschoolers. Your goal should be to find a balance between setting up a school classroom in your home and unschooling. The right answer for your family may be different from other homeschooling families you may know.

Whether you are a veteran homeschooler or are preparing for your first year, you will want to do some evaluating before you start purchasing curriculum. You should consider your own learning style and that of each or your children. Discovering how you and your child learn is essential in the teaching process. Am I saying that you should only teach to your child’s preferred learning style? NO! However, if your child is struggling, you should teach difficult areas using his or her style. In other areas, the child should use other styles. If this plan does not result in success, you need to seek other advice.

You may be confused about learning styles. Some talk about whether they are right brain or left brain. Others, being random or sequential. Are you visual, auditory or kinesthetic? Then, There are seven (now more) kinds of intelligences.

Each of these approaches is helpful to some people. Cynthia Tobias has done a good job of putting them all into perspective in her book: The Way They Learn. Most of the book deals with four dominant learning styles: concrete sequential, abstract sequential, abstract random, and concrete random. Then she uses Gregoric’s work on mind styles to describe how we concentrate. Dunn and Dunn’s work on environmental preferences help us design an ideal study area. Barbe-Swassing’s works on the modalities (visual, auditory and kinesthetic) explain how we remember. We understand analytically or globally according to Witkin. She also summarizes Gardener and Armstrong’s Seven Intelligences. Dr. Gardner has added more since coming out with the original seven. Tobias puts it together in a chapter near the end of the book. Monitor yourselves as you go through the five stages that Tobias outlines in chapter 11 of her book. No one is just one learning style. We are individuals! When we understand ourselves, we can use learning styles to learn things that are difficult, understand others and be encouraged when we are forced to work in an area that is not our strength.

Understanding your child’s learning style as well as your own can make a real difference in your learning environment. You may save some grief in the learning process, help to avoid homeschool burnout, and save some money by not purchasing curriculum that does not satisfy your learning objectives.

Books to Read on Learning Styles available on or your public library:

Armstrong, Thomas, In Their Own Way

Tobias, Cynthia Ulrich, The Way They Learn. Focus on the Family Publishing, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1994.

Vitalle, Barbara Meister, Unicorns are Real. Jalmer Press, Rolling Hills Estates, California, 1982.

This is a good beginning. You will eliminate many struggles in this way Once this has been applied, many will find their struggles are not such a big deal anymore.