Does your child have difficulty hearing and understanding speech? Here are some explanations

What is an Auditory Processing Disorder?
Auditory processing disorder (APD) is often described as greater than expected difficulty hearing
and understanding speech even though no measurable hearing loss exists. Individuals with
Auditory processing disorders may act as though a hearing loss is present when in fact, hearing
sensitivity is often within normal limits.
A learner with APD may present with some of the following:
• Poor listening skills
• Difficulty following oral instructions or classroom discussions
• Frequently saying, “huh”, or “what?”
• Difficulty with phonics or letter-sound correspondences, sound blending, or segmentation
• Difficulty decoding unfamiliar words
• Poor spelling
• Slow fluency of reading
• Poor reading comprehension
• Difficulty understanding in the presence of background noise
• Poor attention, day dreaming, high distractibility
• Give slow or delayed responses to oral questions
• May be prone to behaviour problems due to frustration or boredom
• Avoidance of reading or other difficult task
Suggestions to assist a learner with APD
Encourage your learner to become a “detective” in finding strategies that work best for their
learning style. Ask them what works for them in the classroom and encourage them to self-monitor
as much as possible.

Some other ideas include:
• Writing directions on the board
• Preferential seating such as making sure the learner sits close to the front of the class
• Limiting background noise during desk work, or wearing ear plugs
• Presenting directions in short segments using visual cues if necessary
• Accommodating your learners longer response time by increasing waiting time so that you give
them a chance to process your instruction
• Asking the learner to repeat back what you said silently to themselves/to you
• Rephrasing and repeating what you have explained in simple sentences
• Maintaining structure and routine so directions are predictable
• Assigning a buddy to your learner so they can check their understanding with their buddy

 

By: Candice Tu, Speech-Language Pathologist

Stimulating literacy during holidays

Help your child practice their reading and writing skills by using the play dough recipe below. Explain to your child that they will be helping you make play dough. Read the play dough recipe together with your child to help them practice their reading skills.

Try sounding out the letter sounds in words that they struggle with, e.g. “k” + “uh” + “p” for “cup”. Tell your child to write out their own play dough ingredients list to help them practice their spelling. You can help them by reading out the ingredients from the play dough recipe one line at a time.

At the grocery store, encourage your child to read out their ingredients list to you. At home, read out the directions of the recipe together. Then, let your child read out the instructions for you to follow. Lastly, invite some of their friends over and watch them enjoy playing with the play dough together.

Playdough recipe

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup cold water
  2. 1 cup salt
  3. 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  4. food colouring
  5. 3 cups of flour
  6. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Directions: Pour wet ingredients and salt together in a bowl. Stir well. Gradually add flour and cornstarch. Knead until firm. Store in an airtight container.

Words by Candice Tu, she studied Speech Therapy at the University of Cape Town and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology with honours in 2013.

Tu forms part of the organisation’s Learner Support Unit. This is a multidisciplinary team of therapists who provide additional academic and emotional support across the organisation.

Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Remedial Therapy and Counselling is provided individually or in small groups. Standardised and screening assessment is conducted to track the progress and development of learners.

To book an assessment for your child for 2017, contact 011 482 1015.

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Educational activities for the holidays

Holidays are coming up and your children are excited to have a break, relax, sleep late, watch TV, and see their friends. It is important however that your child is still doing some educational activities during these holiday weeks.

Here are some ideas:

  • Reading, reading and more reading! If you don’t have books at home then you could go to the local library. Your child should be encouraged to read stories they enjoy and that are at a level that is suitable for them. As a family you could read books together.

Monopoly-learning-board-game

  • Playing board games. There are some really great board games out there that you can play together. Games like Scrabble, 30 seconds, and Pictionary are great for spelling and increasing vocabulary. Games like monopoly are good for entrepreneurship and maths. Even simple games like cards or snakes and ladders are good for counting and learning to take turns.
  • Have a family quiz night.
  • Creating scrapbooks and collages.
  • Writing stories, creating comics, or journaling about the holiday.
  • Going on educational outings such as to the zoo or a museum.
  • Building different structures and objects using recyclable material or building blocks.
  • Practice measuring at home by letting your children help you with cooking and baking.
  • If you have a tablet or phone, you can download educational games for your child to play.
  • If your child loves TV, try encourage them to also watch some educational programs such as nature documentaries.
Father and son with laundry basket

Father and son with laundry basket

It is fine to let your kids have some TV, phone and tablet time but make sure they are balancing this out with outside play, social activities, educational activities, and helping with chores around the house.

Happy Holidays.

Words by the Sparrow School’s Educational Trust Speech Therapist, Samantha Bolton.

Bolton’s educational background:

Advanced Diploma in Remedial Education (UJ) In Progress; Post Graduate Certificate in Education – Intermediate and Senior Phase (UNISA) ; BA Psychology Honours degree; (University of Johannesburg) CUM LAUDE; BA degree Psychological Counseling (UNISA) CUM LAUDE.