Auditory processing disorder (APD) is a complex learning disability that affects about 5 to 7% of school-aged children. It primarily impairs one’s ability to comprehend or discriminate between complex sounds, even though the individual’s hearing is normal. Thus, students with APD struggle to retain information, often resulting in poor classroom performance. However, there are steps you can take as a parent or educator to better support these young men and women.
5 Teaching Strategies for Students With Auditory Processing Disorder
1. Show Rather Than Explain
When a student struggles to understand auditory information, it helps to bypass this modality and engage other senses, whenever possible. For instance, instead of describing a moment in the country’s history, have students act it out. When discussing photosynthesis, try growing a classroom plant to demonstrate the different steps.
2. Reword Directions
Students with auditory processing disorder often struggle with multi-task instructions, particularly when presented orally. When explaining an activity or assigning homework, try to simplify your directions, so they’re easier to understand. Phrasing challenging curriculum in multiple ways will also give students multiple opportunities to absorb the information.
3. Vary Pitch & Tone
When giving directions, it may also help to adjust your intonation and stress any important words. Doing so will help your child more easily pick out key concepts from the passage. Also, try to keep the extraneous noise level to a minimum.
4. Allow for “Think Time”
Because APD impairs auditory comprehension, students with this learning disability benefit from extra “think time.” After asking a student a question, for example, give them five or six seconds to respond. For tough questions, give them longer.
5. Ask Questions
Young adults with APD often experience low self-esteem as a result of their learning differences. Thus, they might not speak up if they are confused by an instruction or don’t understand a concept. You can help by asking specific questions about the material. Additionally, frequent encouragement will keep students from getting discouraged.
Maplebrook School is a private boarding school in Amenia, NY, dedicated to serving students with auditory processing disorder, ADHD, and other learning differences. Thanks to their compassionate, individualized approach, their highly trained educators have helped thousands of young men and women reach their full potential. For more on how they employ these same strategies in their classrooms, visit their website. For information about the enrollment process, call them at (845) 373-9511 today.