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6/9/2011 9:42:54 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner Newsletter--June 2011

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner Newsletter
June 2011 -- Kids with Auditory Processing Problems
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by Dianne Craft, MA, CNHP

"Is my son just not paying attention to me, or does he have an
auditory processing problem?"

"Help! My daughter sounds out the same word over and over again when
she reads."

"My child's spelling is horrible. Is this an Auditory Processing
Problem?"

Children and teenagers who are struggling with an Auditory Processing
Problem can be a puzzle to parents. Let's explore this subject
in-depth this month.

Common Myths about Auditory Processing

Two common misconceptions about children with auditory processing
problems are:

1. "My child must be an auditory learner because he loves to listen to
stories."

2. "My child has an auditory processing problem because he can't
follow three simple directions I give him!"

In reality, when a child is listening to you read a story, he is
busily converting your words into a movie in his head. This is
actually more of a visual, right brain process. Many children who
have auditory processing problems love to listen to stories or books
on tape.

When a child can't seem to follow a parent's oral directions, we think
more of a focusing issue, versus a true auditory processing problem.
If the parent reports that their child "can't follow oral directions,"
but no other symptoms of auditory processing problems are found, it
would be good to explore further a child's focusing ability. ( See
The Four Learning Gates http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=11472).

Characteristics of an Auditory Processing Problem

This is the most encompassing of the three academic gates that can be
blocked. Dr. Mel Levine, in his book, "One Mind at a Time," calls
these blocked learning gates "energy leaks." He says that these
children are using too much battery energy to process information
auditorally. When a child is experiencing an Auditory Processing
Problem, it generally affects two distinct areas:


ACADEMICS


1.Reading
2. Spelling
3. Math
4. Memory

EVERYDAY LIFE

1. The child is easily confused
2. The child misunderstands information
3. The child scrambles words such as "mazagine"
4. The child finds saying months difficult
5. The child's problem can look like Attention Deficit Disorder

A child can have symptoms of an Auditory Processing Problem at several
levels:

Mild: A child has difficulty understanding a large amount of oral
information given at one time, but has no trouble with reading.

Moderate: A child has difficulty processing oral information and some
difficulty with reading phonetically.

Severe (often presents as dyslexia): A child has more difficulty with
information presented auditorally and also has great difficulty with
reading phonetically and remembering sight words.

Let's look at each of the academic areas that are most commonly
affected:

READING:

1. Sight word memorization (word retrieval)

2. Phonics
> Phonics "rules" don't stick (too auditory)
> Child sounds out same word over and over again while reading (can
say "f-a-t", not "fat")
> Child reads letters in words that aren't there, such as "n", "r"
> Parents have used at least three phonics programs unsuccessfully

SPELLING

Spelling has no phonetic pattern to it. Leaves out consonants or
syllables...not just vowels.

Examples of spelling mistakes when an Auditory Processing Problem is
present: Saturday=Satday ; Thursday=Thusday

Examples of spelling mistakes when an Auditory Processing Problem is
NOT present: Munday=Monday; Toosday=Tuesday. Phonetically, this is
the way the words sound, so this is not necessarily an auditory
processing issue. This is just a child who needs to be trained to use
his or her photographic memory for storage of sight word spelling.

MATH

1. Math facts hard to memorize, even with music and "wraps"
2. Skip counting (sequencing) can be difficult
3. Mental math is difficult (hearing his or her own silent voice)

What to Do?

If you have a child who has some of the symptoms of an Auditory
Processing Problem (a child doesn't have to have all the
characteristics to qualify), you can make learning easier for this
child. The most important thing to remember is that it is necessary
to do TWO STEPS with these children:

Two Steps: Bypass and Correct

In this newsletter we will focus on teaching methods you can use at
home to help your child by bypassing his Auditory Processing Problem.
In next month's newsletter we will explore methods that help to
correct the child's Auditory Processing Problem using various
therapies available.

The Brain Model: The left brain hemisphere is our auditory learning
hemisphere, while the right brain is our visual learning hemisphere.
The auditory hemisphere learns using oral repetition, writing
repetition, black-and-white flash cards, and rules to learn and retain
material. If the child we are working with has an auditory processing
glitch, we want to avoid using those auditory methods of teaching
exclusively. The right, visual brain uses color, pictures, stories,
humor and emotion to store information. Therefore for this child,
instead of using only auditory methods to teach him, it would be best
to focus on the right brain hemisphere methods of learning and
retaining material, whether the child is right brain dominant or not.
Since most curricula available tend to use the more auditory method of
learning, parents will need to make many of the materials (easy and
inexpensive to do) to help their child become successful.

Teaching methods to help this child at home:

1. Reading

a. Phonics

For a list of curricula that uses more visual techniques to teach
phonics/phonemes, decoding, please see the newsletter, "Understanding
and Correcting Reading Difficulties" at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=11473

b. Sight Words

The visual method of teaching sight words is such an easy, effective
method of teaching a child to finally memorize sight words. It
involves imbedding the picture of the word onto the letters. Very
struggling readers love this method because they can immediately
remember the words. Just reading the words daily on black-and-white
cards is a slow method for the child.

2. Train Child's Photographic Memory

a. Spelling

Since spelling rules tend to use too much space in a child's auditory
hemisphere, this is not an easy way for him to learn. Instead, you
can easily train your child's photographic memory using spelling cards
that you make yourself at home. This easy, free spelling program is
demonstrated for you on an HSLDA @home e-vent that you can download
and watch on your own computer at your convenience. Just go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=11474 . Click on "Teaching the Right
Brain Child, Part 1."

You may also want to choose a conventional, but less "rule-oriented"
method of spelling such as Sequential Spelling.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=11476

b. Math

Math is one of the most auditory subjects that we teach. The math
facts and processes are often taught using rules and auditory
repetition. For a child with an Auditory Processing Problem, this can
be very discouraging. The child or teenager just needs to be taught
how to use a more visual method to store facts and processes for long
term memory storage. This unique method is demonstrated in the HSLDA
@home e-vent, "Teaching the Right Brain Child, Part 2."

For a list of math curricula that can be helpful to you, read the
newsletter, "Attacking the Math Monster" by Faith Berens at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=11475 .

Look for more ideas for the child struggling with an Auditory
Processing Problem in next month's newsletter.

HSLDA has three struggling learner consultants available to talk with
you at any time about your child. Please call 540-338-5600 to ask to
speak with one of these consultants. We love to talk to our families!

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-> You can only do so much...

No one can be everywhere at once. And you can't be at home,
teaching your children, while monitoring your state's legislature.
Through electronic legislative services, HSLDA is monitoring state
legislation for you -- watching and listening carefully for any
proposed laws that could erode your right to homeschool.
Join HSLDA today-we'll watch out for your future.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1942

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