Last month, we discussed Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) and defined some deficits that kids with APD often share. Now that it’s fall and the school year is back in gear, it’s important to make sure that students with APD can succeed in the classroom. In a city as diverse as San Francisco, teachers are used to adapting their classrooms to fit the needs of educationally and culturally diverse students. Diverse learners include students with APD, so here are some suggestions for teachers of children with APD:
Seat students with APD in the area of the room that is most conducive to learning for them. These areas contain minimal distractions that may get in the way of interpreting information that they hear. For many children with APD, sitting in the front of the room can limit other auditory distractions, such as seating by a noisy pencil sharpener or by other chatty students.
Consider a classroom microphone to increase the volume of your class lessons. This will help students with APD so they can focus on the loudest and most important signal they hear, the teacher! Amplifying your voice can also benefit all children in the class, as well as help save your voice from vocal overuse.
Introduce listening signals
Try to use signals such as “time to listen!” when addressing students with APD. This can also help with classroom management for all students when it’s time to transition from independent work time or group learning to whole-class lessons.
Provide students with APD notes and assignments in advance. This is one way they can focus extra on simply attending and listening to what you say, rather than writing notes. They can keep their eyes on you, which may help them understand lessons.
Like voice amplification and listening signals, this suggestion is great for all students! Teaching students to request repeats is a good idea for kids with APD so that they can learn to advocate for themselves and make sure all students take charge of their own education at an early age.
With these recommendations, young students with APD can practice good learning habits that will help them throughout their future!
Many of our speech therapists have extensive experience working with children with diagnosed auditory processing disorders. We working closely with their school and home environment to ensure wrap around support in all aspects of their daily living.