Auditory Processing Games for Preschoolers

If your preschool child has difficulty following directions at home, this can be frustrating for both him and you! You think he seems to understand the individual words, but then he can’t follow through to be able to carry out your verbal instructions.

Some parents automatically assume that this is a behavior issue, but often it’s not. Auditory processing disorders make it very difficult for a child to be able to fully understand, process, and then DO what you’ve asked him to do.

The purpose of this article is not to explain auditory processing disorders, but rather give you ideas of how you can work to improve your child’s ability to understand and process directions at home.

As always, since I’m a pediatric SLP, I target these skills in play. Here are a few of my favorite ideas –

Use a child’s strengths or interests to develop “games” that will keep him with you long enough to learn how to listen, understand and follow-through. If he likes colors, set up a game so that he has to listen to what color of some object you’ll tell him to “get” and then “do” something with to complete the task. If he loves animals, set up a zoo game and give him different directions for various animals to do at the zoo. If his passion is his prized set of Cars vehicles, have him “do” different things you suggest with Lightning McQueen and all the other ones (but you’ll have to learn the names first!)

Get it Take what he loves and?then figure out a way to weasel in “therapy” with him during play.

If you’re the “need to HEAR it to understand it” kind of person, listen to episode #21 of my podcast Teach Me To Talk with Laura and Kate. It’s called Let’s Play! If you can’t take our banter about toys for?the full hour, forward on toward the end when I’m talking about how I use puzzles in sessions with children who need work on this.

If you’re the “need to SEE it to understand it” kind of person, take a look at the last video clip in the article “Best DVD for Receptive Language Therapy at Home.” If it’s not still posted a few articles below this one on the home page, then look for it in the DVD category.

If you’re the “need to see it and DIGEST it to understand it” kind of person, get the DVD Teach Me To Listen and Obey 2! You’ll see this clip plus others AND get to hear an explanation of the theory behind these activities and difficulties as well (but in plain English so you’ll be able to understand and apply it!).

Whatever your style – I hope these ideas will help you to work on these skills during play at home. Language processing is critical to future academic success. It’s that important!

 

Posted in

Laura

10 Comments

  1. touria on January 19, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    hi my son is 5 years old deaf with a CI ,HE GOES TO A SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF ,IT BEING A YEAR NAW BUT HE DOES NOT SHOW THE PROGRESSE THAT WE WERE EXPEXTED .
    I FEEL THAT I NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUDITION THERAPIE ,SO THAT I CAN HAVE A BETTER INDERSTANDING TO WHAT EXPECT.
    THANK YOU TOURIA FROM LYNN MA

  2. Laura on January 19, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Touria – The above article lists ideas for children with auditory processing disorder which is different from hearing loss. I hope that your son is receiving speech therapy during his school day. Please discuss your specific concerns with him since the techniques they are using likely are very different from the ones I describe on this website. I’d hate to give you conflicting information. Hearing loss really is a specialty area for speech-language pathologists, so again, I urge you to speak with his school personnel. Thanks for the question – Laura

  3. Ramyah on January 22, 2009 at 8:09 am

    What a great site. How I wish I had know of it long ago. But, better late than never. Our nine year old daughter was diagnosed early with probably APD and then officially at 7 year 7 months. We’ve been fortunate to have wonderful S&L therapists and a small school (30 kids total in k-8)that has worked with her, watched over her and encouraged her to be the best that she can be. She struggles socially as there is no one else there with similar issues. I have had little luck finding other children in our immediate area with similar issues WITHOUT the beavhor problems due to no diagnosis, improper diagnosis and/or no therapy. I watched with much sadness how these kids are labeled as dumb stupid or crazy and that is just by their peers or siblings. Any suggestions of forming a support/play group?

  4. Laura on January 22, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Ramyah – My best advice is to ask SLPs if they have any families on their current or past caseloads that would be a good match for yours and go from there. I have “set up” several families this way thru the years, and hopefullly you’ll have luck this way too. Laura

  5. Cameran on April 7, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I just wanted to say that it is so refreshing to find so much information on speech issues. I have two children, my oldest being a 3 yr old girl who excelled and talked at a very early age; she is very receptive and creative and vocal. I also have a 30 month old boy who I had evaluated with early intervention late last year. Most people gave me the old “well it’s because he’s a boy and the second child.” Which of course I refused to accept. He has been in early intervention for about 4 months now, before starting he had about 20-30 words at the age of 26 months. Recently he has hit his “word burst” where he has more than doubled his vocabulary (saying 50-60 new words in two months). I have purchased the Teach Me to Talk DVD and enjoyed watching it and seeing the change in him as I implemented the strategies. Just yesterday I came upon the BlogRadio and was just about in tears when I listened to the Receptive Language delay series (specifically #28 & #29). It perfectly describes my son, he is a Do-er and one that is hands on and it was such relief to finally have a name to something that was for so long was just a “late-talker” and feared. It now really allows me to focus on teaching words and not just teaching talk. I thank you for that! I was wondering if you could tell me maybe statistically wise how long it takes a child with receptive language disorder (6-8 months behind) to catch up with his peers.

    For example last night I asked him to take his socks off and put them in the dirty clothes basket. He took his socks off (understood socks) walked to the basket (understood basket) but instead and putting the socks in the basket he tried to pick up the basket. I just laughed because it just cemented the fact that he understood part but not all. So we together put the socks in the basket.

  6. Laura on April 7, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Cameran – Thanks so much for your comment. I am so glad my DVD, website, and the podcasts are helpful to you. I don’t have statistics on how long it takes a child to catch up – and really it wouldn’t matter since every child is different. However, know that by focusing on helping him learn to UNDERSTAND and use language, his outcome is going to be much, much better than if you did nothing at all! I’m so glad you had your “a-ha” moment and realized that for him (and all other kids!), it’s understanding language that’s the most important!

    I’m glad you liked Teach Me To Talk the DVD. I hope you also know about the receptive language DVDs – Teach Me To Listen and Obey 1 and 2. It sounds like strategies in Listen and Obey 2 could help you help him. I’ve been trying to give away a free DVD on the podcast for a couple of weeks now to the first live caller, so if you’re interested, call in with a question this week to win the DVD! We’d love to hear from you! Laura

  7. Niyati on April 27, 2009 at 4:48 am

    Dear Laura

    Can you please suggest which DVD I Need to order for my 3 1/2 year old son. He has been diagnosed with mild autistic features . He has problems in responding to questions and does not always follow instructions . His speech consists a lot of echolalia ( immediate and delayed and is able to repeat sentences / rhymes / songs) and can communicate some basic needs correctly

    Thanks for your help

    Regards

  8. Laura on April 28, 2009 at 1:36 am

    Niyati – Teach Me To Listen and Obey 1 is for children who need help learning to interact with you and teaches parents how to teach children to understand words adn follow basic commands.

    Teach Me To Listen and Obey 2 is for children who need help learning to understand different kinds of words and follow more complex directions.

    Teach Me To Talk is for teaching parents basic strategies to improve language for non-verbal children thru children who are learning to use short phrases.

    Hope these descriptions help you decide what you need to learn in order to help him progress. Thanks for asking! Laura

  9. Sagaya on April 29, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Laura,

    I was moved to tears when I received your response as I felt someone is out there listening to our concerns and helping us. May God Bless You for all your effort and work with parents like me.

    Serena started Kindy this week and she loves it (has been going to 1 session last term as her pre-entry pre-requisite). She is thrilled to know she can now attend 4 sessions a week. She tells me what she wants for her snack and just this morning I told her I had packed fruits, cheese crackers and chips and she promptly told me NO Chips Mummy. I replied I had packed chips that she likes and she told me NO BANANA CHIPS MUMMY.

    Her eye contact is instantaneous and she is able to follow instructions almost immediately, when given. I noticed she greeted her teacher without my prompting.

    She still can’t tell me what really happens in Childcare except for simple comments like I did drawing, I did dancing but I notice she can answer questions better. I asked her ‘If she had managed to go to the toilet in Childcare” and she told me ‘ She went to the toilet in Kindy and Peta took her to the toilet. To most parents this wouldn’t be anything but for me this is a big improvement considering where she was just 3 months ago.

    Initially I was told that she will be receiving assistance/support from a Support Worker in Kindy for 3 hours per week but I was overjoyed when told the Support Worker will be with her and 3 others throughout the 4 sessions of Kindy (approx 14 hours per week).

    These are some of my ‘good news’ for this week.

    Kind Regards,

    Sagaya
    South Australia

  10. zerodtkjoe on October 20, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Thanks for the info

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