Supporting Young Children’s Auditory Processing Development

Research in auditory processing difficulties in the UK is now looking at putting in support to young children as soon as possible. It is hoped that by doing this any future problems will be ameliorated. Just one episode of glue ear/ear infection is enough to cause future auditory processing difficulties, so these activities are particularly important.

Here are some ideas for activities that parents can do with their young children to help develop good auditory processing.

  • Musical chairs or statues (develops vigilance)
  • Simon Says (develops vigilance, auditory discrimination and following directions)
  • Marco Polo/ Blind man’s bluff (develops localisation)
  • Listening to stories/reading (develops attention, prosody, phonemic awareness)
  • Same and different games – use similar sounding words or words that differ by one letter g. rock/lock (develops auditory discrimination)
  • Phonological Awareness games – this is a great resource – plenty of ideas and resources to print out – nhs.uk/document.php?o=2276
  • Music, Songs and rhymes (develops vigilance, auditory discrimination, following directions, interhemispheric transfer)
  • Active Listening skills and different types of listening (develops auditory attention). These are some suggestions from The Communication Trust:

Listening treasure box Collect lots of things that make a noise, such as: Crinkly paper Noise making toys Pots and pans Musical instruments Books with noise buttons Explore! Listen and talk about them.

Spot the mistake Sing a simple rhyme or song, but make a mistake – can children spot the mistake? Incy wincy spider climbing up… a tree (should be spout) The wheels on the… train go round and round (should be bus) colour in Twinkle twinkle little… hat (should be star)

Go games – wait for go Build a tower of bricks. Your child waits for you to say “Go” before they can knock it down. Have a race – ready steady go… Push a car to each other – ready steady go… Dance around – ready steady go… Roll the ball – ready steady go…

Where is that noise? Get a toy or play music on a CD player or phone or mp3 player. Hide the noisy object somewhere in the room – can your child find it?

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