Today is World Book Day!
This is all very well, but to some children, a day like today can emphasize their difficulties in reading.
How can we help them, and how can we make sure that their confidence and self-esteem don’t suffer?
Let’s first take the pressure off. Children are under immense pressure to be reading at a certain level by a certain age. Often, this can lead to feelings of failure and inadequacy, and is not necessarily indicative of the way in which children develop at different rates.
Try and help a child develop a love of books by giving them ones with nice pictures in or ones with pictures of their favourite things. Go through the book with them and talk about what is in the pictures. If there are words in the book, read them to them. This helps to develop good listening skills and develops good auditory processing skills, which are essential for learning to read. In fact, reading books to your child has been shown in research to be one of the most valuable things you can do to help their reading.
Encourage your child to read aloud as his or her reading skills develop so it becomes easier to remember the words. Research suggests that the auditory feedback from reading a word out loud makes it easier to remember that word. The conversion of written into spoken words seems to be critical, hearing their own voice helps a child to remember the word they are learning. Fluency in reading is improved through reading aloud.
When children are clearly struggling with their reading or if they have a diagnosis e.g. autism, dyslexia, etc., there are lots of interventions that are available. Parents faced with the prospect of helping their children may feel overwhelmed. The best way to work out which intervention is going to be the most beneficial to your child is to have a discussion with the service providers.
Here at Smart Processing, I work on auditory processing skills as these are fundamental skills for reading, learning and language development. Contact me today to find out if I can be of help to your child.
It is business as usual here at Smart Processing. If you and/or your child/children are working from home, now is an ideal time to spend on improving your processing speed, auditory processing skills, reading and literary skills and English Language skills. Fast ForWord is cloud based and not affected by the current restrictions. The Movement Program is an on-line programme and The Listening Program is available as TLP On-Line streamed to your device daily. I am seeing in increase in enquiries from families now at home across the UK and Europe who see this as an ideal time to improve their skills. Contact me for further information.
As all the support that I offer is on-line and remote anyway, there is little extra I can to do to ensure that I am looking after you and your children’s health. I will however, be sending out Certificates of Completion via e-mail rather than sending one in the post with the associated risks.
As always I am at the other end of the ‘phone, on messenger or via e-mail to answer your questions.
Take care everyone and hope that you all keep safe and well.
Mental Health Week 2020
Here is an interview I did with Ife Thomas of Mind Workout for Mental Health Week 2020. A great week of interviews.
The Bercow Review 10 years on is launched today! An independent review of services for children with SLCN(Speech, Language and Communication Needs) with recommendations for government and system leaders on what needs to change.
This is a good article about the effects of slow processing on a child and how it creates anxiety Processing speed can be improved and the brain training exercises in Fast ForWord are excellent for speeding up the brain’s processing power. Training on Fast ForWord for a child with slow processing speed can be life changing and lead to huge improvements in their self-esteem as well as their ability to follow conversations and access the curriculum. The training needed involves 30minutes a day 5 days a week for around 12 weeks.
Contact me for further details about Fast ForWord.
Many parents who contact me report that their child has difficulty in paying attention and that they would like help to improve this so that their child can better access the curriculum.
Here is a great video from BrainFit Scholar who are based in Singapore and who are partners with Scientific Learning providing Fast ForWord in Singapore and the rest of the ASEAN Countries – Why paying attention is hard and what you can do about it – the solution includes Fast ForWord!
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 from The Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust – here
- 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?
On Saturday, I attended the British Society of Audiology Information day for families and professionals on Auditory Processing Disorder at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. It was an excellent day full of up-todate information about APD, testing, diagnosis and interventions.
Both Fast ForWord and The Listening Program were mentioned as possible interventions that may help.
Three of the most important points from the day were:
A) Ensure that you know what the difficulties are – auditory processing difficulties are complex and it is important to match the intervention to the difficulties as some interventions address only one aspect.
B) Current research is looking at early intervention. APD can only be diagnosed from 7 years and upwards, but, children are experiencing difficulties years before this. Early intervention may help to ameliorate later problems.
C) Children naturally have problems listening because they are not mature. The auditory system continues to develop until the early teens.
Glue ear in particular was mentioned as a indicator of future auditory processing problems. This often happens at a critical time of brain development.
Here is the latest article in the TAVS Assessment Series: