A Daily Listening Diet

When auditory processing deficits become a piece of the puzzle, a “daily listening diet” can prove quite helpful. In fact, a daily listening diet is a critical element in remediating an auditory processing problem. Therapy administered once or twice a week is effective, but the poor listening habits that return once a child has left the therapeutic environment tend to impede auditory development. The key to successfully treating auditory processing weaknesses is to engage children with fun and motivating listening activities. The reality is that so much of today’s learning is done through the visual system, which often leaves the auditory system under stimulated. Children who spend a lot of time engaged in visual activities such as television, gaming systems and computers learn to compensate with strong visual learning skills. As a result, these children neglect to engage the auditory system and thus develop poor overall listening skills.

  • Auditory Decoding: The ability to understand the meaning of spoken words and to make sense of sounds.
  • Auditory Closure: The ability to decode a whole word after hearing only part of it. Weak auditory closure skills are common among children and adults with language disorders and dyslexia.
  • Auditory Figure Ground: The ability to attend to one sound against a background of sound. An example of auditory figure ground skills is the ability for a child to hear a teacher’s voice against classroom noise.
  • Auditory Memory: The ability to take in information presented orally, process that information, store it in one’s mind and then recall what was heard.
  • Dichotic Skills: The ability of selective attention or the ability to attend to one thing and ignore others. Dichotic listening occurs when two messages are presented to separate ears.
  • Auditory Comprehension/Cohesion: The ability to combine auditory words into a meaningful sentence unit.