Auditory processing dysfunctions can affect a child in many different ways. A child who struggles with auditory processing may be able to hear just fine—but there is a glitch in the way their brain processes sounds. This can cause memory, focus,
and comprehension problems.
If your child exhibits a lot of the symptoms in the checklist below, it may indicate an auditory processing struggle. By getting a more formal evaluation and by using supportive learning tools, you can help your child navigate this challenge and experience
more educational success!
Do any of these sound like my child?
- Has difficulty remembering sight words:
- Has trouble retrieving names of letters, words, people, and things
- Labors over verbal expression
- Has difficulty with phonics:
- Has trouble remembering the sounds of letter combinations, such as au and oi
- Has difficulty applying phonics rules in a reading setting
- Sounds out the same word over and over in a reading passage
- Has spelling difficulties:
- Has trouble spelling phonetically (may spell team as tie or went as wat)
- Spells the same word differently each time
- Has difficulty sequencing sounds:
- Has trouble learning and retaining the days of the week and months of the year
- Guesses at longer words because reading them is very hard
- Adds extra sounds to words (for example, contribution becomes contribut-ta-tion; band becomes brand)
- Has difficulty saying longer words:
- Transposes letters (animal becomes aminal; magazine becomes mazagine; suddenly becomes sundenly)
- Avoids difficult words when speaking
- Child’s “silent voice” disappears:
- Subvocalizes when reading silently, or needs to read aloud to understand a passage
- Needs to repeat the alphabet aloud when writing it out
- Has difficulty with speech:
- Has trouble articulating many sounds
- Exhibits language delay
- Has difficulty understanding verbal instruction:
- Frequently asks for directions to be repeated
- Says “What?” a lot
- Is easily confused, or is never quite sure they understood what someone said
If your child has many of the symptoms described above, as well as the following, then consider dyslexia:
- Has weak working memory, slow processing speed, and poor naming speed
- May also have poor self-esteem and confidence, read less than other kids (because it’s so difficult), and experience anxiety
If you think your child might have an auditory processing challenge, check out the following resources suggested by HSLDA’s educational consultants.
Keep in mind that auditory processing problems can mimic focus and attention problems, and vice versa. That’s why we encourage you to take a look at the next checklist in this series to consider whether your child might have a challenge in the area
of attention and focus, or executive function.
Resources to help your child with auditory processing struggles
- Speech therapy (You can learn more about getting your child evaluated and finding a therapist here.)
- Brain training with music—various programs include:
- LinguiSystems offers word games, workbooks, etc., designed to help with auditory processing issues.
- Brain Integration Therapy Manual by Dianne Craft equips parents to use daily midline exercises along with once-a-week brain training
sessions to make permanent connections between the two sides of the brain and correct processing issues.
- Specialized reading instruction—various programs include:
- Nutritional therapy:
Would you like specific guidance in helping your child with a learning struggle? The Educational Consultants are here for you! HSLDA members can call or email us,
and we will respond personally. (Not a member? You can