Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Auditory Processing - Can Your Child Follow Instructions?

January 30, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 120

Why don't children follow instructions? As a Speech Pathologist, I have found that the two most common reasons for children not following a series of instructions are:

  • Poor comprehension (understanding), or
  • Poor auditory processing, particularly auditory memory (remembering what has been heard)

Some children have difficulty in understanding some of the basic word concepts such as words for locations (eg right or left, furthest, between). At times, children can demonstrate to me that they do understand most of these words but 'lose' them when they are placed in more complex sentences.

I often see children who are referred to Speech Pathology because they have difficulty following instructions, particularly in the classroom. They sometime rely on looking around to see what everyone else is doing, and frequently seem to 'tune out' rather than pay attention. One of the main reasons for this is when children have a poor auditory memory (memory for sounds).

This is different to overall memory. Children can have a good "memory" and remember things that have happened, for example, or information they have learnt, but still have a poor memory for exact sounds or words they have heard.

These students are often bright, intelligent children whose parents are often at a loss to know why their child "doesn't listen". Parents often feel that their child should have some control over whether they listen or not.

My top tips for enhancing your child's ability to follow instructions are:

  1. Work on increasing your child's auditory memory. - From the time they are small, sing songs and nursery rhymes over and over and encourage them to remember off by heart. - Use books with repetition and repeat favourite stories many times. Encourage your child to remember the endings to sentences and the repetitive phrases. - Expect them to remember the names of objects and actions. Offer an interesting and varied vocabulary. - Play games such as travelling games where everyone has to remember growing lists of words
  2. If your child does not remember instructions the first time, avoid repeating yourself all the time. Instead, give a clue, or enough clues so that they can remember what it was they had to do. This way they still have to make some effort to remember.
  3. When giving instructions speak in clear, straight-forward sentences, saying exactly what you mean. Avoid any extra word padding.
  4. When giving your child information, first tell them what you are going to be talking about. Provide a setting so that you are directing their attention.
  5. If you do repeat instructions or information, emphasise the key words in the sentences. 6. Where possible, show what you mean rather than just saying it. Use gesture, facial expressions and body language to emphasise your meaning. By the time your child is at school they should be able to easily follow two or three instructions at a time. If this is difficult, then do find a local Speech Pathologist. They will be able to assess your child to find out where the difficulties lie and show you how to work on the difficulties.

Discover more about auditory processing and what you can do to treat it at

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Auditory Processing


Auditory Memory


Children Follow Instructions

Your body needs glucose in order to get energy for cell and tissue function. Without energy, the cells do not function properly and the immune system is compromised. When your blood glucose levels

By: Clifford H Woods l Health & Fitness > Diabetes l July 09, 2013 lViews: 2617

Heavy Metals - Free radicals (tissue damaging molecules that cause aging and bodily deterioration) are the result of the ever-present toxins within our environment. Heavy metals are contained in

By: Clifford H Woods l Health & Fitness > Supplements l July 09, 2013 lViews: 606

Braun shavers and trimmers are very standard brand and their new curser beard and head trimmer is big for trimming beards. This trimmer was specifically made to be able to trim down your beard and

By: Lovey Blackburn l Health & Fitness > Beauty l December 20, 2012 lViews: 459

On this website you will find latest makeup reviews and swatches from real people. You will know how makeup products look in real life, and you can also participate! Post your photos, tips and

By: l Health & Fitness > Beauty l December 09, 2012 lViews: 320

You can either seek referrals from friends and associates or search for consultants on the internet. The latter, in our opinion, would be a viable option for those pressed for time.You can either

By: Simon Liva l Health & Fitness > Diseases l December 07, 2012 lViews: 268

Healthy living is essential in today's world, to ensure one's well being. Learn how to relax and improve your mood now! Be it exercising, or indulging in one's passions and hobbies, be sure to set

By: Clarinda l Health & Fitness > Mind Body Spirit l December 02, 2012 lViews: 262

More than 70% of stutterers who undertake an intensive stuttering therapy course relapse back into stuttering fairly quickly after therapy. How can that be? Initial results are all good, and we love

By: Dave El Health & Fitness > Speech Pathologyl June 29, 2012 lViews: 176

Stuttering is a complex communication disorder rather than simply a speech disorder. The term, ABCs of Stuttering (A = Affective, B = Behavioural, C = Cognitive), sums up its complexity. Research

By: Dave El Health & Fitness > Speech Pathologyl June 29, 2012 lViews: 197

Let today be the end of procrastination of doing something about your stutter / stammer. How many times have you said to yourself, "I really have to do something about my stuttering, it's driving me

By: Dave El Health & Fitness > Speech Pathologyl June 28, 2012 lViews: 140

Do you have a child who cannot use his words to comment, or does not say what he wants? Info talk is a simple therapy technique that will possibly help your child to speak.

By: Angeline Sayocl Health & Fitness > Speech Pathologyl June 23, 2012 lViews: 159

When talking about linguistics and its diversity, there is one interesting fact. American Sign Language is actually among the most used in the world. Did you know that sign language has a grammatical

By: Syed Faran Akhtarl Health & Fitness > Speech Pathologyl June 17, 2012 lViews: 180

When most people think of speech therapy, they immediately think of articulation. Speech therapy involves more than just pronunciation. Speech therapy also helps people overcome communication

By: Rebecca H Haasl Health & Fitness > Speech Pathologyl June 17, 2012 lViews: 168

Do you want your child to be great at putting things together? How good do you want your child to be at following instructions - and giving others directions? Recent research has shown that that way

By: Adele Janel Health & Fitness > Speech Pathologyl March 26, 2012 lViews: 179

Parents and teachers get frustrated, understandably, when children don't do as they are told, or don't remember what they are supposed to do. The perception often is that a child "doesn't listen".

By: Adele Janel Health & Fitness > Speech Pathologyl February 20, 2012 lViews: 161

Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties. Swallowing is just something that happens for most people without having to think about it, but dysphagia can affect all people of all ages,

By: Adele Janel Health & Fitness > Speech Pathologyl February 20, 2012 lViews: 171

Why do bright children make poor decisions and get into trouble? In my Speech Pathology practise I frequently meet children who are brought along because they are not achieving their potential at

By: Adele Janel Health & Fitness > Speech Pathologyl February 15, 2012 lViews: 142

Parents who bring their child to me for Speech Pathology often tell me that they have looked dyspraxia up on the internet, but there are so many different terms that seem to be used it becomes very

By: Adele Janel Health & Fitness > Speech Pathologyl February 12, 2012 lViews: 166

Literacy - acquiring reading, writing, and spelling - is one of the most complex things we do. This article gives an overview of all the different processes that need to happen, all at the same time,

By: Adele Janel Health & Fitness > Speech Pathologyl February 12, 2012 lViews: 174

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus