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My Child Doesn't Listen! What Is Auditory Memory?

February 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 160

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".What they are often talking about is that a child is not taking in and remembering what they are hearing.

Children with normal hearing can have major issues with auditory processing.There are lots of steps to auditory processing, meaning all the different steps the brain has to do to make sense of the sound that is heard and store it somewhere and use it.

The brain needs to be able to locate where a sound is coming from, distinguish sounds from other sounds and identify the sounds.It must pick out the main sound from any background noise, and fill in the gaps if part of the sound is missing and then remember exactly what it has heard.

If any part or parts of this process are not working well, then children give up on processing sound and auditory memory does not develop well.

Yes, sometimes children choose not to 'listen' or act on what they have heard.But most of the time if children usually can't follow a series of instructions confidently it is because it is actually quite hard for them.

Other things that you might see if your child has auditory processing issues include distractibility and poor attention, sensitivity to noise,or a day-dreamy quality to their listening or attending in class.In young child their vocabulary may be noticeably limited, and sentence structure (grammar) is not correct.

If auditory memory does not develop well, children might have trouble remembering their exact address, their mum's mobile phone number or the days or the week.They won't have a large repertoire of nursery rhymes or songs that they can sing.If they do sing they 'fudge' some of the words, giving the overall impression that they are singing songs.

Parents that I meet as a Speech Pathologist sometimes try to blame themselves."It's my fault - I haven't taught them that!"However, most children, with good auditory memories, tend to pick up this sort of information without having to be explicitly taught.The difference is that for some children this does not occur naturally and needs to be encouraged or taught.

Good auditory memory can be encouraged and developed in all children.From the time they are babies, sing favourite songs to your children, clearly and rhythmically.As they get older, have favourite stories where your child gets to fill in the ends of sentences or refrains.Encourage memorising of rhymes and birthdates, phone numbers and addresses.

Play games where sounds are remembered, such as guessing what sounds are or imitating drum rhythms.Tell them the names of lots of things and actions, describing words and figures of speech, baby animal names and places - and give your child the chance to practise remembering and using them.

Gradually give longer and more detailed instructions that take longer to carry out.If your child has difficulty doing them all, help them to remember what the instructions were, rather than just repeating what you have said.

If your child seems to have difficulty remembering words, or how to say sentences, or following instructions, have a Speech Pathology assessment to identify if there are any issues with auditory processing at any level.And if there is, better to deal with it and build up good auditory processing skills.They will stand your child in good stead for the rest of their life.

Discover more about how to deal with this issue at

Source: EzineArticles
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Auditory Memory


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Children Who Don T Remember


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