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Reading and Listening/Hearing


Listening is a specific skill in its own right. In today’s fast-paced, multimedia world some kids (and adults) lack good listening skills. Some things to consider:

  • Does your child look at the speaker?
  • Does/can your child repeat or paraphrase what was said?
  • Does your child make mental images of what is being said?
  • Can your child identify the main topic being spoken about?
  • Does your child have strategies for when it becomes difficult (boring) to continue listening to the speaker?
  • Does your child’s body language reflect what the child is feeling about what is said? (Agreement, surprise, confusion…)

Listening skills are important in any classroom. Listening skills are also related to comprehension skills your child needs when she or he is reading on her or his own. However, weak listening skills can also look like the following two issues:


Hearing is a separate matter altogether. Poor hearing can interfere with learning to read because sounds are not clear, they sound different at different times, or are difficult to distinguish from each other.

Some who have had many ear infections as young children struggle to read because words and sounds fluctuated in the way the child perceived them (depending on whether there was an infection or not) throughout his or her early years. These children sometimes need very specific instruction about how each sound is made and what it should sound like.

Auditory Processing Disorders

This also is a whole separate category. In general, an auditory processing disorder describes a glitch, or difference, in how the central nervous system understands and uses auditory information (sounds).  This can affect comprehension, memory, attention, language and more.

This is an area where you need to do a lot of research and find an expert to guide you because auditory processing disorders, attention deficit, sleep issues, some vision issues and some learning disabilities can have overlapping symptoms.

The following address takes you to an article titled: Understanding Auditory Processing Disorders in Children.