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11 Auditory Processing Activities You Can Do Without Spending a Dime!

December 4th, 2017

Many of you have asked about additional auditory processing activities to do with your kids or students that have auditory processing difficulties due to CAPD, ADD, dyslexia, a learning disability, a learning difficulty or autism. I’ve compiled a variety that you can choose from whether you are tutoring a student, homeschooling, or a concerned parent tutoring your own child.

Auditory processing is a critical component of reading success. We work on a variety of auditory processing areas every time we do activities from the Reading Pack: Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills, Making Spelling Sense, Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills, and The Comprehension Zone. For example, The Comprehension Zone is a game where we play for both auditory memory, auditory comprehension, and reading comprehension. Making Spelling Sense is where we work on auditory discrimination, auditory closure, and auditory memory.

Computer work adds to the hands-on work we have already done. I don’t use computerized programs exclusively because I strongly believe that students need the one-on-one feedback and modeling from peers, siblings, parents, and teachers. The increase in self-esteem that a student gets from this interaction with you while working on their skills is priceless.

Computer programs enhance the progress. There are a variety of good programs out there. Earobics and Fast Forward are the two that I’m most familiar with. They are both sound programs and do help with auditory processing difficulties. But, again, I would NOT use computer programs exclusively because students gain so many more benefits from one-on-one and small group work. Students improve when you work directly with them: in addition to their skills improving, their auditory processing improving, their self-esteem also improves dramatically.

Here are some other activities you can do with things you typically have around the house or in the classroom to strengthen auditory processing.

These activities are inspired by Children With Learning Disabilities by Janet Lerner

These activities can be done at home whether you are homeschooling or helping your child after school. These activities help those children with dyslexia, learning disabilities, ADHD, auditory processing problems such as auditory memory. Teaching strategies are just that, teaching strategies. A strategy can be done by a parent that is interested in helping their child improve their auditory processing skills.

homemade rhythm sticks

Auditory Sensitivity to Sounds

  1. Listening for sounds. Have the children close their eyes and listen to environmental sounds around them. Sounds like cars, airplanes, animals, outside sounds, sounds in the next room etc., can be attended to and identified.
  2. Recorded sounds. Sounds can be placed on tape or records and the child is asked to identify them. Planes, trains, cars, children playing, and animals are some of the sounds that may be recorded.
  3. Shaking sounds. Place small hard items such as stones, beans, chalk, salt, sand, or rice into small containers or jars with covers. Have the child identify the contents through shaking and listening.

Auditory Attending

  1. Attending for sound patterns. Have the child close his eyes or sit facing away from you. Clap hands, play a drum, bounce a ball, etc. Have the child tell how many counts there were or ask him to repeat the patterns made. Rhythmic patterns can be made for the child to repeat. For example: slow, fast, fast.
  2. Sound patterns on two objects provide a variation on the above suggestion; for example, use a cup and a book to tap out sounds patterns.

Discrimination of Sounds

  1. Near or far. The child closes their eyes and judges what part of the room a sound is coming from and whether it is near or far.
  2. Loud or soft. Help the child learn to judge and discriminate between loud and soft sounds.
  3. High and low. The child learns to judge and discriminate between high and low sounds.

Awareness of Phonemes or Letter Sounds

For success at the beginning stages of reading the child must perceive the individual phoneme sounds of the language, and he must learn to discriminate each language sound that represents a letter shape from other sounds.Such abilities are essential for decoding written language.

  1. Initial consonants. Have the child tell which word begins like milk. Say three words like “astronaut, mountain, bicycle.”
  2. Ask the child to think of words that begin like Tom.
  3. Find pictures of words that begin like Tom, or find pictures of words in magazines that begin with the letter T. Find the word that is different at the beginning: “paper, pear, table, past.”

11 Responses to “11 Auditory Processing Activities You Can Do Without Spending a Dime!”

  1. Trish says:

    Thanks. Rarely does anyone offer free advice. I checked out your afordable products as well. Thank you. I can’t believe what people charge to help our children, which is all I want to do. Appreciate the ideas.

  2. sugar35 says:

    Hi there as I was reading your post I was not aware that some(?) ADD kids have a hearing impairment? We are lucky then, cause my nephew with ADD doesn’t have a hearing disability. Great people like you tirelessly make things more easy for our people with learning disability. Please do go on exploring more for improving this kids life.

    • The impairment may not be a acuity one but one in one of the areas of auditory perception that make it harder to learn. That is the type of hearing I’m talking about – how you process the information you are hearing. There are 9 different areas of auditory processing that affect learning. The activities given will improve those areas.

  3. You have a great website here; I’m glad I found you. It is becoming quite popular among Occupational Therapists and Speech Pathologists.

  4. Cheryle says:

    I’m hoping you can give me a bit of advice. My son (16 yo and just finishing grade 10 in a college prep school) was diagnosed with ADD (inattentive type) in 4th grade. He is on medication, but auditory processing and working memory issues cause him great difficulty (note-taking; following multiple step directives; accurately comprehending complex assignments). Recent cognitive skills testing has borne out that he has these problems. My questions are: 1) how do I best advocate for him; i.e. what accommodations do I request from the school; and 2) are there any home-based or therapist-based programs out there that I can access? I know this is a lengthy post; thanks in advance for your input.

  5. Tonya Barrett says:

    This gave me some ideas. My son at the age of 12 years old and in 7th grade has just been diagnosed with CAPD and also memory disorder because of the CAPD. I have had a doctor say that his severe case is extremely unusual.I need help. Any websites that would help me with this disorder, or any help for to prepare for a school meeting to be prepared for I would appreciate it. I am afraid I am going to miss something that could help my son now, and right now he is in desparate need of help. Thank you, concerned parent.

    • There is a lot you can do at home to help your son improve his skills! It would take too long to answer this via email so instead, would like a complimentary 30 minute consult where I can let you know some specifics.

  6. Shirley says:

    Good morning. This page has been set to my favorites!!!! My son is only 3 1/2 but I have noticed a severe delay in his “auditory processing” (according to his evaluation). After attending our CPSE meeting, sadly and frustrating, the Supervisor treated me as if I was invisible. Speaking up and now knowing, “I AM MY SON’S STRONGEST ADVOCATE,” I will be helping him myself at home with his difficulty. The activities you mention above are a good beginning place for me. Can you recommend anything else for a child of 3-4. This will be of great help. I don’t want to wait 3 more years until the Dept of Ed is ready to diagnose or evaluate him. This is valuable time where I can help him to be as close to the level as he can be.
    A million and one thanks again!!!! Be Blessed as you Bless us with this information you share!

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Free Auditory Processing Activities