Supporting Children with Auditory Processing Weaknesses

We recently received the following question from a parent using Logic of English Foundations with her five-, six-, and seven-year-olds.

... My 7-year-old is still having problems. He was in kinder last year and just couldn't do it so I set it aside. We are doing kinder with the 6-year-old now and I am teaching them together, and he STILL is having problems with it. I had a speech therapist listen to our boys talking and there are some concerns with his speech abilities (started testing him last week so we don't have a lot of answers yet). I am leaning towards an auditory processing glitch of some kind.

He constantly asks me to WRITE the letters instead of just saying them. He is good for most 3-letter words when I fragment and ask them to glue them back together, has a slight bit of trouble with 4 letters, and anything larger he maybe will get the end of the word right but totally screw up the first part. Elephant- he will say "Fant."

Is the answer to switch from the auditory ("glue these sounds together") to the visual? ("What do these phonograms say? Glue them together") or is there a better program to use with an auditory processing glitch? Or am I just missing something?

This is a great question. Here are some thoughts for students struggling in this area.

First: Go ahead and provide more visual clues! That is NOT a problem. It is really important that we listen to our students' unique learning needs. I would also suggest you use the Phonogram Game Tiles and Phonogram Game Cards every time.

Can he segment and blend one-syllable words? He will need to develop the phonemic awareness skills of segmenting and blending auditorily in order to be able to read and spell. If he is struggling with this skill, you can add a visual cue.

Choose words that use only the phonograms he knows the sound of. Then try following these steps:

  1. Form a word using the Phonogram Game Tiles.
  2. Say the word as you point to it.
  3. Segment the word and point to each sound as you say it.
  4. Blend the word back together.
  5. Have him say the word
  6. Then he segments it into its sounds while pointing to each phonogram.

Use words from the spelling lists for this activity.

When he can segment and blend one-syllable words, then move to two syllable words... Only segment and blend words that use the phonograms he already knows. You can modify Spelling Analysis in this way:

  1. Say the word.
  2. He repeats it.
  3. Then segment it into its sounds. Using the Phonogram Game Tiles or Phonogram Game Cards, show him each sound as he segments it. If he cannot segment alone, you say the sound and encourage him to repeat it. As he sounds it out, place each phonogram with a space between them on the table.
  4. Ask him to sound it out again and move the phonograms together to form the word.
  5. Ask him to blend the word together.
  6. If he can succeed - cover the word. Ask him to write it while sounding it out. (If this is too hard, skip to the next step.)
  7. Ask him to sound it out as you write it.
  8. Analyze the word together.
  9. Read the word together, pointing to each sound left to right as you read.
I hope this helps! Let us know how it goes. If you come up with other ideas that help him, we'd love to hear them too!

- Denise