How a child's listening problems contribute to ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)
Bismillah al Rahman al Rahim
‘A rolling stone gathers no moss’
Imagine yourself seeing a train pass by. If it is a fast train, it whizzes by with a whoosh and a flash, and we hardly see it. If it is slightly slower, it goes with a blur of carriages, and a crescendo of sound that makes it hard to see any detail at all. Only when the train is slowing down, can we see the carriages and people in it.
Children who, for whatever reason, are in constant motion, and get little rest, do not see or hear the details of things round them.
If a little one is constantly in motion, and isn't able to sit and listen quietly, he will not pick up the sounds, words, understanding, and other things around him that have meaning.
The power of hearing in a child’s development
Perhaps a child is able to hear fine, but he does not listen, and is too chaotic: he does not learn to understand what he hears and what it means.
Or he may not have been hearing well: as a baby or toddler. Perhaps he had a lot of colds, and with them, ear infections that were not necessarily identified. That means he did not hear well so could not learn to listen and talk at his critical learning time for language.
Sometimes this sort of deafness in itself can be the cause of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) particularly. The child may be in a ‘world of his own’, he is not used to hearing, and when he does start to hear better, he does no know how to listen and how to interpret what he hears.
Inability to listen and the effects on a child's communication development
Children with ADD, ADHD, and ODD often struggle with learning to talk properly, and understanding what people say, as well as what is going on around them. It is too much of a blur!
In school, a distractible child finds it hard to sit still, to listen, to follow what is being said, and to respond and follow instructions. And it gets worse as he gets older, because the gap in learning to communicate becomes greater.
What a Speech & Language Therapist will do to help your ADHD/ADD child
Usually, a Speech & Language Therapist gets the child to do the steps he missed out earlier on in his development – listening and finding meaning in what he hears, following instructions, learning words and ways to talk that he did not stop long enough to be aware of before.
It used to be said that a child needs to hear a new word 500 times in order to learn it – and certainly when a child is small, he does need to hear and practice saying new words many times before they ‘stick’ fully into his own vocabulary bank. For these children who don’t listen well - lots more repetition is needed, in lots of different contexts.
Perhaps this specially applies for words that are necessary but not that exciting – it is surprising how quickly some children can pick up the very wrong sorts of words!
In my next post, I will give some of the 'magic secrets' that you, too can use to help children with hearing problems or ADD.
My good wishes to you all!
Image 1 - Copyright Wix
Image 2 - Copyright Author - Margi & M.... in therapy, Autumn 2016