Distance Learning with Auditory Processing Disorder

As we are a couple weeks into our new normal, its a good time to reflect on how the new learning format may impact children and adolescents with Auditory Processing Disorder.

Possible Upsides: 1) Pacing. Online learning is more independent and that can be a positive if kids are able to learn at a pace that is slower or have extended time without the pressure of finishing work in the class. 2) Repetition. Recorded lessons can be re-watched or rewinded to fill in missing gaps. 3) Controlled environment. Going from a class of 25-30 kids to a much smaller size (depending on how many kids you have) means less distractions. 4) Visual Aid. A video webinar will provide a better speech or lip reading experience than from a distance in the classroom. Also shared documents should be able to be viewed better on a computer monitor than from a smart board. 5) Organization. My son’s class is using Google calendar and he is able to see which assignments are due for each day and mark them as complete. This has been an improvement from our folder system.

Possible Downsides: 1) Distractions. New and different distractions than were in the classroom (pets, siblings, proximity to snacks). 2) Connectivity issues: cutting out or glitchy connections can derail online learning. 3) Audio Quality. There are different qualities of microphones and speakers which can cause extra noise embedded in the recording. 4) Support. For those who were receiving one on one or small group support during the school day, this may be on pause during the distance learning. Its also harder for the teacher to see if a child is confused or not on task to provide real time help.

Tips: 1) Over the Ear Headphones (better fit and deliver of sound, blocks more room noise) 2) Dedicated learning space, away from distractions as much as possible 3) Take breaks to reduce auditory fatigue, set a timer for learning and break times 4) Encouragement. Let your kids know you acknowledge and are proud of them adapting to change and let them know the upsides to this new experience!

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