The Listening Child: What Can Go Wrong

By: Stephen V. Prescod

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The struggle to survive in today’s noisy classrooms is real. The child’s poor performance often leads authorities to apply undue pressure on him, frequently concluding that he is lazy or of low intelligence, which is certainly not the case. The child’s brain is a complex storage and retrieval organ, which mandates that information be properly received, stored, and organized in order to be retrieved for proper use. The child who processes information normally in the classroom is constantly assigning meaning to what is being said in the classroom. The brain is capable of performing these functions in millisecond as long as there is a built-in attention filtering device that assists him in processing relevant information and filtering out or eliminating that which is not. The child who has processing difficulties is not equipped with the excellent filtering capabilities of the normal processing child. His primary difficulty is that of learning through a defective auditory (hearing) channel. Unlike the normal listener, he cannot make maximum use of what he hears for academic purposes even though his hearing is normal. Something seems to intercept the information between what he hears with the normal ear and its decoding by the brain. He allows in both relevant and irrelevant information all at once. Because of poor storage and retrieval capabilities as well, this results in inadequate receptive expressive and integrative functioning on the part of the child. You may often hear him say to the teacher, “I forget” “What did you say” “Would you repeat that” “I don’t understand” The Listening Child explains in layman’s terms what teaches and what parents need to know out this child’s difficulty.

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The struggle to survive in today’s noisy classrooms is real. The child’s poor performance often leads authorities to apply undue pressure on him, frequently concluding that he is lazy or of low intelligence, which is certainly not the case. The child’s brain is a complex storage and retrieval organ, which mandates that information be properly received, stored, and organized in order to be retrieved for proper use. The child who processes information normally in the classroom is constantly assigning meaning to what is being said in the classroom. The brain is capable of performing these functions in millisecond as long as there is a built-in attention filtering device that assists him in processing relevant information and filtering out or eliminating that which is not. The child who has processing difficulties is not equipped with the excellent filtering capabilities of the normal processing child. His primary difficulty is that of learning through a defective auditory (hearing) channel. Unlike the normal listener, he cannot make maximum use of what he hears for academic purposes even though his hearing is normal. Something seems to intercept the information between what he hears with the normal ear and its decoding by the brain. He allows in both relevant and irrelevant information all at once. Because of poor storage and retrieval capabilities as well, this results in inadequate receptive expressive and integrative functioning on the part of the child. You may often hear him say to the teacher, “I forget” “What did you say” “Would you repeat that” “I don’t understand” The Listening Child explains in layman’s terms what teaches and what parents need to know out this child’s difficulty.

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