The Unique Struggle of Teaching Students with Auditory and Language Processing Disorders

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No child goes to school with the intention of failing to learn, but auditory and language processing disorders can make the classroom experience extremely challenging. These disorders are extremely difficult to diagnose, often misunderstood by teachers and parents alike and can have an enormous impact on student achievement and self-esteem. This article will help teachers better understand auditory and language processing disorders in children, how to identify students with these disorders, how to help them in the classroom, and how to support their academic success both inside and outside of the classroom.

How they learn

Teaching students with auditory processing disorders is a never-ending balancing act, where you are trying to control the environment while allowing them the time they need to take in their surroundings. They may have difficulty listening when there’s noise around them, so you have to be careful not to overwhelm them or have too much on their plate at once.

Teachers need to take more time pausing if they need more time to process what’s going on around them, but it can sometimes lead them to getting frustrated. Communication often has its own set of difficulties for these kids. Sometimes kids will get anxious about having to speak in public, and the process can be very confusing for them if you don’t work together. For example, they might say yell. When this happens, you’ll want to prompt them by asking what did you say? as opposed to you said yell, because that last part could cause some embarrassment. The idea is that we’re all working together to figure out how best to communicate with one another without making assumptions about what’s being communicated.

What they struggle with

Students with auditory and language processing disorders often have difficulty understanding the meaning behind what they hear. This leaves them isolated from their classmates, confused about expectations, frustrated, disengaged from learning activities, inattentive or hyperactive in the classroom, and struggling to keep up academically. They may be distracted by background noises in their environment or by the teacher’s voice. They may need accommodations to aid them in focusing on tasks such as asking them to stand up so they don’t feel as relaxed as when they are sitting down (this helps them become more alert). Other students may ask too many questions which can lead to frustration. When it comes time for tests and exams these students will require accommodations.

How we can help them

1. Encourage them to respond out loud when they are unsure, no matter how hard they try not to. This can help them form the words they want to say and let everyone know what they are thinking.

 2. Break down sentences into individual words and take the time to let them repeat each word before going on so that they fully understand what you want them to say. It is also important for teachers to make sure that students feel free to ask questions about a word or a phrase in order for it to be better understood by all.

3. Finally, explain your expectations as much as possible so that students do not misinterpret directions or feel overwhelmed by the task at hand.


Educators should take this into account in order to ensure students with auditory processing disorders get the support they need in school, as well as provide a safe learning environment for everyone. Teachers can do this by being aware of signs that there may be an auditory disorder and then adapting the teaching style to meet their student’s needs. Now that we know about the unique struggle of teaching students with auditory and language processing disorders, we will learn to appreciate the efforts of the teachers dealing with such students. Please, share your views on this topic.

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