(APD) makes it hard for students to process and make meaning of sounds. That can make it hard to learn — from focusing on what a teacher says to learning how to read.
Here are some examples of accommodations teachers can use to help with auditory processing disorder in the classroom.
Classroom seating, materials, and routines
- Provide a quiet area for independent work.
- Let the student sit near the teacher and away from auditory distractions, like doors and windows.
- Check in frequently to make sure the student understands the work.
- Provide an assistive listening device to make it easier to distinguish the teacher’s voice.
- Give extra time for testing.
Giving instructions and assignments
- Give step-by-step instructions, and have the student repeat them.
- Use attention-getting phrases like “This is important to know because….”
- Decide with the student on a nonverbal signal to show that a key point is being made.
- Say directions, assignments, and schedules out loud, and rephrase as needed.
- Repeat key information throughout the lesson, and rephrase as needed.
- Use visual tools, images, and gestures to enhance and support spoken lessons.
- Break down test or classwork instructions into short, written steps.
- Highlight key words and ideas on worksheets.
- Give written homework instructions.
- Provide a list of homework assignments for the week (or day).
Introducing new concepts/lessons
- Speak clearly and slowly when presenting new information.
- Give material on a new concept to the student before it’s taught to the whole class (so the student can get familiar with it ahead of time).
- Give a list of or highlight key vocabulary and concepts for upcoming lessons.
- Give a short review or connection to a previous lesson before teaching something new.
- Give the student an outline of the lesson.
- Grade based on the student’s completion of the lesson goal. (For instance, don’t grade spelling errors if that’s not what the student was supposed to learn.)
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About the author
About the author
The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.
Ginny Osewalt is a dually certified elementary and special education teacher with more than 15 years of experience in general education, inclusion, resource room, and self-contained settings.