Understanding Your Child’s Trouble With Listening Comprehension
The Understood Team
At a Glance
There are lots of reasons some kids don’t listen.
They don’t always do it on purpose.
Some kids have a hard time knowing what people are saying.
It’s not unusual for kids to sometimes tune out their families. Especially when kids don’t want to hear things like “you need to stop playing video games and do your chores.”
If your child does that once in a while, you might not think much of it, other than being annoyed. But if you’re always repeating directions, and your child is always saying “huh?” or “what?” you may wonder whether there’s something else going on. Is your child not listening? Or is what you’re saying not getting through?
It’s possible that your child isn’t listening, and there can be lots of reasons for that. But sometimes kids only seem like they’ve tuned out. Instead, they may be having trouble knowing what people are saying.
Learn about trouble with listening comprehension and what can help.
Challenges You Might Be Seeing
Trouble with listening comprehension affects kids in many ways. But the signs can be confusing. That’s because some of them could be caused by other things.
Here are some common signs that a child may be having trouble with listening comprehension:
Avoid COVID Slide with tips and tools designed to help your child return to the classroom.
Some kids have trouble understanding what people are saying for another reason. It involves difficulty with
This isn’t a problem with hearing. It’s an issue with how the brain processes sounds. Kids who struggle with auditory processing have trouble picking up on subtle differences in sounds.
If they’re someplace with a lot of background noise, including classrooms, the challenge can be even greater. They might often ask teachers to repeat instructions. That can make it seem like they’re not paying attention.
There are other
language challenges, too, that make it hard to follow what people are saying but for different reasons. Some kids have trouble picking up on tone of voice. Others struggle to understand what people mean when they talk.
What Can Help Kids Who Have Trouble With Listening Comprehension
There are lots of ways to help kids who struggle with listening comprehension. But you need information about your child’s challenges to give the right type of help. You can start getting answers by
closely watching your child’s behavior and looking for patterns.
You’ll also want to have your child’s hearing checked out. Talk to your child’s health care provider about what you’re seeing at home and about having your child tested. If it turns out that your child is having trouble with hearing, you can talk about next steps.
If not, you need to move in a different direction to find out what’s going on. Your child’s teacher may be able to shed light. Reach out and set up a time to talk about what the teacher is seeing in the classroom. Are they the same things you’re seeing at home? Is your child struggling in other ways?
The teacher may have suggestions for strategies to try at home. For example, you could try having your child look you in the eye when you speak. You can also remove any distractions when you’re talking to your child. There may also be things the teacher can do in class.
If the challenges continue, you might want to talk about what the school can do. One option is to have the school do a
free evaluation. You’ll learn about your child’s strengths and challenges and the best ways to help.
Struggling to know what people are saying is very frustrating and can make school and socializing hard. Kids may feel like there’s something wrong with them. They may also get in trouble for not listening because people don’t understand.