Saturday, May 3, 2014

Improving Auditory Discrimination Skills


This is an excerpt from my book, Language Lessons: From Listening Skills to Conversation (available in PDF or Kindle format).

Auditory Discrim button

Some children have perfect hearing, but still have difficulty telling sounds or words apart, especially in noisy or distracting environments. These listening exercises may help improve your child's attention and auditory discrimination skills.


Help your child make lists of sounds that are loud and sounds that are quiet. Have him close his eyes while you make sounds. Have him discern whether the sound is loud or quiet. Some possible sounds to make are:

· crumpling paper

· sliding a foot on the floor

· slapping a hand on the table

· ringing a bell

· whispering

· shouting

· stomping foot

· coughing

· sniffing

· scratching table with a finger

Put on some distracting background noise, such as a running faucet or radio. Say words and ask your child to repeat after you. Gradually make the background noise louder.

Pat your legs rapidly to create background noise while you ask your child to repeat numbers after you.

Give your child commands to follow while there is background noise.

Choose one sound to focus on for a day or a week. Find objects and pictures that begin with the sound. Emphasize that sound when you pronounce words. Help your child to produce the sound and identify which words do or do not have that sound.

Say these word pairs. Ask your child to tell you whether the words are the same or different.


Ask your child these questions. (Pronounce the sound rather than name the letter.)

· Does this word start with /t/? tick, pie, toe, tall, cat, tan

· Does this word start with /s/? sock, sand, top, church, soda, thing

· Does this word start with /p/? bob, puppy, porch, pat, bite, tongue

· Does this word start with /g/? go, grumpy, gallop, cat, gun, donkey

· Does this word start with /ch/? tell, chin, church, share, ship, chop


Ask your child to listen carefully to the beginning of each word and to tell you which word does not start with the same sound as the others.

· tip, sip, tear, tame

· bean, bear, bat, cat

· sign, take, took, tap

· sip, sing, child, sister

· sorry, super, silly, taken

· man, no, manners, mat

· cap, car, cup, tap


Ask your child to think of a word that begins with the same sound as these words:

· sun

· big

· paper

· goose

· no

· man

· pipe

· kite

· dig

· fence

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