Friday, January 25, 2013

Auditory Memory Tips

One of my favorite areas to work on is auditory processing skills. I find that a lot of kids (and adults) have difficulty with auditory memory. I often start by focusing on memory for numbers, words and sentences before moving on to paragraphs, etc. 

I like to teach compensatory strategies and then spend some time practicing them, while discussing with the students which strategies work better for them (some students do better with different strategies):

1. Rehearsal: I tell students to practice number/words/sentence under their breath or in their heads. 

1. Elaborative Rehearsal: This strategy works well for remembering words. We practice making up silly sentences with the words to help us remember them. For example, if the words are: flower, rock, pillow. I would say, "I put a flower and a rock under my pillow." 

3. Mnemonics: I teach this strategy using words also. For the above example, I would have the student write "F, R, P." Depending on the words, you could also rearrange the letters to make a word. For example, if the words are: hair, apple, toy = HAT.

4. Visualization: Telling students to "make a movie in your mind" sometimes helps them put meaning to a sentence or words. For example, the sentence might be "The girl with the blue shirt was running." I would tell the student to close his/her eyes and visual a girl with a blue shirt running. For words, I might  tell the student to visualize a table with all the items on top of the table. 

5. Chunking: This strategy works well with numbers. So if you are given: 4, 3, 5, 8 = tell the student to remember 43 and 58. 

When students become adept at using these strategies, I make it more difficult by throwing in an unrelated question before asking them to repeat the numbers, words, or sentence.

An example of this:
SLP: The words are banana, computer, and slide. 
Student: should be using a strategy of their choice to recall the words
SLP: What's your favorite color?
Student: Red.
SLP: Now what were those words I told you?

This shifts their attention and challenges their memory skills! 

Below are some handouts that might be helpful for parents/teachers to help explain auditory processing and auditory memory:

How do you work on auditory processing/memory skills?

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