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Listening and following directions

689 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  4females
How well does your child listen? If you ask him/her to do something, how likely is he/she to actually do it the first time you ask?

My daughter, nearly five, seems to be having a harder time than most at this. She seems easily distracted, for example, if I ask her to go put on her pajamas, I'll go into her room ten minutes later and she is sitting on her bed playing with a doll, fully dressed. Even if I ask her to lean her head back in the bath for rinsing, often it is as though I didn't even ask. It's really frustrating!

Observing her in some of her activities (dance and gymnastics) shows me that this is not just something that she does to assert her independence with mom and dad. If the dance teacher tells everyone to sit, my daughter is still standing there until the teacher says something directly to her. If the gymnastics teacher says come to the uneven bars, she's so busy talking to another child by the balance beam that she's oblivious until her name is called, sometimes several times before she even looks up.

My daughter is very bright and can hear fine. Should I worry? It is true that she is one of the younger kids in both of these classes - some of them are a year older.

Also, what kinds of things do you think would help her learn to be a better listener? When she does not listen the first time, I'm often at a loss, because I don't like to yell, and I'm not a big believer in arbitrary punishment, but there seems to be few "logical" or natural consequences of not listening!

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It may be her auditory process, rather than her hearing that is the problem. That's the way that your brain interprets what you hear. My son has this issue, and sometimes it's as if he hears things in a delay, or not at all.
You can have this tested, if you think it's the case- by an audiologist or speech therapist.
Ways to work on it- play games where she has to follow the directions (Like Mother May I, or Simon Says), give commands one step at a time, and use one word or very short phrases.
Well, my 4&5 yr. old can play simon says just fine, they suffer from whats known as "selective hearing". I could say, "anyone want some ice cream" and they could hear me from the neighbors house and come running. However, i say, "boys its time to clean your room" and they act like i'm not even there. There is nothing that pisses me off worse than being ignored
I hate it!! Then i feel like i have to yell to get their attention.

One solution Ive heard is to say it one time, then get up and calmly and gently, physically guide your child to doing what you've said. This is tough to do when youre nursing a baby but .....
When they stay at my mil's house she gives them a quarter or a piece of candy when they obey the first time
(she only did this once, and i dont care how well it works i'm not bribing my child to obey). Just my opinion though.

Sorry i didnt mean to hijack your thread but i hope you get some good advice.
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Sounds to me like an auditory processing delay. My oldest dd has APD, and there are times where she can be looking directly at me, and still not catch all of what I said. And, if she is doesnt have her full attention at the person who is talking, there is no way she will get any of what was said.

With APD, your child can hear you most of the time, her brain just cant process what was said, and it comes out jumbled.
Hmm. We had Taylor tested and he is fine. [There was concern but now none, long story.] He does this too. Per my Mom so did I and my sister. I was worse though almost beyond "selective hearing" [though of course there was that to make it worse]because I was/am so easily distracted that I did/do honestly forget things by the time I have crossed a room. I am old enough to know it, but anyway it happens and drives hubby crazy!

With Taylor I've been trying to be more specific and use a timer. So asking him to "put PJs on" is more like I ask that once, but follow up with "go to room, take bottoms off, take tops off, wash up, pickout PJs, put top on, put bottoms on" etc. I walk by room and poke head in at intervals to "encourage" him. I also set the kitchen timer sometimes if there needs to be a time limit to things. So setting the timer for 10 minutes for getting school clothes on, etc. This we like because it gets rid of the "angries" in me when he is so slow.

FYI, For me personally at home and at work I use alarm clock [and kitchen timer] along with calendar and to do lists. Similar "tool" for children is a "chore chart". So for example "get ready for bed" might be an item on a chart for your daughter and a sticker on the chart.

PS. For my Mom she eventually had to "pick her battles"... to date my sister is STILL never on time for anything. And getting her out the door is sometimes a case of saying "we're leaving" and leaving without her if she isnt ready. Too tough for a 5 yr old of course, but there may come a time when something like that works for you?

Good Luck!!
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This is an big issue with my almost 8 yr old dd. I've never heard of APD before. How do they test for it? And what do they do for it if they do have it?

mom at home:

My dd was tested at school by the Phsycologist and spec ed department. Depending on the degree of it, the school can either work with your child separately for periods of time, or the teacher can be made aware of it, so he/she will kow to make sure to have your child's full attention before speaking. But, if it is really bad, the school can get a listening device, your child wears the headphones, and the teacher wears a microphone. So far my dd has not had to resort to the listening device.
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