When is a lisp no longer cute?

When is a lisp no longer cute?

A lisp is a relatively common speech disorder in which a person has trouble pronouncing the sounds of the letters “s” and “z.” The toddler that says “pleathe” is really cute, but how do you decide when the lisp is no longer cute?


And why on earth does the word “lisp” contain an /s/? 😛


There are a number of factors to consider:

Type of lisp
  • Interdental/frontal lisp: The tongue protrudes out through the teeth and the /s/ and /z/ sounds will then sound more like a “th” sound
  • Dentalized lisp: This is when the /s/ and /z/ sounds are produced with the tongue actually touching or pushing up against the front teeth.

It is a perfectly normal developmental phase for some (but not all) children to lisp until they are about 4½ years old.

However the following types of lisps are usually NOT developmental and will usually require intervention

  • Lateral lisp: This lisp is often referred to as “slushy.” A lateral lisp occurs when the tongue tip is in a similar position to make the /l/ sound, but the air flow, instead of being directed forward and out of the oral cavity, escapes out and over the sides of the tongue.
  • Palatal lisp: A palatal lisp results when “the mid section of the tongue comes in contact with the soft palate, quite far back. If you try to produce…an “h” closely followed by a “y” and prolong it, you more or less have the sound” (Caroline Bowen)


Tongue Thrust

 A tongue thrust is likely to result in an interdental or dentalised lisp that does not self correct.


What is a tongue Thrust?

All babies have a tongue thrust or reverse swallow. When the baby swallows, his tongue pushes forward toward his gums or front teeth. For example when feeding a baby pureed food. The baby’s tongue pushes forward, pushing some of the food back out of his mouth. The adult scoops the food off his lips and face with the spoon and puts it back in his mouth and the cycle continues.  As babies mature, they learn, not only to keep their lips closed when they swallow, but to effectively move the food back toward the throat with a more mature swallow.

In the mature swallow, the tongue tip is held on the alveolar (gum) ridge behind the top front teeth and the tongue efficiently moves the food backward with a rolling motion.

Children should have a normal, adult swallow by the time they are 7 years old.


What causes Tongue Thrust?
  • Thumb sucking and/or nail biting
  • Prolonged use of a dummy
  • Prolonged use of Sippy Cups
  • Mouth breathing
  • Premature loss of “baby” teeth
  • Lack of muscle coordination
  • Hereditary factors
  • Enlarged tonsils & adenoids


What are some signs of having a tongue thrust problem?

One or more of the following conditions may indicate that there is a tongue thrust and should be further investigated by a speech therapist.

  • Tongue protruding between or against the upper and/or lower “front teeth” when forming /s/, /z/, /t/, /d/, /n/. The  /j/, /ch/ and  /sh/ sounds may also be affected.
  • Response to traditional speech therapy poor.
  • Frequent open-mouth resting posture with the lips parted and/or the tongue resting against the upper and/or lower teeth
  • Protrusion and/or “splaying” of front teeth.
  • Lips that is often cracked, chapped, and sore from frequent licking
  • Frequent mouth breathing in the absence of allergies or nasal congestion



Treatment of a tongue thrust requires breaking a habit that has been ingrained! It requires dedication and practice. For this reason, I would advise waiting until the child is around 7 years old.

Remediation of a functional articulation error of the /s/ and /z/ sound can be done at an earlier age.

Auditory Workout – App Review

Auditory Workout – App Review

Developer:  Virtual Speech Center

Price:             $19.99





Processing of Auditory information is a difficulty that affects so many aspects of language development and the ability to address this difficulty in an authentic learning environment is an ongoing challenge for therapists working with these children. All too often, the child performs well within the therapy context, but is unable to transfer these skills to the classroom setting.

Auditory Workout is an App that addresses this need.

Auditory Workout app includes hundreds of audio instructions and a BACKGROUND NOISE Feature that allows users to set background noise (classroom noise), so that learning is authentic.

The App allows children to follow increasingly longer and more complex directions which are divided into four categories

  • Basic Directions: 15 levels within this category ranging from “one-step directions with object” to “one-step directions with size, color, object, action, preposition, and object.
  • Quantitative and Spatial Directions: 12 levels ranging from “concepts and/or plus an object” to “the concept of first, second, third, and last combined with size, color, and object.”
  • Temporal Directions: 18 levels ranging from “the concepts of before plus an object” to “concepts of before/after combined with size and object.”
  • Conditional Directions: 15 levels ranging from “conditional directions with object” to “conditional directions combined with size, object, action, preposition, and object.”

Children accumulate basketballs as a reward for each correct response and are rewarded with a game when they accumulate enough balls.

App Review Checklist & Rating Chart: Total Score   /20

Speech/Language/Education Apps


Content is appropriate 1
No in app purchases required for use 1
Help/tutorial Available 1
Students can launch and navigate in the app independently 1
App is fairly priced and/or comparable to other similarly priced apps 1


App can be customized for different users 1
App can be used for single user or groups 1
Content/data can easily be exported 1
User data is saved from session to session 1


Design graphics/sounds are appealing 1
App is interactive, engaging & motivating for user 1


6 ½ /9
App is designed to target speech/language skills 1
App is designed to target auditory processing – phonemic awareness 1
App can be adapted to target speech/language skills 1
App encourages critical thinking and higher level language 0
App has good potential for interaction between user and therapist 1
Response to errors is specific and results in improved performance 0
Targeted skills are practiced in an authentic learning environment 1
App offers complete flexibility to alter settings to meet students needs 1/2
App can be used across a variety of age/developmental groups 1


17 ½ /20



Star Rating

5 stars             17 – 20 points

4 stars             13 – 16 points

3 stars             9 – 12 points

2 stars             5 – 8 points

1 star              0 – 4 points


I Like:
  • Instructions can be repeated as many times as necessary and if a child fails on a task then the item can be re-done. You must turn the Automatic Paging Feature to OFF in the settings menu in order to do this.
  • The app is easy to navigate and can be used by parents with their children for extra practice.
  • The Background Noise Level can be turned off or on and adjusted with differing intensity levels.
  • The App is very detailed and is well graded so that the child can progress through increasing levels of complexity.
  • Reports are specific and you can select a report based on the activity that the child completed or by the time/date that each task was done.


Areas for improvement:
  • It would be nice if the Background Noise Level could be adjusted without “ending the session” particularly if the child is having difficulty or there is “sensory overload.”
  • Although the incorrect answers are displayed (if this setting is selected), it would be nice if the response to errors was more specific. For example, when targeting the concept “BEFORE”, (Show me the candle before you show me the phone), and the child taps the phone first, both items are shown simultaneously and the concept of BEFORE is not highlighted.
  • A record feature would add an additional Expressive Language Dimension to this App.
  • It is quite expensive but I cannot find a comparable App and so at this stage it is good value for money.


Thank you to Virtual Speech Center for providing me with this App.

The views expressed are my own.


11 Tools to improve Reading Comprehension

11 Tools to improve Reading Comprehension

Good readers employ strategies before, during, and after reading that help them comprehend text. As I mentioned in my last post “Causes of reading comprehension difficulties,” struggling readers do not understand why they have difficulty comprehending.

There is however, no definitive set of strategies for remediation of reading comprehension difficulties and identification of where comprehension is breaking down will assist in employing the correct strategy to facilitate Reading Comprehension.

In addition to employing reading comprehension strategies, it is important to implement the following:

Provide the Right Kind of Books

One of the most important aspects of facilitating Reading Comprehension is reading fluency.  A child should be able to recognize at least 90 percent of the words without any help. Stopping any more often than that to try and decode a word makes it difficult to focus on the overall meaning of the story.

Reading activities can be divided into three categories, depending on when they take place:

A. Pre-reading

B. Reading

C. Post-reading.


 A.   Pre-Reading Strategies

i.        SIGHT WORDS:

Improve Sight Word Vocabulary and consequently, Reading Comprehension



The child is engaged in enrichment activities prior to reading the passage. In this way, students have the opportunity to activate and enhance existing knowledge before reading. Pre-teaching vocabulary words will also enhance comprehension.



From a very young age, most children are exposed to story books. These fictional texts (narratives) share a common, predictable structure called story grammar. This predictable structure enhances students’ comprehension whether they listen to the narrative or read it themselves. Improve Reading Comprehension by providing a framework for learning and remembering information.

Teaching story grammar structure emphasizes the importance of metacognitive or active reading strategies to improve comprehension. It directs students’ attention on story structure by teaching them to ask five “wh” questions about the settings and episodes of the story.



Encourage the child to preview comprehension questions. This will allow the child to focus on answering those questions as they read.


 B.   Reading


By the end of Grade two a child should be able to read approximately 90 words a minute. Rereading familiar, simple books gives your child practice at decoding words quickly and facilitates fluency. The optimal number of readings has been found to be four.



Graphic organizers, which provide a visual map for the reader, can be placed next to the text as learners read in groups or individually, aloud or silently. They are particularly useful in helping readers to understand the structure of a narrative or of an argument.

Graphic organizers also assist in encouraging visualization of information which also assists with comprehension.


Links to a variety of free graphic organizers can be found here: http://www.dailyteachingtools.com/free-graphic-organizers-w.html


iii.    K-W-L STRATEGY

The K-W-L strategy stands for what I Know, what I Want to learn, and what I did Learn. By activating students’ background knowledge, it improves comprehension of expository text. (Expository text refers to writing where the purpose is to inform, describe, explain, or define the author’s subject to the reader)



Increase correct answers to reading comprehension questions by considering both the text and the background knowledge. The question-answer relationships strategy helps students label the type of questions that are asked and to use this information to develop their answers.

 “Right There” Label:
Words used to create the question and words used for the answer are Right There in the same sentence.

 “Think and Search” Label:
The answer is in the text, but words used to create the question and those used for an appropriate answer would not be in the same sentence. They come from different parts of the text.

 “On My Own” Label:
The answer is not found in the text. You can even answer the question without reading the text by using your own experience

Based on the questions, it is important to encourage the child to think about what they know and make predictions based on what they know and what they have read.



By generating questions, students become aware of whether they can answer the questions and if they understand what they are reading. Students learn to ask themselves questions that require them to combine information from different segments of text. For example, students can be taught to ask main idea questions that relate to important information in a text.


C.  Post Reading


Improve Reading Comprehension by retelling a story to partners, using outlines. By retelling students relate information from the story to their own experiences. In this way, they improve their reading comprehension and memory of story information.


Summarizing requires students to determine what is important in what they are reading and to put it into their own words. Instruction in summarizing helps students:

  • Identify or generate main ideas
  • Connect the main or central ideas
  • Eliminate unnecessary information
  • Remember what they have read

Poor comprehenders do not necessarily have a comprehension impairment that is specific to reading. Rather, their difficulties with reading comprehension need to be seen in the context of difficulties with language comprehension more generally


Explicit teaching of comprehension strategies can be an effective intervention for these difficulties and impact significantly on later academic success.

12 Games to Improve your Memory

12 Games to Improve your Memory

It must be remembered that everyone has a learning style that is best suited to them. Some people may find that they have a dominant style of learning, with far less use of the other styles. Others may find that they use different styles in different circumstances. There is no right mix. Nor are your styles fixed.

You can develop ability in less dominant styles, as well as further develop styles that you already use well.

Using multiple learning styles and multiple intelligences for learning is a relatively new approach. By recognizing and understanding your own learning styles, you can use techniques better suited to you.


There are three basic learning styles

Auditory Learners: Hear

Auditory learners would rather listen to things being explained than read about them. Reciting information out loud and having music in the background may be a common study method. Other noises may become a distraction resulting in a need for a relatively quiet place.

Visual Learners: See

Visual learners learn best by looking at graphics, watching a demonstration, or reading. For them, it’s easy to look at charts and graphs, but they may have difficulty focusing while listening to an explanation.

Kinesthetic Learners: Touch

Kinesthetic learners process information best through a “hands-on” experience. Actually doing an activity can be the easiest way for them to learn. Sitting still while studying may be difficult, but writing things down makes it easier to understand.


A previous post touched on some strategies to improve memory. In order to internalise these strategies and use them effectively, they must be practiced. Some fun activities which can be used are discussed below.

The activities are graded according to difficulty.

They gradually strengthen the child’s ability to focus on what is heard, to attend to detail and to discriminate different sounds.

The skills build on each other. Keep playing them until your child finds the games too easy or gets bored with them, then move on.


1. Singing in Your Head

Choose a children’s song with actions, such as “Incy Wincy Spider”, and join your child in singing the song – first out loud, then silently, in your heads, while still doing the actions. Do this with as many songs as you can. Try to ensure that the child is saying all the words and not just mumbling the words.

This helps a child develop internal rehearsal skills, which are helpful for short-term memory.


2. Tap Counting

Tap a pencil on a table, have the child tell you how many taps he heard. Start with three slow beats. Show how to count out loud along with the taps, then show how to count them silently, in your head. Take turns beating/giving answers. When child catches on, add more beats. Have him make taps while you count, too.


3. Rhythm Repeat

Tap or clap a short rhythm pattern for your child to repeat (such as – two slow claps, then two fast claps). When your child catches on, vary the timing and loudness of claps to make new rhythm patterns.

This game can be increased in difficulty by not allowing the child to watch you clapping.

Allow the child to be leader then purposely make a mistake to see if the child can retain his own pattern. Other materials can be used, such as a drum, pot, sticks, or tapping of a foot.


4. That’s Silly

Take turns making statements that have a silly mistake in them, such as “The dishwasher washes clothes”, or “Horses have four wheels”, or “The radio was too loud, so I turned it up”. You can play this as a game… or just do it randomly — for a humorous touch. (When it’s your child’s turn to make up a sentence, be sure to “miss” some of the mistakes to make it more fun).


5. Simon Says

This is the classic game where the person who is “It” calls out directions that must be followed. The player(s) must be careful to only comply when the directions are prefaced by the phrase “Simon Says”.

Not responding when directions are given requires a lot of impulse control, and your child may need another year before he or she is ready for that rule.

Try to include directions that involve both sides and the whole body, such as, “Touch your ear. Now, with the same hand, touch your other ear” “Use your right hand to touch your left knee”, “Stand like a teapot” (one hand on hip, other in the air), “Crawl like a puppy”, “Do 3 jumping jacks”.  This engages the auditory and kinesthetic learning.


6. Telephone Number Game

Pretend you are calling your friend – what is her number? You can use a toy phone to add interest to this game. Take turns making up strings of numbers for the other to repeat.

A child should be able to remember about seven digits by the age of 7 years but if telephone numbers (containing 7 digits) are chunked into 3 parts then a 4 to 5 year old child should be able to recall it.


7. Number Songs

Attach melodies and rhythms to strings of numbers, then have your child repeat them. Try a cha-cha or a conga beat, the intro to Beethoven’s 5th, or the melodies from popular songs. Show your child how strings of numbers can be remembered more easily when associated with a catchy tune. Try the Telephone Number Game using this technique.


8. How Do You Spell?

If the child is old enough to write, then dictate words to them, giving them the spelling in groups of letters. Begin with two letters at a time. Instruct the child to repeat the letter silently (only in her head), after you say it, then write the letters. When the child can do this, move on to three letters at a time. Once again, chunking letters together will give the letters a pattern and help the child keep track of “where they are” in the word.


9. I went to Market and I bought…..

In this traditional game, the first person recites, “I went to market and bought myself a XXX,” (inserting an item of their choice.)  The second person recites, “I went to market and bought myself a XXX and a YYY” (adding an item of their choice.)  The game continues with each new person reciting the previous list before adding their choice of item.

Using visual imagery (often absurd images) assists with recall. Help the child initially to create the visual image and then encourage the child to start creating their own images.


10. The Name Game

This is a group activity to learn people’s names. Play it first with groups where the children  are familiar with each other (so it won’t be too hard). Each person says their name, and something they like, such as “I am Michael, I like trains.” The next person must repeat what previous people have said, then add their own name and what they like. “Michael likes trains. I am Sarah, and I like playing the piano.” The next person will have to say, “Michael likes trains, Sarah likes piano. I am Zach, and I like soccer.”

This game is challenging for many children as it requires each child to come up with something unique about themselves.


11. Bleep

Give the child a number of  “forbidden” words (e.g. blue, round, rain).  Then read a short passage or story that contains several of the “forbidden” words.  The child has to “bleep” whenever they hear a “forbidden” word. This can be done at home when reading a bed-time story.

Start with only two or three “forbidden” words (or only one for younger children) then gradually increase the number of words to be remembered – and “bleeped”

Variation:  Select a volunteer to be the “bleeper”.

Variation: Select a “forbidden” word (or more than one) that lasts throughout the whole day.


 12. Reverse

Challenge the child to remember a short sequence of (random) numbers – which they then have to recall in reverse order.

Starting sequences may contain only 3 or 4 numbers but pupils will soon be capable of recalling longer sequences.

Variation:  Alternatively, you can use letters – or words – instead of numbers


This is by no means a comprehensive list:

These are simply some fun ideas to work on memory in a game.


There are a variety of Apps available to stimulate Auditory Memory and I will be looking at some of these in the coming weeks. 🙂


How to improve your memory

How to improve your memory

Auditory memory is highly correlated with achievement and learning and although auditory memory capacity is genetically determined, and therefore unlikely to change, it is possible to improve academic performance by improving the efficiency of existing capacity using memory intervention techniques.


Fundamental to the ability to recall information are the following:

  • Attention
  • Active Listening
  • Calmness – increased anxiety affects memory
  • Adequate Rest – lack of sleep impacts on concentration and memory


A mnemonic is a specific reconstruction of the target content intended to tie new information more closely to the learner’s existing knowledge base and thereby facilitate retrieval. There are a variety of mnemonic techniques which can be used.



 The first letter from a group of words is used to form a new word.

For example;   SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus)

SOWETO (SOuth WEstern TOwnships)

ROYGBIV (Rainbow Colours – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo,    Violet)




Like acronyms, you use the first letter of each word you are trying to remember. Instead of making a new word, though, you use the letters to make a sentence.

For Example;  King Phil Came Over for the Genes Special (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Genus, Species)

Sentences are often used to assist children recall sight-word spelling.

For example “South Africa Is Dry” = “said”
Betty Eats Cake And Uncle Sells Eggs = because

The disadvantage of acronyms and sentences is that they may assist with memorization but not comprehension.



Rhythm, repetition, melody, and rhyme can all aid memory.

Just think how many children sing the “Barney” “I love you” song perfectly. 🙂

Many children learn the alphabet to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

A combination of rhyme and visual association is useful when trying to recall a list of items People learn a series of words that serve as “pegs” on which memories can be “hung.” (maximum 10). For example:

One – gun

Two – shoe

Three – tree

Four – door

Five – hive

Six – sticks

Seven – heaven

Eight – gate

Nine – wine

Ten – hen

To learn a grocery list for example, one might associate gun and bread by imagining the gun shooting the bread. Two is a shoe, so one would imagine a pouring tomato sauce over the shoe, and so on.

When you need to remember the list of groceries, you simply recall the peg-words associated with each number; the peg-words then serve as retrieval cues for the groceries.



This technique combines the use of organization, visual memory, and association.

  • Identify a familiar path that you walk.
  • This could be from the entrance of the school to the classroom.  What is essential is that you have a vivid visual memory of the path and objects along it.
  • Imagine yourself walking along it, and identify specific landmarks that you will pass. For example, the first landmark on your walk could be the security hut, then the fish-pond, then the playground, the office and the classroom. The number of landmarks you choose will depend on the number of things you want to remember.
  • Associate each landmark with each piece of material that you need to remember. You do not have to limit this to a path. You can use the same type of technique with just about any visual image that you can divide into specific sections. The most important thing is that you use something with which you are very familiar.



Repeating words or numbers, either vocally or sub-vocally (e.g. try saying the numbers over and over, like this: 2, 7, 5; 2, 7, 5; 2, 7, 5.);



When you have large chunks of information to remember, it is easier to group related information together. This is the premise of “mind maps” which encourages children to identify key concepts and then group them together using visual representation.

On an auditory level, for example, when trying to recall a telephone number it is easier to recall 78 22 781 than each number individually.


Finally just to remind those who may have already forgotten 


 CLARRS (Chunking, Loci, Acronyms, Rehearsal, Rhyme, Sentences) 🙂
Auditory Memory: In one ear and out of the other?

Auditory Memory: In one ear and out of the other?

The frustration of talking to children where information goes “in one ear and out the other” is common to both teachers and parents. But for children with a poor auditory memory, this statement is pretty close to the truth.

Auditory Working Memory is a system for temporarily storing and managing
the information required to carry out complex cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning, and comprehension

Can you add together 23 and 69 in your head?

When you ask for directions somewhere, can you get there without writing the instructions down?

Such tasks engage working memory, the memory we use to keep information immediately “in mind” so we can complete a task.

Some children find this relatively easy. Others try to carry out the instructions, but lose track of the details along the way.

Auditory Working Memory involves:
  1. Taking in information that is presented orally and Listening actively in order to rehearse what we have because this information rapidly decays after one or two seconds.
  2. Attending Selectively in order to repeat the information to ourselves. Research has shown that if short term memory is low, we have a hard time selecting what we wish to hear. In other words, selective attention doesn’t work so well when auditory memory is poor.

    Selective Attention

  3. Processing that information for meaning
  4. Storing  it in your mind
  5. Recalling what you have heard.


A “breakdown” in auditory memory can occur at any point in the pathway


Auditory Memory Pathway


In the classroom, teachers may describe these children as

  • Inattentive,
  • Easily distracted
  • Forgetting what they have learned,
  • Forgetting instructions
  •  Makes place-keeping errors (skipping or repeating steps)
  • Not completing tasks,
  • Making careless mistakes,
  • Difficulty in solving problems

If you’re thinking this sounds a lot like attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you are right!
A great deal of research in the last few years has shown that low auditory working memory is indeed associated with ADD/ADHD. Some research has shown that stimulant medications can enhance one’s auditory-verbal and visual-spatial working memory. However, there is no long term benefit. In other words, the working memory is improved only as long as the medication is in the system.


However some auditory memory weaknesses of students can easily go undetected by a teacher especially when there are no signs of ADD or ADHD.

Often children with auditory memory problems appear to be trying very hard to listen.
Their eyes are focused on the teacher and they appear to be attentive.
The teacher assumes that the child has heard all that is being taught. However, in reality, they often absorb and make sense out of very little of what is being stated by the teacher.

As a result, these students recall only a small amount or none of what is being said. They might remember a word here or there, or parts of a thought, but often do not truly understand much of the information presented orally to them.

The ability to learn from oral instructions and explanations is a fundamental skill required throughout life.


The following difficulties may arise because of poor auditory memory.


Poor Comprehension of Orally Presented Directions:
  • Often the child thinks that he has understood directions for completing an assignment, when actually he has understood very little. As a result, assignments are often completed incorrectly.
  • The child may only be able to take-in and think about only three or four words at a time so they only hear three or four words.
  • Subconsciously he stops listening in order to process the information.
  • Then he listens again.
  • As a result, the child loses a word or two from every phrase. The information no longer makes sense and becomes confusing, boring, and hard to pay attention to.

While some children can recall a lengthy sentence well, they may not be able to process and recall a short passage that is presented orally. These students may be able to answer a specific question about the information that has been presented to them orally or that they have read, but are not able to grasp the whole paragraph.

The child thinks that he knows what he has heard or read orally, when actually, he has processed and recalled very little of the material.

Sometimes parents and educators assume that children have understood an entire passage when they answer a specific question about the passage, yet, that specific information might be all that they have gleaned from the passage!

It is therefore important that when reading stories to children, they are encouraged to retell the story with the main idea and supporting details, in order to demonstrate that they have total comprehension.


Difficulty Copying from the Board:

As mentioned in the first example, a child with auditory memory difficulties can often only remember one or two words at a time. He therefore needs to constantly look up at the board, down at his paper, up at the board, down at his paper. Copying from the board is a tedious task for him whereas other children can remember a sentence at a time.


Difficulty Taking Notes:

In order to take notes you need to:

  • Listen to the teacher.
  • Hold what you have heard in memory while writing it down.
  • Continue listening as the teacher continues with the next sentence.
  •  If you are not writing verbatim what the teacher says, you must also use logic and reasoning to form your own thoughts about what’s being said, while writing, while listening.

If your auditory memory is poor, auditory processing, processing speed, or logic and reasoning, note taking could be practically impossible.


 Reading Difficulties:

Phonics (sounds) is an auditory learning system and it is imperative to have a sufficient auditory short term memory in order to learn, utilize and understand reading using phonics.  The ability to hold speech sounds in memory is needed for tasks such as comparing phonemes, relating phonemes to letters, and sounding out words.


 Spelling Difficulties:

Many poor-spellers depend on memory for spelling and so they don’t do very well. Even someone with a superior memory can only “remember” the spelling of a few hundred words. Spelling is actually an auditory and a visual skill.

You must be able to hear the sounds within the words and to visualize. How often have you spelled a word and recognized, “No, that doesn’t look right?”

Children who memorize spelling words often forget the words soon after the spelling test. The brain says, “I don’t need that anymore,” and dumps the words to make room for next week’s spelling list.


 Poor vocabulary:

Children may experience difficulty developing a good understanding of words, remembering terms and information that has been presented orally, for example, in history and science classes. These students will also experience difficulty processing and recalling information that they have read to themselves.

When we read we must listen and process information we say to ourselves, even when we read silently. If we do not attend and listen to our silent input of words, we cannot process the information or recall what we have read. Therefore, even silent reading involves a form of listening.

The good news is that auditory memory is trainable and like any muscle the more you exercise it, the more it will improve.

The not so good news is that the capacity for auditory memory appears to have a genetic basis and if you have a poor auditory memory the chances are that you won’t be able to rely on someone in your family for help.