The following difficulties may present in the classroom if a child has auditory processing difficulties. If a child presents with difficulties in more than 3 to 4 of these items, referral to a speech & language therapist may be indicated for further assessment.


1)    Following Instructions

  • Copies other children
  • Starts before you’ve finished giving the instruction
  • Asks for repetition (often)
  • Takes time to get going after instructions have been given
  • Completes part of the instruction
  • Inaccurate completion of instructions
  • May appear to have “selective hearing”


2) Speech

  • Imprecise or “slushy” speech
  • Articulation errors
  • Difficulty saying multisyllabic words


3) Reading

  • Guesses at the word from the first letter
  • Guesses at words from surrounding text/pictures
  • Difficulty decoding novel words
  • Phoneme (sound) – Grapheme (letter) confusion
  • Difficulty decoding multisyllabic words e.g. rubbish-bin
  • Blending of syllables or phonemes
  • Fluency is poor
  • Decodes word by word and then struggles to get meaning
  • Poor attention to punctuation
  • Difficulty recalling what has been read


4) Spelling

  • Vowel confusion – particularly i/e
  • Long and short vowel confusion
  • Difficulty with vowel digraphs (ee ea oa etc.)
  • Difficulty learning word families
  • Analysis – syllables or phonemes
  • Poor generalization of spelling rules to unfamiliar words
  • Forgets previously learned spelling
  • Sequencing errors
  • Difficulty with blends
  • Phoneme – Grapheme confusion
  • Weak syllable omission e.g. tephone/telephone
  • Difficulty using punctuation