Processing information is the brain's ability to properly process, organize, and express the sensory information it receives from the environment. The information received through your eyes is called visual processing and the information received through your ears is called auditory processing. Auditory and visual processing are greatly overlooked and misunderstood concepts in a person’s ability to learn, therefore many children today are being diagnosed with low processing disorders.
We’ll discuss auditory processing in this article. A one-year old should have the ability to grasp one piece of auditory information and respond to it. When you say, “Hi or goodbye,” they should respond in kind by waving to you. If you would ask a two-year old to touch his nose and then his ear, if he can respond correctly then he is able to hold two pieces of auditory information. Likewise a three-year old should be able to hold onto three pieces of information. And it will go like that until you reach either the age of seven or adulthood. Whether you are seven-years of age or an adult, you should be able to hold onto seven pieces of information. If you can hold onto eight pieces of information, then you have the ability to carry on a good conversation by having the ability to remember what the other person has said and respond in kind. It does not have to do with intelligence or memorization. The more pieces of auditory information you can hold onto, the greater your conceptual skills are, which is the ability to see the “bigger picture”. You need a lot of auditory input to have the skills necessary to be adept at seeing the bigger picture.
The problem is that we’ve moved from an auditory society to a visual society. Our children are growing up in a very visual society, which is much different than our ancestors. Although our children are adept at computers, using phones, and playing video games, they lack the skills to be conceptual learners. At home and in the car, children are exposed to an abundance of “screen time,” and then we send them into classrooms where a teacher stands up and addresses them auditorily. Then we wonder why our children “just don’t get it,” don’t know how to listen, which is an auditory skill. They are labeled ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder. Unless our children are receiving more auditory input instead of visual input at home before going to school, they are going to be “deficit” in their listening skills. So be sure that your children are getting an abundance of auditory input from listening to books on CD, lots of talk-time, and lots of dinnertime conversation. Then they will have enhanced skills necessary for good auditory processing.
Auditory deficits also affect adults in this country. Everyone jokes about their short-term memory problems, but it’s really no laughing matter. Because we have become a visual society, adults have to work on their listening skills, which will in turn improve short-term memory. It is said that we begin as babies and then return to that stage once again in our old age. It does not have to be this way. If a person will maintain their auditory processing skills, they can keep their maturity at an adult level and not digress into acting as a child.
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