Everyone loves a story, and many people enjoy nothing more than reading an engrossing novel. Stories also have the power to help children overcome sensory related challenges. Read on to learn how audio books help children with sensory issues discover the joy of books.
Sensory Integration & School Struggles
Our senses help our brains to understand the world. We use senses like vision, hearing, taste, touch, and smell to organize all of the information from our environment. For many people, they work in harmony to seamlessly help us navigate our surroundings. In general, when all of the senses integrate, adapting to changes in the environment is relatively simple and straightforward.
For some children, however, the senses don’t work well together. This disharmony makes it hard for the brain to make sense of a situation and is known as a sensory processing disorder. These sensory challenges cause the child to need more time and focused work to master academic skills. Although these kids are often very bright, they often struggle to learn such complex skills as learning to read and write.
Signs of Sensory Challenges in Reading
It’s sometimes hard to distinguish between a fidgety young child who needs extra recess time and a child who is overcoming sensory processing issues. Typically, a challenged reader will have a hard time with things like learning the alphabet, understanding rhyming words, recognizing letters, and tracking visual images across the page.
Just because a child struggles with reading doesn’t mean that it’s too early to instill a love of language in that child. Educators have used books on tape to engage their reading students for many years. Recently, reading specialists have also started to appreciate the significant benefits that audiobooks bring to children with sensory issues.
Some of the essential ways that audiobooks make a difference for children with sensory issues are
- A Love of Books- Who doesn’t love a fantastic story? Audiobooks come to life in a way that is appealing to children, and they find it easier to understand the story when they hear it performed out loud.
- Focus- Difficulty focusing is a hallmark of sensory processing issues. A child can get discouraged when attempting to decode the words on a page of a traditional text and end up putting the book down. The audiobook supports the reader so that they’re able to follow the story while looking at the written page.
- Decoding- Decoding is what we call it when a child makes the connection between a sound and a symbol. Audiobooks make it a little easier for a new reader to practice this essential skill because the reader can see the message and hear the sound at the same time.
- Inspiration- Audiobooks open the world of knowledge and imagination for a child. Through listening to and viewing the words in a book, a reader gains confidence and reading skill. The excitement that comes from keen understanding motivates an eager reader to keep reading.
Lastly, audiobooks open the door to infinite ideas for readers struggling with sensory issues. CONTACT Booksicals for suggestions on using audiobooks to unlock the reader in your child.