health & dyslexia: auditory (Hearing) Difficulties – an introduction

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*Listening checklist

A Tool to See if You or Your Child May Have a Listening Problem

We cannot “see” listening. The only way to “get at it” is indirectly—through skills that are related to it in one way or another. This checklist, developed by Canadian Tomatis practitioner, Paul Madaule, is from *When Listening Comes Alive) and offers a catalogue of abilities, skills or qualities that will enable you to assess whether you or your child may have a listening problem. There is NO score. This is simply a tool for you to evaluate your own or your child’s ability to listen, and thus to learn. Check as many boxes, as you feel appropriate.

Developmental History:
Our early years

This knowledge about our younger years is extremely important in early identification and prevention of listening problems. It also sheds light on possible causes of listening problems.

A stressful pregnancy
Difficult birth
Early separation from the mother
Delay in motor development
Delay in language development
Recurring ear infections
Receptive Listening:
Our external environment

This type of listening is directed outward to the world around us. It keeps us attuned to what’s going on at home, at work, in the classroom or with friends

Short attention span
Over-sensitivity to sounds
Misinterpretation of questions
Confusion of similar-sounding words

Frequent need for repetition
Inability to follow sequential instructions

Expressive Listening:
Our internal atmosphere

This is the kind of listening that is directed within us. We use it to listen to ourselves and to gauge and control our voice when we speak and sing.

Flat and monotonous voice
Hesitant speech
Weak vocabulary
Poor sentence structure
Overuse of stereotyped expressions
Inability to sing in tune
Confusion or reversal of letters
Poor reading comprehension
Poor reading aloud
Poor spelling
Motor Skills:
Our physical abilities

The ear of the body (the vestibule), which controls balance, muscle and eye coordination and body image needs close scrutiny also.

Poor posture
Fidgety behavior
Clumsy, uncoordinated movements
Poor sense of rhythm
Messy handwriting
Hard time with organization, structure
Confusion of left and rights
Mixed dominance (of hands?)
Poor sports skills
The Level of Energy:
Our fuel system

The ear acts like a dynamo (a powerful motor), providing us with the “brain” energy we need to not only to survive but also to lead fulfilling lives.

Difficulty getting up
Tiredness at the end of the day
Habit of procrastinating
Tendency toward depression
Feeling overburdened with everyday tasks
Behavioral and Social Adjustment:
Our relationship skills

A listening difficulty is often related to these qualities of interacting with others.

Low tolerance for frustration
Poor self-confidence
Poor self-image
Difficulty making friends
Tendency to withdraw or to avoid others
Low motivation, no interest in school/work
Negative attitude toward school/work