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Helping a Child with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)
Q: My first-grade niece has CAPD. I observed that when her mother tries to help with schoolwork, it's very stressful for both of them. What can her mother and other family members do, besides therapy, to help get my niece through school?
A: There are a number of things you might keep in mind when helping a child with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) cope with the demands of schoolwork:
If instructions are given orally about homework, ask the teacher to supplement this with written or other visual cues.
Simplify verbal directions and ask the child to repeat back in her own words what she is expected to do.
Slow the rate of speech when giving directions.
Establish a predictable routine for homework time so your niece knows what to expect.
Design homework time around several short 10 to 15 minute sessions rather than a prolonged work time.
Ultimately, however, if your niece and her mother are still not working together productively, it may be better to ask someone else to work with her rather than to jeopardize their relationship.
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For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.