Train the Brain: Auditory Sandwich

Double chocolately goodness with cream in the middle is your inspiration for today's easiest listening and spoken language strategy: the auditory sandwich. The auditory sandwich is one of the strategies you use to develop a child's language and auditory skills. Keep in mind that auditory and language development is really brain development. It's synaptic connections being made and neural pathways being reinforced. This doesn't happen with periodic training and occasional reinforcement. The brain needs to be developed with strategies that work and are used consistently. Click To Tweet

Strategy's Steps

You use the auditory sandwich strategy to teach new words and concepts to your child. It's super simple and incredibly straightforward. All it is is "Hear It, See It, & Hear It Again."
  1. Hear It
    1. Present something using auditory first. For this, you just say the word without any visual cues. Don't use visual hints like pointing and gesturing.
    2. This requires your child to truly be listening.
    3. Example: "That's a dog." (Only say it, don't point to it!)
  2. See It
    1. Now you can give visual cues. You can gesture or point to what you're talking about.
    2. Your child's brain is now connecting what they heard with what they now see.
    3. Example: Point to the dog. Make sure your child sees it.
  3. Hear It Again
    1. Say it again so that your child gets two chances to make the connection.
    2. This is closing the auditory loop.
    3. Example: "That's a nice dog!"
See? Super simple. The biggest thing to watch for is initially only giving an auditory clue. If you say, "Put on your shoes" while simultaneously pointing to your child's shoes.... how do you know they understood by listening? Your child could have just watched you point the shoes and assumed that they needed to put them on. This defeats the purpose of trying to develop your child's auditory skills. Instead, it's better to tell your child to put on their shoes and then see whether they can follow this direction just by listening.

That's a Wrap

We use gestures all the time. When I was in grad school and learning to use this strategy, I intentionally would hold my hands in my lap to make sure I didn't use them. It's a tough habit to break but consistently making an effort with bring good results. Give it a try and keep on trying.

It gets easier and you child's brain development is worth the effort.

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