A sensible way to help students who are experiencing auditory processing problems
Thanks to decades of diligent research and work, it is now easier than ever before to determine what type of classroom accommodations can best help a student who is experiencing auditory processing problems. We're talking about the student who has normal hearing but struggles to keep up academically. For example, should information be repeated for that student, or ... should it be rephrased? Knowing and implementing something that simple can many times be life changing for the student. We now know that the concept of “One size fits all” for classroom accommodations doesn't apply when it comes to giving help to someone with auditory processing problems. And ... determining both the need for classroom accommodations as well as what specific type of accommodations are best for a particular student is now easy to do.
The Functional Listening Skills (FLS) Program has taken information provided by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association, along with information from well-known researchers and practioners and created a user friendly approach to recognizing when classroom accommodations are needed as well as what specific type of accommodations will best serve that struggling student. Providing appropriate classroom accommodations is essential for the student, easy to develop, and when done properly, easy to implement.
FLS AS A STAND ALONE: I am frequently asked if a questionnaire used without being combined with formalized assessment can provide enough information to determine the best classroom accommodations needed for a student. The FLS program was developed, first of all, for the purpose of gaining comprehensive information about a student from those who know the student best and then using that information to identify the type of processing problem the student is experiencing. The thing that makes FLS so unique is its ability to generate appropriate recommendations based on the information provided on the questionnaire. A complete set of classroom accommodations is then displayed for the person making the request. The FLS program was developed knowing that in the world of auditory processing, generic recommendations don't always work. Why? Because we know that auditory processing problems can vary significantly from person to person. The FLS program provides information to specifically meet an individual's unique needs. That means that the Functional Listening Skills Program (FLS) can work as a stand-alone to help generate specific, individualized accommodations.
QUESTIONNAIRE VS. FORMAL TESTING: The creator of the FLS program found that using a questionnaire gives anyone responsible for developing classroom accommodation recommendations for a student a more clear understanding of what the student is faced with each day in the “real world.” It also provides an opportunity for other individuals in the student's life such as parents, grandparents, other therapists and teachers, etc. to provide pertinent information. Formal testing should never be overlooked if it is warranted and available. In my experience, when formal testing and the use of an appropriate questionnaire are combined, accommodations for a student are more accurately developed. The FLS program makes determining the appropriate accommodations thorough but easy, especially when compiling information from multiple sources.
WHO CAN USE THE FLS?: Because the FLS program was designed for the purpose of helping to create an environment where a person struggling with auditory processing problems could experience success, anyone working with or helping a student can use the FLS to help meet the student's needs. This includes therapists, teachers, audiologists, parents, social workers, supervisors, etc.