Why is our hearing sense important for learning and participation?
The ability to focus and attend to the correct sounds is essential for learning and participation. If you’re at a party and a friend is telling a story you need to be able to ignore the other sounds in the background and focus on their voice. For children and adults with sensory processing disorder sometimes this can be impossible. The background music may be all that their brain tunes into rather than that of the speaker making it really hard to listen and join in.
At school and work, you must be able to pay attention to lessons or meetings. The hearing sense is super important to help with your learning and participation. If you’re not listening, you will likely miss important information. Sometimes children and adults with sensory processing disorders are trying to listen but their sensory issues make it more difficult to process the sounds they are hearing.
What about sensory discrimination with sound?
Sound discrimination is very important day to day, especially in the classroom. A child must be able to discriminate between sounds to be successful in a phonics lesson. They must be able to know which sound is the lunch bell and which bell is a warning alarm. They need to be able to discriminate between their teacher’s voice and general chatter. It’s also important to know which direction the voice is coming from so you can look the right way. The same is true at work or at home, understanding the ‘what’ and ‘where’ of sounds is really important!
Finally, our hearing sense is very important to help to support out communication. Whilst there are options to communicate if you have hearing loss, speaking is the typical way that humans communicate their ideas and needs. We need to be able to discriminate the differences between sounds and combinations of sounds. We can also figure out emotions or extra meaning from by the pitch, pace or volume the speaker uses.
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