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As August opened, I shared with you the differences between hearing and sound processing.  The first of a series of four, I shared tips on developing Sound Awareness. Last week, I shared tips on developing the second step, Sound Localization.

This week, keeping in line with the basics to develop listening skills, I will focus on Sound Discrimination.  But let’s do a refresher on what the basics are first.

Start With The Basics 
My Davis Model of Sound Intervention® incorporates a developmental flow chart for the correct administration of any sound-based therapy. It builds on the developmental needs of the body to process sound in general. My approach works from a more foundational level and then builds on needed skills.
It is important to know that when developing listening skills, the basics flow is as follows:

  1. sound awareness
  2. sound localization
  3. sound discrimination
  4. sound comprehension.

The flow should occur in that specific order.  Although some may feel these are too basic, keep in mind these steps provide the underlying foundational skills needed for the future development of language.

This week, we will focus on developing Sound Discrimination.

Sound Discrimination
While difficult discrimination tasks can be used, in order to begin, keep it simple again.

Experience Sound Differences
Let the child discriminate one sound from another. Keep the differences in the sound large initially. For example, the difference between a whistle blowing and a lady singing isn’t very noticeable to those with difficulty discriminating gross sounds. So try something like a whistle blowing and large dog barking. Think of the sound itself. Are the sounds you choose very different in sound quality. Sometimes you might think they are different but they sound the same to the child. That is possible. Just find a larger degree of difference in the sounds if at first you do not get a response.

Sound Matching Activities 
Have the child match sounds. Have a variety of objects that make sounds in containers. Have pairs of some of the sounds and let the child match the pairs of sounds.