Selective hearing can be defined as the tendency of some children to select what they hear, and either tune in or out of what is being said to them.
Selective hearing does not necessarily involve whether a child can hear or not, in fact many children with selective hearing have perfect hearing levels. Selective hearing often has to do with the processing part of the auditory system – the part where the sound information reaches the brain.
If you suspect your child has challenges around any aspect of auditory processing or attention, contact either your doctor, a speech pathologist, audiologist or occupational therapist.
Ensure your child has time to stop what they are doing, turn and face you, and make eye contact.
Ask your child to repeat back or summarise what you just said, to check their understanding.
If you’re asking your child to do something as part of a routine, print out some pictures so they have a handy reminder visually of what is required. Stick them on the fridge or somewhere communal for easy access.
When your child starts to become successful at listening (and less selective), reward them with verbal praise or a small treat for their good listening skills.
If your child asks you to do something, try to get your child to impress any of the above four tips back on you as a parent!