The Case for Audiobooks

Some people will argue that listening to a book does not have the same benefits as reading it yourself. That is true, but just because it does not have the same benefits does not mean it is any less effective.

A popular model of reading is called “The Simple View (Gough & Tumner)” which says that there are two fundamental processes contributing to reading:

  1. decoding
  2. language processing

“Decoding” refers to figuring out words from print, but “language processing” refers to the same mental processes you use for oral language. They are both equally important, and language processing is worked on when listening to a book.girl with earphones

Audiobooks are especially useful for children with dyslexia. When reading is not their favorite thing to do, the next best tactic is to subject them to as many words as possible audibly. They may not be able to decode words as well on the page but they will be able to use them in their everyday conversation.

Another reason why audiobooks are good for children with reading disabilities is that usually, they have superior oral comprehension and high vocabulary. Audiobooks will expose them to complex words, storylines, and concepts that they otherwise would sacrifice by only reading books at their reading level.

Audiobooks will allow children to have a positive relationship with storytelling. They will gather all of the same information without all of the frustration. Listening to audiobooks is not cheating.

You can become a subscriber to audiobooks through one of our partners, Learning Ally.

If your child has trouble with reading skills, visit our website to learn more about what we can do to help.

Harnessing Stress for Student Success


Making Stress Work for Students Unfortunately, stress will always be a part of a student’s life– even more so when the student has a reading disability. But, what if your child harnessed their stress to make it work in their favor? Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist, and lecturer at Stanford University recently presented a TedTalk explaining how to do just that.

At a recent “Learning and the Brain” conference McGonigal said, “In a number of situations, accepting and embracing the stress instead of trying to calm down helped students to do better.”

The physical side effects stress produces can often make students underperform. McGonigal calls that reaction a “threat response” to stress, but says if teachers can help students have a different response. She calls this positive response to stress a “challenge response,” which includes the realization that the student has the resources to handle the situation.

McGonigal makes sure to mention that prolonged “threat response” stress can have negative effects on health, and suggests three intervention techniques to help students change their approach to stress and create resiliency for dealing with anxiety.

 

Caring for others builds resiliency against stress

kid meditatingThe biological reaction to stress naturally includes a desire to connect with others. Focusing on social relationships and closeness can dramatically reduce the harmful negative effects of stress.

Purpose in life reduces stress

Ask your child what they love to do, and support their hobbies. Remind them how that activity makes them feel and reward them for their interest and determination.

Focus on how stress can help students grow

McGonigal makes the point that if you are able to look back on your life and tell yourself a story about your stress that includes how you learned from it, it helps to create a narrative of strength, learning, and growth.

The Orton-Gillingham method focuses on building students up and harnessing the “good stress” that McGonigal speaks to. If you would like to set up a consultation with one of our trained therapists, you can visit this page on our website.