Staff
& Professionals

How to help young people with auditory memory difficulties (memory for the spoken word)

 

 

What is Auditory Memory?

 

Auditory memory involves the holding spoken information in your mind whilst it is processed for meaning and long-term storage.  For example, a child may need to remember 3 things they have to bring to their desk, or to ‘write the date, underline it and draw 3 insects.’ 

Many children who have difficulty understanding spoken language or expressing themselves also have problems remembering information and may:

  • Have difficulty remembering large quantities of verbal information
  • Only recall/carry out part of an instruction
  • Switch off and stop listening if too much information is given
  • Watch and follow what other children are doing which may mask their difficulties in some situations. 
  • Struggle to answer questions based on a story that has been read to them

 

General Strategies

 

  • Find out how many items of information the child can remember.
  • Keep instructions short and simple
  • Break down large quantities of spoken information into smaller chunks
  • Give instructions one at a time
  • Repeat the information and encourage the child to say it back to you
  • Encourage all the children to say if they haven’t remembered everything

 

Specific Strategies

 

  • Use visual prompts, e.g. objects, pictures, visual timetables, charts, tables, lists, story plans, mind maps etc.
  • Encourage older children to write key points in a notebook and use this as a checklist.
  • Encourage the child to try different strategies to help themselves:-
    • Working out what the important words are in an instruction e.g. ‘Could you please go and get your maths books, and then hand them in to Miss Smith.’
    • Repeating out loud what they have to remember (as you would do when trying to remember a phone number).
    • Visualising the items (trying to see a picture in their mind’s eye).

 

 

 

 

Local Initiatives

Early Years Initiatives

Our Early years team are currently working together with the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, this includes a rollout of language screening of children using Wellcomm tool.

School Age Initiatives

We currently offer a range of virtual training sessions to schools for free! SENCo's will have been informed of training dates that you can book your staff on to. Please contact Fiona Taylor (fiona.taylor@nca.nhs.uk) or your Link SLT if you have any questions about this. 

 

 Enhanced Services initiatives

The Enhanced Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Service offer bought-in input in schools. This might involve universal input, individual or group interventions. The Enhanced Team also support schools and staff to develop communication friendly environments and deliver training. For further information, please contact Fiona Taylor – fiona.taylor@nca.nhs.uk

 

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School staff

Lorna is amazing to work with and has made such an impact on our school provision, we are lucky to have her!

School SENCo

My child absolutely LOVES coming to see you, you are so good with him. We are extremely grateful for all of your care and support. He is counting down the days until we can come again.

Parent

We loved our sessions with Lucie, we found her to be positive and encouraging, we have already seen a huge improvement in his communication, using words and attempting new words to communicate with us in everyday tasks and his confidence in learning new words has shot up, he’s attempting 2 word phrases pretty well and even attempted 3 words on a couple of occasions. The difference for us is huge and we feel Lucie has set us up to keep improving now that the sessions are over.

Parent

I just wanted to send a quick email to say thank you for the training you delivered for us this afternoon, it was so useful and informative. It was great to have further training that was bespoke to Early Years and built on what we had done in the whole school training. We're excited to start implementing it for our children.

Early Years Teacher

I have just attended the virtual open evening and I thought it was a really nice way to explain the role and introduce the team as opposed to reading it on a job ad. I felt very lucky to have seen many of the benefits Fiona spoke about too so thank you for providing me with the opportunity to sit in on the training sessions.

Speech and Language Therapy Student

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School SENCo

This is great and I am so appreciative of your support. We have nothing but fantastic things to say about the Salford SALT team and the support that you have given to both of our children.

Parent