American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults
Future Reflections
       Winter 2019      EARLY CHILDHOOD

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Helping Your Blind Child Develop Good Listening Skills

by Lesley Potgieter

Reprinted with permission from

Lesley PotgieterFrom the Editor: People often assume that blind children automatically have superior listening skills. However, like any other skill, the ability to listen attentively improves with practice. In this article Lesley Potgieter suggests games and activities that can help children learn effective listening. Lesley Potgieter is a teacher and parent who lives in the UK. You can visit her website at

Listening refers to a child's ability to attend to and distinguish environmental and speech sounds from one another. It is crucial for a child, especially a blind child, to develop good listening skills in order to cope with the academic demands of school and to learn adequate literacy skills.

A child's listening skills include determining the direction from which a sound comes, recalling or memorizing auditory information, recognizing intonation of voice, and awareness of rhythmic patterns. These skills provide the basis for the development of expressive language and are important in the acquisition of early literacy.

Listening involves many different aspects:

Developing Listening Skills at Home

There are many activities and games you can play with your child to develop the skills, concepts, and abilities necessary to meet the auditory requirements of listening activities:

Good Listening Strategies


1. See "A Visit to Audiology,"
2. For more information, see Gillet, Pamela. (1993) Auditory Processes. Academic Therapy Publications.

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