Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Just Say No to Background Noise!

Have you ever had one of those moments when background noise suddenly disappears and your whole body automatically relaxes almost instantaneously? For me, sometimes it’s a noise that I haven’t even noticed is bothering me until it’s gone, and only then do I realize how distracting it actually was. It seems like, as adults, we have a stronger preference than kids do for good old-fashioned peace and quiet, especially when we’re trying to carry on a conversation or complete a task. New research shows, however, that noise is actually more distracting to a child’s brain than to an adult’s.

According to a recent article featured on abcnews.com: “The ability to understand and process speech against competing background noise doesn't mature until adolescence.” Because of that, it’s important for children, especially young ones who are in the early stages of learning language, to avoid situations in which they’re trying to listen in a noisy environment.

The article gave some tips for parents:

—Don't leave the TV, radio and other electronics on in the background. It's not clear whether soft music is distracting, but lyrics might be.

—Speak clearly and make eye contact.

—Especially in noise, make sure tots see your face. They can pick up on mouth movements.

—If the child doesn't understand, try again with simpler words.

—If a child's having school behavior problems, make sure being unable to hear in class isn't the problem.

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