ABCs 4 SLPs: F is for Following Directions

ABCs 4 SLPs: F is for Following Directions image
"Read this blog entry!" Did that direction go in one ear and out the other - do you need your hearing checked? Hello! I'm typing here about following directions! Many students who have ADD or auditory processing disorder often have difficulties following directions. They may hear the beginning but not the end or vice versa. They may be distracted. They may even be trying their hardest but the directions are too long for them to remember! This post is all about following directions, how you can help your children/students follow directions more easily, and products/apps that work on following directions. Are you focused now? Alright, I want you to continue reading this blog entry for real this time!

ABCs 4 SLPs Following Directions

When you are giving directions to a child, you should not speak quickly, have run-on sentences, or state lengthy directions! The message will be lost if you do so. Instead, here are some suggestions to help you when giving directions to your children or for when they are trying to remember directions:

  • Break down directions into parts when speaking
  • Use visuals when possible
  • Sequence the events in order
  • Write down directions on a piece of paper or have the child write them down
  • Repeat the directions or have the child repeat the directions aloud
  • Create an acronym, a song, or a poem about the directions
  • Allow the child to look around the room and associate things with the directions
  • Give one part of a direction at a time
  • Have children highlight the important parts of a direction on a piece of paper
  • Have children practice a direction that is used frequently, such as lining up for class, more than once
  • Model the direction for the child
  • Help the child visualize the directions
  • Discuss listening skills
These are all great strategies to use for yourself and your children when working on following directions. Directions can be given in a series of steps. 1-step directions involve one action to be completed. 2-step directions involve two actions to be completed. Multi-step directions include 4 or more actions to be completed. Finally, you can also add spatial, time, and adjective concepts to directions. For example, take the blue pen off of the table and put it on my desk before you turn in your paper. Adding any additional words makes the direction more complex.

You can work on following directions through coloring, asking a child to get certain items at the grocery store, writing, playing Simon Says, barrier games, giving directions to create a craft, following cooking directions, and more.

Following Directions Fun Deck

Some great products to work on following directions include Super Duper's Following Directions Fun Deck, Conditional Directions Fun Deck, Magnetalk Following Directions, Leap Into Listening, and HearBuilder Following Directions. Linguisystems has some great products as well including 100% Listening, 50 Quick-Play Listening Games, HELP for Auditory Processing, No Glamour Auditory Processing Cards, and No Glamour Following Directions.

No Glamour Following Directions

Finally, some great apps that focus on following directions are:

  • Fun With Directions HD
  • More Fun With Directions
  • Following Directions Fun Deck
  • Auditory Workout
Fun With Directions app icon

Aren't you glad you listened to me and read this post?

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