‘Long term community support allows learners with auditory processing disorders to complete matric’ – Elise Levin

At the 2018 National Symposium on Teacher Education for Inclusion, held at Emerald Conference Centre, Elise Levin and Jean Fourie presented a paper on the value of parental and educator support for learners presenting with Auditory Processing Disorders. Inadequate auditory processing influences oral language, reading, spelling and learning ability often resulting in school failure and dropout. This longitudinal study explored the school careers of five learners diagnosed with central auditory processing disorder in their reception year, aged 7 years old. Data were gathered using individual diagnostic tests, classroom observations and semi-structured interviews with the learners, their parents and teachers. Bronfenbrenner’s eco-systemic theory framed the interpretative phenomenological analysis of the data sets.

Learners’ personal knowledge and inner self-awareness of their learning disorder was crucial in their ability to fulfill their academic potential over the twelve years of their schooling. Strong proximal relationships with supportive parents directly affected the learners’ perceptions and experiences of their academic success. Wrap around support from teachers and therapists at school was crucial in keeping the learners motivated throughout the challenging years. Careful negotiations of rules and policies and a reciprocal understanding of learners’ and schools situations, requirements and expectations, were conducive to positive outcomes. Caring support from peers, the church and community helped to maintain the inclusion of these learners in school until they matriculated. This study indicates that a dynamic team with innovative strategies and a truly inclusive education approach was fundamental to academic success for learners with auditory processing learning disorders.