Children with dyslexia may have difficulties hearing what teachers say because of background noise in schools, according to a new US study.
The majority of pupils can focus on a teacher’s voice, despite a constant barrage of classroom noise, because the brain automatically hones in on “relevant, predictable and repeating auditory information”. Dyslexics, however, may struggle to separate out the relevant information from competing noise, such as scraping feet, whispering and coughing.
The researchers, from Northwestern University in Chicago, suggest that dyslexic pupils may need additional support if they struggle to hear in a noisy classroom environment. Relatively straightforward measures, such as seating the child in front of the teacher, or enhancing the sound of the teacher’s voice for individual pupils using wireless technology, could make a difference.
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