“How many times do I have to tell you to finish your homework early so that you can sleep earlier and be more focused in school the next day!” You may have given your child similar instructions over and over until you are sick of repeating. But it just seems that your child isn’t sick of hearing the same thing. In fact, is he/she even listening at all?!
These behaviours may look like it is an outright act of rebellion. After all, how could it be that a child is unable to understand the same instructions even when told repeatedly?
The truth is, there are children who are unable to understand verbal instructions, no matter how many times it is being repeated. The underlying skill required for this ability is Verbal Sequencing. Children who are weaker in this skill tend to be unable to understand relationships between ideas and concepts. “Why do I have to finish my homework earlier to be more focused tomorrow?”
One academic area that relies on this skill is reading comprehension. Reading comprehension requires the grasping of sequential flow of events happening in the story. When a child is unable to relate the sequences, he/she would not be able to get a logical flow of the entire story. Answering the questions would also require more time and effort (as the child has to reread the story).
Verbal sequencing skill is also required to understand materials taught in class and follow the pace of teaching. If this skill is not strengthen, children would find it a chore to go to school because they just can’t understand the things that are being taught. However, with good verbal sequencing skills, children would be able to learn effectively and would enjoy listening in class!
Interesting Fact: As babies, we acquire language through the use of verbal sequencing. Learning new words phonologically requires the ability to sequence verbal information. This suggests that verbal sequencing is an innate skill that most of us are born with!
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