Auditory perceptual skills are important for all children. They are essential for blind children.
There is a difference between auditory discrimination skills and auditory perceptual skills. In auditory discrimination all that is required is an ability to recognize that two words are the same or different. Auditory perception goes farther because it requires the ability to separate the word into its parts or individual sounds, and it also requires a recognition of the sequence of how these parts fit together.
Tactual perception for reading braille requires the same skills as auditory perception – not the same skills as visual perception. Visual information is usually available for longer times. Tactual and auditory information are available and then they are gone. The ability to organize information quickly is essential. Good short term memory and good long term memory are important.
If the blind child has poor auditory perceptual skills, he cannot learn to attach specific spoken sounds to specific braille letters or combinations of braille letters.
How do you determine what level of auditory perception skills that a child has?
Give the Test of Auditory Analysis Skills (TAAS) on page 78 in the book “helping children overcome learning difficulties” by Jerome Rosner, published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited, Toronto.
Then determine the child’s TAAS score from the chart on page 79 in the same book. Then follow the program outlined in the same book. I highly recommend that you read and reread this book. The activities suggested have helped many children. The understanding you will gain will contribute to the student’s success.
When using alphabetic braille, the auditory perception skills mesh so well with the tactual perception skills that real progress in word analysis will appear.
Next : Braille Phonics Program