How to Help When Communication Challenges Exist

family talking while preparing a meal at the kitchen island
Cheri Moore

Written by Cheri Moore

March 3, 2022

What do you think is one of the greatest communication challenges?

One of the greatest communication challenges I had as a child was listening without interrupting. I had to say what I was thinking immediately; otherwise, I would forget. I also struggled to speak clearly and say what I meant to say. The most frustrating part was that I did not grow out of this communication challenge. It followed me into adulthood.

After successfully helping others, I decided to complete my own in-depth hearing evaluation. Surprisingly, testing found severe sound intolerance and eustachian tube inflammation. I believe this contributed to mild hearing loss found on low frequencies.

Dietary changes improved my ear health. Then, two ten-day auditory integration training programs six months apart greatly diminished my communication challenges. Follow-up hearing tests provided evidence of progress. Now, I tolerate sounds in the normal range and hear well at low frequencies. Best of all, Auditory Integration Training improved my communication challenges: clarity of speech, memory, and ability to say what I mean to say. Now, I can listen without interrupting.

My search for answers to help loved ones and clients ended up helping me understand my own communication needs.

Berard-Based Auditory Integration

Improvements after Berard-based Auditory Integration Training are life-changing.

What makes Berard-Based Auditory Integration Training unique?

Each client’s auditory integration training program is based on a comprehensive hearing evaluation. Berard-Based Auditory Integration program can make more volume can travel through one side of the headphones into the weaker ear to balance out the hearing system. Or, both ears can receive equal amounts of volume.

A Video Activity: Is Your Voice Impacting Your Communication Challenges?

A simple activity to help you learn how your voice travels along your skull bones to your ears.

How to Help When Communication Challenges Exist

Do you know how to help when communication challenges exist? Be encouraged, here are a few tips on how you can learn to help when communication challenges exist.

1. Observe

2. Change your response

3. Observe some more

4. Encourage a new habit

It takes time for Auditory Integration Training to improve communication. In the meantime, using these tips help you improve your relationship with loved ones, friends, and co-workers.

You can learn even more using our Moore Auditory Observation Booklet.

What are Their Communication Challenges and Needs?

When talking is work instead of instinctive, words get mixed up and stuck in your head. This leads to communication challenges. Ask yourself these questions:

businessman holding fingertips to his temples. His head is breaking apart into puzzle pieces.
How do you respond?
  • Does talking more slowly improve listening and comprehension?
  • What happens when you give others more time to respond?
  • Kindly check for understanding by sharing what you think they meant to say. They will gladly nod in agreement.

Here are a few ideas for when you wonder, Are they sharing or asking for help? It helps to know that sharing helps us process our emotions, joyful ones and personal trauma

  • Sounds devasting. Would you like …
  • Actively listen using body language like head nods, a brief word, and focused attention.

When you learn how to meet their needs, communication challenges decrease and relationships improve. You might even gain insights about your own communication needs.

What Are Your Communication Challenges and Needs?

Improving communication is a mixture of meeting their needs while understanding your own needs.

  • Do you interrupt causing another to get upset?
    • If you have trouble remembering a thought, write down a keyword.
  • Can you listen longer when the background is quiet?
    • If yes, minimize distractions by turning off the television or radio.
  • Minimize misunderstandings
    • Summarize what you heard to check for understanding.
    • Stop and focus on conversation.
    • When in doubt, ask questions.
    • Ask the listener to share what they heard checking of their understanding.
  • Schedule a FREE Consultation

Just Because It Is Your Norm Does Not Mean That It Is Normal

Communication difficulties in all ages affect behaviors. When it is someone’s everyday experiences, they have no idea what to share that might provide a clue towards receiving help. Since these behaviors persist, often from birth, loved ones may perceive behaviors as personality traits. Equally challenging, a diagnosis fails to fully explain the behaviors associated with the diagnosis.

For example, a diagnosis like Autism fails to fully explain why your loved one has communication challenges. However, knowing that a diagnosis like Autism is associated with a high risk of hidden hearing loss helps you recognize the need to learn more.

Those with ADHD, Dyslexia, and Central Auditory Processing Deficits struggle with organizing their thoughts making it harder to say what they want to say. Thus, you cope by talking more than listening. Thinking out loud helps you check for understanding, organize your thoughts, and decrease the need to listen to others talk. Have to love those subconscious, survival behaviors.

I request hearing tests for my clients that require no response. We also complete activities to prepare you for your hearing evaluation which provides you with a sense of security. Regardless of your age, you can improve listening and expressive speech.

What Do I Do Now?

First, know that you are not alone. Knowing the right questions to ask is very difficult when you are unaware that difficulties exists.

For example, sounds can be distorted, mixed up, or absent in a word. Thus, remembering what was just heard is more difficult. Also, a person can struggle to instinctively know the distance between their hand and an object. Thus, they more easily knock something over like a water glass and drop objects.

Unfortunately, these are traits we attribute to distracted kids, hyperactivity, or people who are clumsy. I challenge you to ask if there are there medical reasons explaining these challenges.

Two parents watching their son and daughter run around

Second, purchase a Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire (MAvQ). The purpose of the MAvQ is to uncover the reasons behind behaviors associated with sound intolerance, auditory processing difficulties, visual processing difficulties, hearing loss, and more.

One of the greatest benefits of each client’s Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire is its impact on relationships. Each question opens the door to communication. Pre-questionnaire observation activities help you look at your loved one’s behaviors from a new perspective.

Behaviors Are “Hidden” Clues

Auditory processing, mild hearing loss, and visual processing difficulties are often referred to as hidden. Thankfully, they are not actually hidden. Your loved one’s behavioral responses during listening, conversations, and actions can provide you with clues regarding their communication challenges. For example, does your loved one avoid or seek auditory stimulation by wearing headphones or earbuds?

brown butcher paper being pulled back to reveal the word clues typed in black on white paper to symbolize revealing the clues to communication challenges.

When you stop to observe your loved one with intention, you gain a whole new understanding of their world.

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