To Repeat or Not to Repeat?

Do you find yourself repeating questions before you finally get an answer?

Do you sometimes wonder if your child or student suffers from selective hearing loss? Have you been told that your student has Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) and therefore might not understand what you are saying? Is that a reason why you keep repeating your questions? Do you sometimes think that if you’ll rephrase the question, your child will understand you better?

Do you sometimes not even notice how many times you are repeating yourself?

So the question is, ‘does asking questions again and again make things better, or make matters worse?’ Should you keep repeating questions or not?

Solution: Do NOT repeat questions. Ask it only once, and then wait. Wait for the answer. You might need to wait 5 seconds, 15 seconds, ½ minute or even a bit more. Children don’t suffer hearing loss on the drop of a dime. They choose not to hear. If your child didn’t answer you and he was standing right next to you, asking again teaches him that your questions are not important.

Bottom Line: Do Not Repeat Yourself. Say it once and expect an answer.

There’s a very simple solution. STOP repeating yourself! That’s all it takes.

Why does it work? There are several reasons.

  1. When you repeat yourself, your child learns that she DOESN’T HAVE TO answer right away since you’re going to ask the question several more times. She’ll get another opportunity to answer the question later if she wishes.
  2. Selective hearing loss means that your child is not deaf. He’s simply choosing to ignore you right now. Repeating yourself doesn’t cure the ‘hearing loss’.
  3. If your child does in fact have an auditory processing disorder, each time you repeat your question, you are lengthening the amount of information your child now needs to process. You’re just increasing the challenge and making it more difficult. Rather say it once loud and clear, and then give ‘wait time.’ Wait 3-9 seconds for your child to respond.
  4. If you find yourself rephrasing the question to ensure clarity, commit yourself to being clear the first time around. Get close to the child so that he can definitely hear you. Bend down to eye-level to ensure eye contact, if necessary. Speak slowly, loudly, and clearly and you will not doubt or worry how your question was delivered.

Bottom Line: Do Not Repeat Yourself. Say it once and expect an answer.

If you don’t get an answer, set up a plan including rewards and consequences

to ensure that your child will answer questions in the future.

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