help: minimize distractions on the adaptations I.E.P mean?


What does minimize distractions mean on the adaptations part of the IEP?

Two of my kids have auditory figure ground problems and when I ask for this to be written on their IEP I get asked why and what does that mean to me and how should a school carry it out.

I need your input on this.



Dear Masta,

Children who have auditory figure-ground problems (which is an unusual term--it's usually applied to visual stimuli) probably have difficulty picking out the teacher's voice or other salient auditory stimuli from background noise.

Therefore, I would want preferential seating close to the teacher in an atmosphere that is not noisy. Noise is a major distractor for some kids and a major DISadvantage to some inclusion classrooms, is even if the teacher is a good one and trying hard, 30 kids make a lot of background noise. Smaller settings are much less auditorially distracting.

If your children are in regular classes, then the noise level should be a concern. Other than preferential seating (or removal to a quiet part of the room for seat work) this is a hard accommodation to make in a general ed. classroom.

Do you have any evidence (beyond the normal that most people concentrate better when it is quiet) that auditory stimulation interferes with your difficult children educational progress? If so, bring this up as a "problem" and use problem soolving techniques to try to hammer out a solution with the rest of the IEP team.

Does anyone reading this know of modle wording on an IEP for this accommodation? I have never seen anything but "favorable seating" and "testing in a separate (quiet) room."



Modifications are great but what does the audiologist say about treatment and/or needs/recommendations in the school environment?

From :

"Auditory Figure-Ground Problems: This is when the child can't pay attention when there's noise in the background. Noisy, low-structured classrooms could be very frustrating to this child....

How Can I Help My Child?
Difficulty with following directions is possibly the single most common complaint about children with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). Some of things you can do that may help:

Reduce background noise.
Have your child look at you when you're speaking.
Use simple, expressive sentences.
Speak at a slightly slower rate and at a mildly increased volume.
Ask your child to repeat the directions back to you aloud and to keep repeating them aloud (or to himself or herself) until the directions are completed. Make certain your child understands the directions and isn't just copying your words. You can be more certain of this if your child is able to rephrase the directions. For example, "Take the garbage to the side of the house," may be restated as, "You want me to take the garbage to the side of the house, not to the front."
For directions that are to be completed at a later time, writing notes, wearing a watch, and maintaining a household routine also help. General organization and scheduling also seem to be beneficial for many children with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD).

It's especially important to teach your child to be responsible and actively involved in his or her own success. Your child can be encouraged to notice noisy environments, for example, and move to quieter places when listening is necessary."

From Florida's Ed Agency:

Auditory figure-ground is the ability to identify the primary linguistic or non-linguistic sound source from a background noise. During classroom instruction, for example, the teacher’s voice is the primary signal and student’s conversations and other noises in the room comprise the competing noise. When the primary signal and the noise levels are nearly equal, listening distress easily can occur.

There's quite a bit of info in this info about Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) management, FM systems, etc.

There's a section on WHAT MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES CAN BE USED TO REMEDIATE Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)? at

There's tons of stuff on the internet. I never found one url that had all the info I needed on Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) for my son.

I'm not sure it's in any of the links above, but I recall information such as educating a student with-Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) in a auditory friendly environment (carpet on floors, beware of buzzing flourescent lights, sit student away from doorways where foot traffic from the hallway would interfer with hearing, etc.).

The school's Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) should be able to help the IEP team with this. As you are likely aware, the audiologist diagnoses; the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) provides treatment.


Thank you Martie and Sheila for answering my post. I will get back on here tomorrow to give you some background info on each one of my kids and their testing.

i have so much testing scores documentation i am frazzled and its very hard to understand it all. I wish i could hand all of my difficult children test scores to someone so they can interpret them to me without going on with how well my difficult child is doing in one subject and ignoring the problems that exist.

I have all my difficult child's paperwork pdfed if anyone is willing to have a look for me.