Why can’t my son just pay attention in class?
What can I do about my daughter’s poor oral memory?
An answer is their listening is being compromised.
What is Auditory Processing?
Auditory processing is what happens when your brain recognises and interprets sounds around you. Humans hear when energy we recognise as sound travels through the ear. When it gets to the inner ear it is changed into electrical information that can be interpreted by the brain. When there is substantial distortion in the interpretation of the information -it becomes a ‘disorder’.
There are many other names for auditory processing disorder as defined by professionals can be referred to as; Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), an auditory perception problem, an auditory comprehension deficit, a central auditory dysfunction, central deafness, and the so-called “word deafness”.
Auditory processing describes the way the brain assigns significance and meaning to the sounds in the environment. People can have hearing in the normal hearing range yet seem as though they don’t hear, they are not able to listen effectively and efficiently.
To have effective auditory processing (listening) involves having:
- a relatively high speed of information transfer
- a good attention span
- a well-functioning memory
- sensitivity to the subtleties of sound. (in speech particularly)
When parts of this complex system do not operate efficiently, listening becomes compromised.
When these issues are extreme, collectively they are known as Auditory Processing Disorders (APD).
Signs and Features of an Auditory Processing Disorder
This condition most likely is present from early childhood , from birth and as the child becomes older, difficulties arise as messages become complex and given more quickly. Behaviours are noticed, such as, poor auditory comprehension, delayed language development, poor expressive and receptive language, and their distractability.
Auditory processing is a fundamental issue in most language and learning issues including: autism, dyslexia, learning disabilities, dyspraxia, Asperger’s syndrome, developmental and speech delay, and attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity (ADD or ADHD).
Children with APD often do not recognise subtle differences between sounds in words, even though the sounds themselves are loud and clear. For example, the request “Tell me how a chair and a couch are alike” may sound to a child with APD like “Tell me how a couch and a chair are alike.”(reversal) or “Tell me how a cow and a hair are alike.”(reversal and last sound of word missing) It is hard to monitor these kinds of issues as the extremes are more likely to occur when a person with APD is in a noisy environment or when listening to complex information.
A listening assessment helps to understand the depth of individuals’ issues with processing sound.
A Solution to Helping Auditory Processing Problems
To improve the overall functioning of the sensory system, to develop the plasticity of the brain by auditory stimulation is used. An individualised Tomatis listening training of the ears, is a step by step development of the listening accuity over an intensive period, by listening to modified music played through headphones.
Following a Listening Consultation with the Director of Sound Education, Dr Kay Distel who will assess the depth of the auditory processing issue, make recommendations for remediation of the issues through devising an individualised listening program.
Programs are held either at our Centre at Chermside West, or at your home.
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