Auditory Processing can be helped in a variety of ways; accommodations in the classroom and at home, training in higher-order functions that may help compensate for processing deficits and remediation of processing are all important to an individual’s success. Luckily, the brain is capable of making dramatic improvements in processing through a process called Neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and develop new and improved neuronal pathways in response to environmental input. In the case of auditory processing, listening therapies can play a critical role in helping to improve processing abilities.
The causes of auditory processing are not fully known but are often seen in individuals who have had early childhood complications such as chronic ear infections and congestion, premature birth or low birth weight, etc. Further, treating the condition (e.g., inserting tubes for ear infections, etc.) will not necessarily remediate the processing deficit. Once these conditions are treated, remediation is essential to reduce processing deficits. At Key to Me Therapy, we specialize in developing highly individualized protocols to help an individual make gains in processing.
Suspect that you or your child may be dealing with auditory processing difficulties? Use the following lists to help identify characteristics that are frequently related to auditory processing disorders:
Receptive ability is how we understand what others are saying to us and what is going on in the school or home environment. Use the following list to examine an individual’s receptive abilities.
Difficulty staying focused at school
Easily distractible, especially by noise
Misinterprets questions or requests
Confuses similar sounding words
Needs repetition and/or clarification of directions more than usual
Able to follow only one to two instructions in a sequence
Difficulty understanding discussions
Poor short-term memory
Poor long-term memory
Must read material several times to absorb content
Difficulty understand main idea of reading material
Tends to focus on details and miss the big picture of a situation or story
Becomes sleepy when listening to speakers or when reading
Feels that most people speak too fast or unclearly
Misinterprets people’s tone of voice as yelling
Displays sensitivities to particular sounds (e.g., the vacuum)
Overloads from busy or noisy environments (e.g., birthday parties)
Expressive ability is how we monitor and reproduce correctly what we hear, especially our own voices, speech and self-expression. Use the following list to examine an individual’s expressive abilities.
Flat or monotonous voice quality
Speech lacks fluency and rhythm is hesitant
Stumbles over words
Difficulty recalling exact word usage
Difficulty with reading, especially reading aloud
Difficulty summarizing a story
Difficulty relating or identifying isolated facts
Sings out of tune
Articulation, semantics or pragmatics issues in speech