AUDITORY PROCESSING DISORDERS
What is Auditory Processing?
Auditory processing is “what we do with what we hear”. It is how our brain interprets audible signals heard by our ears. Unfortunately, there are some people who can hear but just don’t manage what they hear well. Auditory processing disorders are difficulties in processing auditory information. Auditory processing disorders are not due to a peripheral hearing loss or impaired intelligence.
What are symptoms of an Auditory Processing Disorder?
- Difficulty following directions
- Says “huh?” or “what?” frequently
- Poor listening skills
- Easily distracted in background noise
- Poor academic performance
Who is at Risk?
A number of factors may be associated with auditory processing deficits in children. Children who have had a traumatic birth, were premature, had several episodes of ear infections or middle ear fluid during early childhood may be at risk for auditory processing weaknesses. For some children, they simply have underdeveloped or immature auditory systems.
What can be done?
Evaluation by our Doctor of Audiology can provide important information about your child with an auditory processing issue. The test battery used during the auditory processing evaluation assesses how effectively the auditory nervous system handles complex auditory information. If your child has difficulty on this battery of tests, it is an indication that his/her auditory system does not process auditory information as efficiently as it should and auditory stimulation (therapy) is warranted.
Often times, the audiologist, speech-language pathologist, psychologist, school teacher and parents work together as a multi-disciplinary team to determine the scope of the problem and the most effective treatment techniques.