If you’re a parent, you understand how important it is for your child to have all the resources they need to strive. When your child is struggling in an area of their senses, such as hearing, it can significantly impact their learning and social growth. In this blog, we’ll look at auditory processing disorder and answer the following:
- What is auditory processing disorder?
- What can you do for a child with auditory processing disorder?
- What are the coping skills for auditory processing disorder?
- What causes poor auditory processing?
- Can a child outgrow auditory processing disorder?
What Is Auditory Processing Disorder?
Auditory processing disorder (APD), also known as central auditory processing disorder, is a condition that affects speech comprehension. It affects the brain’s ability to understand and interpret auditory signals correctly. People with this disorder have challenges with hearing slight sound differences in words, which can cause them to hear words and sentences wrong. APD affects around 3%–5% of school-aged children.
Children with APD may experience several auditory challenges, including difficulties understanding and recalling verbal instructions without visual cues. Background noise can make it even more challenging to process speech.
What Can You Do For A Child With Auditory Processing Disorder?
There are various ways to advocate for and support children with APD in learning and home environments. Consider the following aids when communicating with a child with APD:
- Use visual cues.
- Be patient with their speech processing.
- Provide a quiet environment for learning.
- Seat them close to the speaker.
- Emphasize keywords in a sentence.
- Slow down when speaking so words don’t mesh.
- Use auditory sequencing like “first,” “second,” and “following that…” for recalling the order of verbal directions.
- Teach listening strategies like listening for keywords and taking notes.
- Incorporate assistive technology into learning and daily life, like hearing aids, which can be fitted through a hearing specialist.
Creating an environment that caters to the child’s specific needs is critical to supporting their learning and communication capabilities. These aids are excellent tools for enhancing listening, auditory memory, and comprehension.
In educational therapy, the therapist works with your child to develop strategies that improve learning. It’s common for children with APD to experience high levels of frustration and discouragement in the classroom due to their challenges with speech comprehension.
The therapist looks for ways to manage negative emotions while using your child’s strengths to enhance their overall learning experience. By focusing on their strengths, your child will be reminded that they’re smart and capable, even if it seems like learning comes easier to their peers.
A speech-language pathologist helps enhance your child’s communication skills to enhance their ability to understand and be understood. They can also encourage your child to advocate for themselves and request people to repeat instructions or clarify when they’re confused. Likewise, your child can learn to better distinguish words from each other using auditory discrimination the ability to differentiate between similar sounds.
What Are The Coping Skills For Auditory Processing Disorder?
Because APD primarily impacts auditory comprehension, lip reading is an effective tool to develop as it can help distinguish specific sounds from words. Likewise, building up their confidence in asking for help is essential. This way, they can feel comfortable asking for clarification or repetition of instructions. Another great tool for coping with APD is using a recording device so instruction can be played back at the volume and speed needed to understand.
What Causes Poor Auditory Processing?
The actual cause of APD is unknown, but some evidence does suggest that a child may be at higher risk for the condition if they endure head trauma, lead poisoning, chronic ear infections, meningitis, or have a seizure disorder. These specific variables can directly impact the neurological structures involved in hearing loss, such as damage to the cochlear’s sensory receptor cells.
Can A Child Outgrow Auditory Processing Disorder?
There’s no cure for APD, but listening skills can improve in children with APD, as the auditory system typically doesn’t finish developing until around the age of 14. Along with this, learning coping skills like lip reading and taking part in auditory training can improve listening and concentration.