Audiologists and psychologists can further assess auditory processing issues but only audiologists can diagnose auditory processing disorder. Speech pathologists are involved in treatment and diagnosing language and literacy issues.
The aim is to understand and target possible underlying issues related to memory and concentration as well as associated literacy and language weaknesses. These weaknesses can be difficult for parents to initially notice but can result in difficulty organising thought or understanding.
Mindfulness skills will be used to assist with concentration while associated literacy skills may be targeted in the following ways:
* Learning sounds – Consonants, basic and complex vowels and spelling rules.
* Auditory discrimination – improving a child’s ability to listen to sounds and hear the similarities and differences between them.
* Tracking – teaching children to scan through the word from beginning to end right across a sentence.
If your child is struggling with language skills then these can be targeted in the following ways:
* Ordering thoughts
* Providing context when speaking
* Improving sentence construction
Seven to eight years of age is when a child can be assessed accurately and receive a diagnosis of APD.
Pure auditory processing difficulties can improve as your child’s neurological system matures. However this can take some years and not all children will naturally overcome auditory processing difficulties as it depends on the cause and severity of the difficulties.
It is also important to remember that without additional assistance their language and literacy skills are likely to remain challenging and the gap between their learning can widen.
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) can also be referred to as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). It influences the ability to do the following:
APD often looks like a hearing issue and this can confuse parents because the issue is not related to hearing, it is how children perceive and process sound. There is no deficit with the ear itself so children can hear perfectly well.
In the classroom teachers will often raise concerns in relation to:
There can be many issues that underlie or contribute to auditory processing issues:
Step 1: You will be asked to complete a history form. This form will ask you as a parent to share your observations related to your child’s auditory processing and there will be a checklist which will include numerous questions about your child’s abilities in the following areas:
Step 2: During the assessment John will review your child’s history form to discuss what assessment he is proposing. Your child can be a part of this process if appropriate, or younger children can relax in the waiting room.
Step 3: After this, John will carry out the assessment with your child where he will consider the following areas:
Step 4: All results will be discussed and explained with parents and your child where appropriate.
Step 5: A support and treatment plan will be discussed.
It is essential to understand that while pure APD can occur there are also often other challenges that children can experience. These range from cognitive skills that support listening comprehension such as concentration and memory through to language skills.
Auditory processing difficulties can also weaken children’s ability to read, spell and write fluently and difficulties in this area should be monitored or investigated.