In trying to help my son, Xander, with his sensory issues, it proved to be a much more complicated journey than it was with my daughter, Jaimie. With her, once we knew she had Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and understood her specific form of it, we were able to learn tools and strategies to help her. For my son, we went a different journey. A journey that led us to learn about auditory processing disorder.
What is an Auditory Processing Disorder?
What Causes an Auditory Processing Disorder?
Common Signs or Symptoms of an Auditory Processing Disorder
- trouble concentrating and understanding oral instruction
- struggles with multi-step problems or tasks
- poor listening skills
- frustration and anxiety with trying to process information
- behavior problems
- language difficulties – Confusing syllable sequences, vocabulary development or pragmatics, the social side of language.
- struggle with reading, comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary
The Diagnosis of Auditory Processing Disorder
Treatment of Auditory Processing Disorder
Auditory trainers allow the child to focus on a specific speaker, such as the teacher, by reducing background noise. In these situations, teachers wear a microphone to transmit sound. The child can wear a headset to receive the sound or the sound may be transmitted throughout the class via a speaker system. These are also known as FM Systems. Ask your audiologist, speech therapist or school district about how to access this option.
- Reducing classroom acoustics
- Seating the child on the outside of desk rows
- Seating the child in the front row
- Ensure seating is away from windows or classroom doors
Since each child’s auditory challenges vary, rely on the specific recommendations from your child’s audiologist. The audiologist can make other suggestions for classroom accommodations or modifications that will help make the classroom more “auditory friendly” for your child. Perhaps, other children who are struggling in the classroom will benefit as well!
Language Building Exercises
Read with your child. Help your child sound out letters and word sounds. Help him to discover new words to increase his language base. Another option to consider is using books on tape while reading along with the actual book. Many online reading programs offer this option. Check with your school district to see if they have programming available that you can access. There are some other options available:
Auditory Memory Enhancement
Auditory Integration Training
Auditory integration training or programs such as iLs is used by many OT’s. It is often used to supplement sensory integration therapy. It can help to retrain the auditory system and decrease auditory processing distortions. iLs did wonders for my daughter, Jaimie.
Explore More >> Auditory Processing Disorder
Yes, it was a long road for Xander. As we peeled back each layer, we learned everything we could about that specific layer. Through our journey, we developed a stronger understanding of our little guy. Learning about and dealing with APD helped us get closer to our end goal.