How Akron Speech Therapy Can Help With Auditory Processing Disorder
Auditory processing disorder is a condition that is treatable by our pediatric Akron speech therapy team. Early intervention is recommended whenever possible.
Kids with auditory processing disorder have a tough time making small distinctions in word sounds. For instance, if a teacher says, “Please raise your hand,” a person with auditory processing may receive that information as something closer to, “Please haze your plan.”
To be clear: Their hearing itself is normal. This is also not a learning disorder. There is no difficulty understanding the meaning of words. The issue is that the brain doesn’t accurately process the information they’re hearing.
As our Akron speech therapy team can explain, a person can be diagnosed with auditory processing disorder at any age. It often comes as a relief to older individuals to finally know the source after many years – though it’s possible the condition may not arise until adulthood. But where it is present in childhood, ideally it’s treated sooner than later.
It’s estimated that between 2 percent and 7 percent of children have auditory processing disorder, with more boys than girls having it.
Symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder
As mentioned, auditory processing disorder is not a learning disability. That said, it is not in common for children with auditory processing disorder to have learning delays. It takes them a bit longer to grasp larger concepts when they must also decipher the words being communicated.
Our Akron speech therapy team has noted that kids with APD often share a number of similar symptoms with those who have dyslexia and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). In fact, some kids who are diagnosed with ADHD (a much more common and readily recognized) diagnosis may actually have ADHD.
Some indicators that a child may have auditory processing disorder include difficulty with:
- Following conversations.
- Listening to music.
- Recognizing where a sound originated.
- Tracking the orders of sounds or numbers spoken.
- Recognizing tone and inflection.
- Recalling spoken directions, especially if there are numerous steps in the process.
- Understanding what people are trying to say the first time – especially if the environment is loud and more than one person is talking.
You may notice the child has no trouble speaking, reading, writing or spelling – but mixes up similar sounds or occasionally drops the end of words. They may struggle to carry on conversations with people; their difficulty in processing what others are saying makes it tough for them to respond quickly.
Formally, we refer to some of these issues as auditory discrimination (the ability to hear and distinguish sounds in the spoken language), auditory memory (our ability to remember what we hear), and auditory sequencing (the ability to grasp the order of the sounds we hear).
Auditory processing disorder is typically diagnosed by an audiologist, and then treated by a speech therapist.
How Our Akron Speech Therapy Team Treats Auditory Processing Disorder
Treatment for a child’s auditory processing disorder involves working with a speech and language pathologist. We provide evidence-based techniques and strategies to help children better understand what they’re hearing.
Some of our techniques may involve:
- Auditory training. This is a process of teaching your child how to boost their focus, listening skills, and ability to discern the sounds they’re hearing.
- Compensatory strategies. When understanding auditory information is difficult, we can teach kids how to compensate for this deficit by paying attention to other details, such as visual aids, body language, other behavior clues and supports.
- Environmental modifications. This is particularly important in school and other learning environments.
Therapy & Wellness Connection – your connection to a life without limitations – provides speech therapy to children in Akron, Cleveland, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and surrounding communities. We also offer summer camp, day programs, education services, vocational counseling and more. Call us at (330) 748-4807 or send us an email.