Auditory Processing Issues and academic issues:
A Speech Language perspective
In its very broadest sense, APD refers to how the central nervous system (CNS) uses auditory information. It may co-exist with ADHD or other disorders.
Signs and Symptoms of APD include
- Frequent request for repetition
- Difficulty maintaining attention
- Easily distracted
- Poor attention span
- Difficulty understanding speech in the presence
of competing background
- Difficulty in understanding distorted speech
- Difficulty hearing on the phone
- Difficulty following rapid direction
- Inability to detect changes in prosody
- Poor appreciation of music
- Have monotonous speech
- Difficulty in localization of sound
- Difficulty in Listening to multiple auditory input
- Poor auditory memory and sequencing ability
- Difficulty in integrating auditory and visual stimuli
- Academic difficulties (Reading, Spelling & Writing)
A note of caution: we should always keep in mind that not all language and learning problems are due to APD, and all cases of APD do not lead to language and learning problems.
For school-aged children, (C)APD can lead to or be associated with difficulties in learning, speech, language (including written language involving reading and spelling), social, and related functions (Bellis & Ferre, 1999; Chermak & Musiek, 1997; Katz, 1992).
Treatment approaches include directly treating the disorder itself or teaching compensatory strategies to overcome the deficits and improve functioning. Environmental modifications include combining both the above e.g. classroom modification to reduce noise levels and changes in the way the teacher can command the child. Like speaking slowly and avoiding ambiguity, Using lot of visual aids, Increasing comprehension tasks for practice etc.
Retrospective studies of school-aged children reveal presence of APD symptoms in early developmental years. Hence Speech language therapy should include goals to facilitates language and literacy outcomes
- Vocabulary and phonological awareness – decoding
- Reading fluency
- Morphological awareness; syntactic awareness for
- reading comprehension
- Narrative skills in English
- Social Communication Skills
Take home information:
- We shouldn’t jump to conclusion on the diagnosis aspects or overly diagnose children with APD
- If symptoms are seen then they have to be worked upon ven in younger age groups.
- The treatment is multidisciplinary and involves different professionals working together.
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2005b). Central auditory processing disorders: The role of the audiologist (Technical Report). Retrieved from: www.asha.org/policy
- Bellis, T. J. (2003). Assessment and Management of Central Auditory Processing Disorders in the Educational Setting: From Science to Practice: Thomson/Delmar Learning.
- Bellis, T. J. (2003). Assessment and management of central auditory processing disorders in the educational setting: From science to practice(2nd ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Learning.
- Bellis, T. J., & Ferre, J. M. (1999). Multidimensional approach to the differential diagnosis of auditory processing disorders in children. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 10, 319–328.
- Chermak, G. D., & Musiek, F. E. (1997). Central Auditory Processing Disorders: New Perspectives: Singular Publishing Group.
- Chermak, G. D., & Musiek, F. E. (2002). Auditory training: Principles and approaches for remediating and managing auditory processing disorders. Seminars in Hearing, 23(4), 297–308.
Dr Priya Gole,
A practicing Speech Language Pathologist for over 16 years, Priya Nayak-Gole has been working exclusively in the area of paediatric speech language disabilities. Her forte includes Childhood Apraxia of Speech and Auditory processing Deficits. She is a firm believer of team work and likes to co-ordinate with the other professionals working with the child. She believes in holistic development of the child and prefers to use approaches with including play. Her vision is to promote inclusion in schools because “every child deserves a chance ….”