Auditory Processing Explained


Auditory Processing Difficulties
Listening DifficultiesHow Our Brain Processes What We Hearauditory

What Is Auditory Processing Difficulty


  • Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) (CAPD) represents an inability to attend, discriminate, recognise, understand or analyse auditory information.
  • This can adversely impact on a person’s ability to listen, comprehend and learn – Specifically in the area of learning to read or thinking to write and then spell accurately.
  • There may be history of ear infections or fluid in the ears.

Symptoms of APD

  • Difficutly concentrating
  • Easily Distracted
  • Can’t remember multi-step directions
  • Misses instructions or mixed them up
  • Is often in the wrong place at the wrong time
  • Can appear to have a poor memory
  • Needs more time or repetition of instructions
  • Has low academic performance
  • Has difficulty with correct pronunciation of words
  • Has difficulty with reading comprehension, spelling and vocabulary
  • Cannot hear sounds in words to spell and write them

Why Would You Have Auditory Processing Testing Done?
The individual who is having difficulty

  1. Litening to instructions – in and out of the classroom and staying focused in class.
  2. With both receptive (hearing) and expressive language (speaking).
  3. Decoding language – speaking, writing, spelling, understanding rhyme, beat and rhythm.
  4. With background noise

auditory-processingAuditory Processing

  1. Get a hearing test
  2. With both receptive (hearing) and expressive language (speaking).
  3. Auditory processing testing by an Audiologist
  4. May take between 1.5 – 3 hours and involve a sound booth and a set of headphones.
  5. Often these tests isolate each ear and present a range of hearing, listening, speaking, reading, spelling and memory challenges.

Tests Can Assess

  1. Auditory Figure ground Discrepancy
  2. Filtered Words
  3. Competing words, sentences and numbers
  4. Sentences that are distorted and also delivered at various speeds
  5. Memory using numbers forward numbers reversed, words and sentences
  6. Attention – auditory and visual

How To Help Children With It

  1. Reduce background noise
  2. Seat children towards the front of the class
  3. Ask for quiet when giving instructions
  4. Arrange a cue or make contact with a child before giving instructions
  5. Get children to repeat instructions back
  6. Provide additional support material – audio and visual
  7. Allow a child to use earplugs, headphones or an Ipod on silent or with select music
  8. Avoid rooms that echo or reverberate – open plan
  9. Listening devices are available to assist further
  10. Audio devices are also available
  11. Have face to face, line of sight when giving instructions – Provide a visual cue, a verbal cue or a sound like a bell, a whistle, clap…
  12. Change your voice – high, low, soft, loud, funny accent
  13. Keep instructions short 1.2.3 method, key word method; lunchbox, readers, planners
  14. Start reducing repeats, train them to listen over time and reward them accordingly

Commercial Programs

  • TTRS – Touch Type Read Spell
  • Auditory Stimulation Programs – Listening training
  • CD Home Program – Can support centre based programs
  • Cellfield – Uses acoustically modified sound to assist auditory perception includes visual experiences, eye tracking and working memory
  • Fast ForWord – Builds oral language comprehension, phonemic skills, expands vocabulary, sentence comprehension, syntax, working memory and logical reasoning

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