On our recent visit at my son’s Auditory training I read this handout whilst waiting. It was readily available to parents titled – ‘questions frequently asked by parents’ .
I thought it was good reading and thought I’d share it with you – looking for answers to questions on Auditory Processing Disorder (APD / CAPD).
Will my child grow-out of these difficulties?
Although the central auditory pathway continues to develop and mature (until around the age of 12 years), it is unlikely that your child will improve their deficient auditory skills without intervention.
Identification of auditory weaknesses as early as possible is recommended and if an intervention program is recommended, this should be carried out. The length of the intervention program will be dictated by numerous factors such as the severity of your child’s difficulties, the number of processes impacted upon, your child’s age or whether other areas are also impacted upon (eg. language and/or literacy).
Does intervention help and is (C) APD a ‘life long’ problem?
Yes, for most children, directed individualized intervention does improve processing.
Intervention however is multi-dimensional and requires co-operation and implementation by others involved with the child both at home and at school. Home-based strategies (eg. effective listening skills and communication training) and school-based strategies (eg. decreasing noise and reverberation in the classroom) are also important in enhancing your child’s ability to improve their listening and processing.
What should we do at home to help?
Home-practice of what is taught in the intervention will ensure extension of these skills to other environments as well as reinforce the use of particular listening strategies.
In addition, good speaking and listening skills (communication skills) will help your child feel positive about their listening and processing.
Examples of good communication include:
Paraphrasing a misunderstood message, using short chunks of information when giving instructions, making sure you are near your child when talking so that your child can see your lips, face and body movements and gestures.
In this way, visual information substantiates auditory information.
What about classrooms?
Classrooms are typically auditory-verbal environments. Most classrooms also have substantially high levels of background noise (eg. heathers, chatter, chairs scraping etc) as well as reverberations (eg echos). In addition, teachers move around the classroom and are often far away from the child preventing effective listening.
Children therefore need to clarify misunderstood information and teachers need to optimize poor listening conditions by enhancing their communication skills and managing the acoustic environment.
How does (C)APD affect my child?
Not all children have the same deficit profile and therefore each child will respond differently.
It is probable however that your child will be aware that they are not ‘hearing’ all the information efficiently. They will therefore need to develop an awareness of what they are missing out on and learn to use communication strategies and clarification requests to accommodate their listening needs.
Often their perceived difficulty leads to decreased confidence and poor self esteem having negative social implications. It is therefore important to boost your child’s listening and processing skills (via intervention) to assist their performance and improve their quality of life.
This information was provided to us by Chryisse Heine and Associates in Melbourne.
Dr Chryisse Heine is a qualified Audiologist and Speech Pathologist.