Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Guest Post: Is Your Child Hearing Everything Correctly?

This post is a reprint from last June. It contains important information for all parents and teachers who have children with speech and language difficulties.

Today’s guest post is from Speech Therapist Cindy Fronhofer. Cindy, now retired, was a speech therapist for 30 years. Throughout this time, she helped countless parents understand the speech and language difficulties their children struggled with. Today she presents a condition that is often confusing to adults and may greatly impact reading and school performance.
  • Is your child easily distracted or unusually bothered by loud or sudden noises?
  • Are noisy environments upsetting to your child?
  • Does your child's behavior and performance improve in quieter settings?
  • Does your child have difficulty following directions, whether simple or complicated?
  • Does your child have reading, spelling, writing, or other speech-language difficulties?
  • Is abstract information difficult for your child to comprehend?
  • Are verbal (word) math problems difficult for your child?
  • Is your child disorganized and forgetful?
  • Are conversations hard for your child to follow?
from KidsHealth

If you answered yes to these questions, your child may be affected by an auditory processing disorder.

What is auditory processing (central auditory processing)? Auditory processing has been described as “what we do with what we hear.”

What is an auditory processing disorder? An auditory processing disorder is a condition in which the ability to interpret or process words or sounds has been compromised in some way.

Auditory processing disorder (APD), also called central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), affects about 5% of school-aged children. Kids with APD often do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words, even when the sounds are loud and clear enough to be heard. These kinds of problems usually occur when there is background noise, which is part of the natural listening environment. Most kids with APD do not have a loss of hearing, but have a hearing problem in the sense that they do not process auditory information efficiently.

Many of these kids may have speech and language delays and academic challenges. In the classroom, a child who has problems screening out background noise may not always follow directions or attend to auditory instruction or listening activities. They may struggle with reading because decoding or sounding out words may be challenging.

Symptoms of APD can range from mild to severe and can take many different forms. Plus, APD is an often misunderstood problem because many of the behaviors noted above also can appear in other conditions.

If you think your child might have a problem processing auditory information (including sounds and/or speech), especially in less than optimal listening conditions, consider contacting their classroom teacher, speech therapist, audiologist, or pediatrician.

Websites that may be helpful:
Search by auditory processing disorder or central auditory processing disorder.

Thank you Cindy! Your information helps us all!

Do you have questions or comments about this post? Write them in the Comments box!

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