Children with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) are often very intelligent but have auditory barriers that affect some aspects of learning. Some children are good at compensating for their auditory weaknesses but standardized testing often reveals a significant discrepancy between verbal and performance measures.
Children diagnosed with APD may benefit from intensive, short-term training programs. Some of these programs only address sensory issues while others address sensory-motor deficiencies. Here are some tips to enhance speech understanding, when talking to a child suspected of having APD:
- Be sure the child is seated where he/she will best hear and see the speaker.
- Call the child’s name and make eye contact before speaking. Lip-reading is a critical skill for these kids (also be sure to have eyes checked for visual acuity; tests for visual processing may also be needed).
- Reduce extraneous background noise when saying something important.
- Emphasize key points by using tag words (e.g. before, after, first, last, this, that)
- Rephrase speech information that was misunderstood. Keep it simple and to the point.
- Check comprehension by having the child repeat or rephrase what he/she heard.
- Give visual cues or written information to supplement listening when possible.
- Use a multi-sensory, hands-on approach to learning
- Give frequent breaks when long periods of listening are required.
- Lectures and class discussions should take place in the morning with seatwork in the afternoon.
Recent studies in brain research have suggested that intensive activities to help strengthen brain pathways can improve learning potential. Ultimately, treatment plans require a team effort that includes parents, therapists, physicians and other professionals looking at the “whole” child and collaborating to make a difference.
For more information regarding Auditory Processing Disorders and diagnostic treatment programs, contact:
Leah K. Light, Au.D
4350 Sheridan Street, Suite 101
Hollywood, FL., 33021