Identifying and Treating Auditory Processing Disorder in Children
Some of the symptoms that children with auditory processing impairment may exhibit include difficulty concentrating in noisy environments. These warning indicators and what parents should do next can be found in this guide.
How the brain processes speech is called auditory processing. Our ears produce the sound, but it is our brains that process it and give it meaning. Most children with auditory processing difficulties have undergone numerous “normal” hearing exams. These tests, on the other hand, are designed to measure how sensitive your ears are. Your ability to hear clearly isn’t taken into consideration. You can hear the music, but you can’t discern what the vocalist is saying. What children with APD face on a daily basis is this.
Symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder
Starting as just a few months old, children may show evidence of auditory processing difficulties. A red sign is a baby that is not babbling by six months, is not turning its head toward the sound, or does not respond to its name by the time it is twelve. Aside from ear infections, they may also have fluid buildup in their ears. As they get older, they may be referred to a speech therapist for articulation issues.
According to KidsHealth.org, children with APD may also have difficulty hearing or understanding speech that is happening at the same time, such as when a teacher and a friend are speaking simultaneously. To be easily distracted by noise but capable of concentration when it is quiet is another clue.
Diagnosis and Testing for Auditory Processing Disorder
You can’t identify auditory processing disorder (APD) without the help of a trained audiologist. Your best bet is to seek an audiologist in your area through the International Guild of Auditory Processing Specialists (IGAPS).
In order to participate in the testing, a child must be at least seven years old. Audiologists can use the exam to determine which auditory abilities your child is struggling with and make treatment recommendations based on the results. Children’s auditory systems can be studied early utilizing noninvasive electrophysiological tests that measure the body’s response to speech.
ADHD and an Auditory Processing Disorder
It’s common for youngsters with APD to be misdiagnosed as having ADHD because of their tendency to be easily distracted or exhibit classroom behavioral issues.
The audiologist who tests for APD in his clinic missed diagnosing his own child for years since teachers quickly determined that he had an ADHD diagnosis. He had a hard time following directions, learning to read, and paying attention in class, all of which were challenges for him. However, he did not benefit from medication when we attempted to treat him for ADHD. To my amazement, we discovered that he could only hear around half of what was being said in noisy situations.
ADHD and APD can coexist in children, though. There’s a difference, though, between children with ADHD and those who have Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The chart provided by Understood.org helps parents distinguish between ADHD and APD.
Treatment for an Auditory Processing Disorder
An APD can be caused by a variety of factors, including head trauma, lead poisoning, seizures, and recurrent ear infections. Fortunately, children’s ability to listen improves as they get older because their auditory system isn’t fully developed until they’re about 14 years old. A speech-language therapist or computer software like assistive technology can help strengthen auditory processing deficits, but there is no cure.
Having a 504 or IEP plan in place indicates that your child may be eligible for special education services in the classroom. Seating students away from air conditioners, fish tanks or windows that increase playground noise is a typical classroom accommodation, as is preferential seating close to the point of teaching and a reduced background noise.
Assistive listening devices are available for children as well. Teachers and students utilize special hearing aids that use frequency modulation (FM) devices. Noise-canceling hearing aids are also available. Low-gain hearing aids are used by Novotny’s kid, who is deaf.
Rather than feeling sorry for their children, parents should retain an open mind. Do everything you can to help them comprehend the sickness and how to take control of their own treatment. No one should feel ashamed of using accommodation because it is the same as using glasses to improve one’s eyesight. All of their lives have been enriched by learning about and treating APD.