Over the past few years there has been an increase in public awareness of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). This increase in awareness has brought about many misconceptions as well as confusion about what exactly APD is. Auditory processing disorder refers to a breakdown of auditory information beyond the physical ability to hear, at the level of the central nervous system. Children who suffer from APD often have difficulties recognizing subtle differences between sounds as well as processing large pieces of information (I.e. multi step directions).
Children with other disorders such as Autism, pervasive development disorder, and other such global deficits may experience the same processing difficulties as those with APD, however that does not mean they have APD. These disorders happen to all affect the same areas of the central nervous system and have an impact on a child’s ability to pay attention and interpret auditory information, Since the cause of APD is still unknown, and because other disorders may have similar symptoms, it is important that an audiologist test children to correctly diagnose APD.
Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that not all children with APD are the same. Therapy techniques and strategies used by speech pathologists are individualized and meet the specific needs of each child.
Spivey, B.L., & Loraine, S.S. (2009). Auditory Processing Disorder in Children-Symptoms and Treatment. Super Duper Publications
Living with hearing loss can be frustrating. Both partners in a communicative exchange are responsible for communication breakdowns, not just the individual with hearing loss. There are six key strategies that can be implemented to improve communication and decrease communication breakdowns.
The steps toward more effective communication include:
1. Get attention first: Get a person’s attention before you begin speaking. Simply tap the person on the shoulder so that you know you have their individualized attention and so they are ready to receive the incoming message. This technique works well with someone who has hearing loss because it prepares them to listen carefully and pay attention.
2. Walk before you talk: You should be in the same room as the listener. Decreasing the distance between the speaker and the listener allows for increased speech understanding as well as the ability to use visual cues. The use of visual cues helps individuals with hearing loss better understand what is being said.
3. Speak slowly: Decreasing your rate of speech when speaking with an individual with hearing loss can improve their comprehension and recall.
4. Give the topic: Tell the listener the topic of conversation before you begin speaking, By doing so, you provide the listener with the ability to fill in the gaps when they miss out on what has been said. The listener can use their knowledge on the topic of conversation to aid them in figuring out what is being said.
5. Rephrase: When a listener misunderstands, you should rephrase what was said instead of simply repeating the message. By switching the wording around and using different vocabulary you are providing the listener with a new opportunity to understand what was said.
6. Use keywords: Poor understanding may be confused with not hearing something. When repeating something, use key words instead of a nonspecific.
Marrone, N., Durkin, M.R.& Harris, F.P. (2012, December 18). Hearing Each Other Is a Two-Way Street: Simple Strategies Can Help People Live Well With Hearing Loss. The ASHA Leader
For the month of September, I’m running the blog! Over the next month I hope to fill you in on some of the interesting and informative things we come across in our practice! My name is Lindsay and I work in the Farmingville and Wantagh offices of the Suffolk Center for Speech. I am a graduate of Long Island University Brooklyn with my master of science in Speech-Language Pathology. I’m looking forward to keeping you up to date on what’s going on in the world of Speech Language Pathology but most of all I hope you will learn something new and interesting from my posts! Please feel free to comment or ask questions!
Talk to you all soon!