Have you ever struggled to follow a conversation at a party? If listening and gathering conversation is a constant problem, you might be suffering from auditory processing disorder (APD).
The term APD describes some disorders that lead to a break in the listening process. It is more common in elementary school, which affects more than 5% of children.
A person with auditory processing disorder usually have normal hearing, which means they can detect very soft sounds. But the difficulty is how they really listen, or what they do with what they hear thUICQqy.
They have trouble separating competing sounds and distinguish between similar sounds. Children with APD may also have difficulty making meaning of information when words or other audio signals are missing. These difficulties are particularly evident listening in noisy environments, such as classrooms environments.
Why is it a problem?
classrooms today are typically large spaces, interactive designed to attract children and promote learning. These are also the noisy spaces that defy the listening skills of many children.
As noise levels fluctuate, listeners have to fill small gaps in what was said. A child with an auditory processing disorder have to do this much more often than their classmates, using up a lot of energy. As a result, it will become tired quickly.
Another problem commonly reported with APD is the difficulty following directions and focus, especially in a noisy environment. If untreated, these problems can affect a child’s ability to learn.
reading deficit, for example, are the primary reason for referral to an audiologist for APD evaluation. Research shows that it is very likely that a child with reading deficits will also have an auditory processing disorder.
These deficits literacy and learning can remain in place throughout the journey the child’s education. While listening skills can catch up, learning not lost.
How is it diagnosed?
auditory processing disorder is usually diagnosed by a hearing professional is called an audiologist. A collection of tests used to measure the ability to listen. These may include repeating phrases that become softer against the background noise, which measures how well the child can separate the speech to noise.
Another common test involves a child who receives different signals in each ear, such as numbers, and are asked to repeat them. This measures the ability to listen to the signals of competition.
Due to the results of recent research, tests that assess a child’s attention, memory and intelligence have been included in the diagnosis of APD. But audiologists also have to be careful not to confuse auditory processing disorder with other disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism spectrum, which can show the similar behavior of poor hearing disorder.
tests of attention, memory and intelligence are now routinely performed in many hearing clinics across Australia and research is to identify the best and most age-specific diagnostic tests.
This has greatly improved the ability of audiologists to determine more precisely the main cause of hearing problems of a child.
What causes APD?
The listening process that develops throughout childhood involves increasing central auditory pathways of the nervous system. Although the exact cause of auditory processing disorder is unknown, there is growing evidence that developmental delay is the likely cause for many children.
Some children will be able to catch up with time, but in others, the disorder can last into adulthood. This means that children with APD need to develop better and strengthen neural connections and pathways necessary for complex listening.
There is also evidence that children have a middle ear infection, resulting in glue ear (or sticky fluid in the ear), later they may develop APD. This is supposed to be due to hearing loss associated with the fluctuation of glue ear that disrupts the signals necessary to develop the ability to listen.
How APD is it?
The appropriate treatment plan to help a child with auditory processing disorder depends on the type of deficit diagnosed.
In classrooms, the devices can be used to improve the sound signals. A modulating device personal frequency, for example, can transmit sound directly from the master to a receiver worn by the child.
Many researchers are focusing on the development of training programs that target the main cause of the difficulties listening. These usually aim to strengthen the skills and neural pathways associated using specialized software programs that provide listening tasks and usually to the difficulty as the child’s ability improves listening.
Children also can be trained to strengthen language comprehension and memory for speech therapist, which will help with listening.
Listening is a complex behavior that involves many skills, and we still have to improve our ability to identify risk groups before learning is affected. It is very likely that there are specific skills that have not yet been identified, or are capable of measuring, which can significantly contribute to the ability to listen. The challenge for researchers and clinicians is working on what are
Author :. Dani Tomlin, Academic, University of Melbourne
Courtesy: The Conversation