Auditory Processing

Auditory processing  is one of the most common of the SID/Sensory Integration Dysfunctions that significantly interferes with development and learning. In school, a child with auditory issues may use lots of mental energy to block out seemingly minor distractions such as the sound of another child writing, book pages being turned, or someone walking in the classroom. The sound of a marker squeaking on a board or a ringing school bell may be excruciating. Obviously, if a child is overly sensitive to potentially noxious sounds, s/he will be unavailable for learning. The child who finds it difficult to process auditory input from the left when there is  any noise at all from the right is at a loss when new information is presented orally from his left side. Sensory-based auditory difficulties are frequently found in children with developmental delays and learning disorders, as well as ADHD.

Children with auditory processing difficulties may have related speech-language delays as well, such as trouble understanding what is being said, going off-topic during conversations, problems with reading or spelling, or finding the right word to use.

Dominance. Auditory-able learners have their dominant ear opposite their dominant brain and prefer an auditory presentation when learning new or challenging information. There is a distinct asymmetry in the nerve networks leading from each ear to the brain hemisphere, so children that are right ear dominant AND right brain dominant are limited, especially during stress. For these learners, listening or taking in what the teacher is saying, may prove difficult. At Brain Ways, we work with the client to minimize the extraneous sounds, maximize the positioning for maximum input, and teach alternative methods of learning when it seems like the only way is aurally.

Auditory issues can vary significantly, from a child who needs directions repeated, to a child who screams when s/he hears thunder. Often parents are told their child has a learning disability and is placed in Special Education classes, without ever understanding what Sensory Integration issues the child might have.

Does your child…

* have excessively strong reactions – or virtually none at all – to loud or unusual noises?
* not speak as well as other same-age children?
* seem to ignore you when you call his name although you know he can hear?
* have a significant history of ear infections?
* cover his ears frequently to block out sound – or for no apparent reason?
* seem uncomfortable or distracted in a group or busy room?
* react to sounds you don’t hear – or react to them long before you hear them?
* have an unusually high or low voice volume?
* often ask others to repeat what they have said?
* have trouble with phonics and learning to read?
*find labels in clothes “itchy?” hate the seams in socks? react to soft or slight touch?

After assessing for Central Auditory Processing Disorder and Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Brain Ways uses an array of programs to help the child or adult develop his or her auditory skills. Brain Ways also writes a report for schools with Environmental Modifications such as classroom acoustics, placement, and seating, so that the child with CAPD or SID can have the least amount of auditory interference for optimum learning.