The ears play the part of sending raw information on for further analysis where, all being well, it is eventually deciphered by the hearing centres in our brain. How well the raw information is interpreted by the brain depends on our level of Auditory Processing skills that are primarily developed during the critical periods of language learning, between the ages of 0 to 3 years. This is the period when the brain is most prepared to map information from sounds or spoken words onto its language centres.
People with APD (sometimes referred to as central auditory processing delay CAPD) have difficulty understanding instructions and sustaining attention, particularly in the classroom environment where there is frequently competing background noise.
The reason why they experience difficulties processing information is because the sounds of the English language have not been sufficiently imprinted on the language centres of their brain. While there may be different causes for this, often children have experienced multiple middle-ear infections (including “Glue Ear”) during the period of critical language development of 0 to 4 years old, whether or not these ear infections were recognised at the time.
Despite the prevalence of APD, its symptoms are still frequently misinterpreted as signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a hearing deficit, general learning difficulties, or even depression.
“The study supported the idea that for some children, getting training on just simply processing rapid sounds is a route to becoming much more fluent and capable readers. In addition, activation of the children’s brains fundamentally changed, becoming much more like that of good readers.” – John Gabrieli of?Stanford University
Reading and the Link to Processing Speed
“Some children with dyslexia struggle to read because their brain isn?t wired properly to process fast-changing sounds. Sound training via computer exercises literally can rewire the brain, correcting the sound processing problem and improving reading, a new study has found…”?– Article in Advance Magazine for Speech and Language Therapists and Audiologists published in 2007 Read the full article >
Indigo Learning programmes can help individuals with Auditory Processing Disorder
Parents may have tried various programmes and tutoring, with limited success and this may be because the intervention is not addressing the underlying processing deficit. It is as though the builders are trying to stabilise the roof before the walls are completely built. It is essential to establish fundamental oral language skills before learning to read and write.
Click here?to see how our Fast ForWord? programs have helped individuals with Auditory Processing Disorder:
Dr. Martha Burns on Auditory Processing Disorder and Dyslexia