What is Auditory Processing?

Once the ears have detected a sound is present, what the nerves and the brain do with that information is what we call auditory processing.  Every listening skill we have uses auditory processing.  This includes determining where a sound is coming from, following a teacher in a noisy classroom, recognizing your favorite song, picking up on sarcasm; all of these use auditory processing. There are many areas of auditory processing and therefore there will be different impacts depending on which area is affected. 

What impacts can it have?

We see significant correlations to reading and spelling abilities, language understanding and following verbal instructions in the classroom.  There is much information that researchers are still trying to understand exactly how auditory processing difficulties relate these areas but the correlations are well documented and accepted.

Can I check to see if my child may have a problem?

Yes!  Now you can use the screening version of Feather Squadron to measure very important areas of auditory processing and determine if they are age appropriate or if there is a concern.

Can it be treated?

Luckily, the human brain is able to be altered and trained with intervention.  This includes auditory processing abilities.  There are a variety of auditory processing abilities that professionals measure and some appear to be more important than others for good educational outcomes.  There have been successful training programs documented for quite a few decades but even more information has surfaced recently.  If you feel your child needs an auditory processing evaluation, your professional will discuss with you options regarding targeted auditory training options if they are available.

Are there things I can do as a Parent?

I am also a parent and I know that professional help is wonderful, but as a parent, I want to do as much as I can to foster my child's development and education.  To help communication and auditory memory we recommend:
a) Get the child's attention prior to giving instruction or questions.
b) Minimize competing noise before talking to your child
c) Allowing the child to see your face
d) Reduce your rate of speech slightly

To help foster your child's auditory processing we recommend:

e) Reading with your child regularly, preferably a book slightly below their ability level, enough to keep them interested but not so difficult they can't pay attention to the language and sounds while you're reading.

I am concerned for my child, who should I contact?

We recommend discussing your concerns with a professional such as an audiologist, speech-language pathologist, or educational psychologist.  If you do not know where to find one near you, please click here for help in the U.S.