Monday, April 4, 2016

Auditory Processing Disorder

I was lucky enough to be part of a workshop presentation by Angela Alexander, Doctor of Audiology, from the Auditory Processing Network. She shared with us information on APD and some quick tips and tricks to enhance life and learning for students with an auditory processing disorder. Students with this condition can't process what they hear in the same way other kids do because their ears and brain don't fully coordinate.

There are two basic functions of hearing that are extremely important: sensitivity and processing. Sensitivity refers to the softest sound an ear can hear.

There are four levels of auditory skills:
  • Awareness to sound (hearing sensitivity/basic hearing function)
  • Discrimination of sound (being able to not only hear a sound, but be able to process it. Able to hear difference between 'n' and 'm' sound)
  • Identification of sound (the ability to hear the difference in one sound from another and to hear that sound in isolation. eg. know that we refer to the sound' 'm' with the letter 'm')
  • Comprehension (understanding a spoken message)
When the first three is not happening students can have a problem with comprehension as the brain might process sounds differently.

10 ideas to support a child with hearing problems
  • Memory: short term to long term and echoic (making it fun/ weird to remember)
  • The importance of repetition and consonant production
  • Simplify instructions
  • Breaks are important
  • Remove this sentence from your language ("I am just going to say it once")
  • Be positive
  • Decrease your distance & 'yacker tracker'
  • Allow preview/review at home
  • You are an amazing referral source
  • And most importantly... The greatest factor in success for a person with auditory processing disorder is the attitude and understanding of their teachers, caretakers and health professionals.

~ "Remember: everyone in the classroom has a story that leads to misbehavior or defiance. 9 times out of 10, the story behind the misbehavior won't make you angry. It will break your heart." - Annette Breaux ~

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