What is auditory language processing disorder?
Auditory language processing disorder is an impaired ability to attend to, discriminate, recognize, or comprehend auditory information, even though hearing and intelligence are within normal limits. This impairment worsens with competing speech, in noise, or in poor acoustic environments. Auditory processing abilities develop parallel with language, and children with auditory processing disorders are a subset of those with receptive and/or expressive language disorders.
What are some symptoms of auditory language processing disorder?
- Inconsistent responses to questions or verbal directions
- Episodes of “tuning out”
- Frequently needs repetition of information
- Misunderstands or confuses similar sounding words
- Has difficulty maintaining attention or discriminating words in a group setting or other noisy environments
- Has poor auditory memory and sequencing skills
How can we help someone with auditory language processing disorder?
An individualized therapy program is developed in order to target an individual’s areas of weakness. Therapy techniques may include:
- Improving auditory attention and discrimination, auditory sequential memory, phonological segmentation and blending, following directions, and identifying main idea.
- Teaching strategies such as visualization and chunking to improve memory for auditory information.
- Using context in order to fill in missing parts of auditory information.
- Desensitizing to background noise.
How can you help at home?
- Make sure you have your child’s attention before asking a question or giving directions.
- Speak to your child slowly and clearly, using frequent pauses.
- Give only one direction at a time.
- Ask your child to repeat instructions in order to check for understanding.
- Limit loud television and radio in the house, especially during conversations.