Does your child have difficulty paying attention in class? Are they often missing instructions or unable to follow instructions? Do they seem to have more difficulty hearing in noisy situations? Are they suffering from lower grades, especially in areas associated with reading and writing? If so, I may be able to help provide some answers. One disorder commonly associated with these behaviours is Central Auditory Processing Disorder.
Central Auditory Processing Disorder is an interruption of sound travelling along the pathway from the ear to the brain, which interferes with understanding. These children have normal hearing ability, but there is a disconnect between what is heard and what is understood. In other words, it is a disruption of the brain’s ability to make sense of what is being heard. To determine if a child has Central Auditory Processing Disorder, a specialized set of tests are performed. This assessment takes approximately one hour in our office. If Central Auditory Processing Disorder is discovered, strategies can be developed for that child in the classroom.
These strategies often involve specific classroom placements and structure for the teacher to implement. The strategies will allow the child to better focus on the directions from the teacher and minimize distractions in the classroom. An FM system may also be recommended for use in the classroom. An FM system includes a microphone worn by the teacher and a speaker set up in the classroom. This system allows the teachers’ voice to be heard above the level of the classroom background noise. These strategies are designed to allow the child the best environment to learn and help improve auditory and language processing abilities.
As a clinical audiologist at Meridian Hearing, I have performed this assessment on many children. It is amazing to see the relief, or at least answers, the results of the testing provide to you as a parent. Often, the Central Auditory Processing assessment may be the first assessment your child is undergoing. The assessment can determine which strategies should be implemented and whether there is a need for further assessments.
To perform the test, your child needs to be at least 7 years old, speak English as first language, and have normal speech and language development for their age. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s learning and/or classroom behaviour, please contact Meridian Hearing to arrange a Central Auditory Processing assessment. Central Auditory Processing Disorder is a real disability and needs to be assessed and treated appropriately. We at Meridian Hearing are dedicated to properly assessing your child and providing appropriate strategies and equipment to increase your child’s success in speech and language development.