Signs & Symptoms

Auditory Processing

Is your child listening but not seeming to hear you?

Your child may say ‘what did you say’ a lot. It may seem like he or she didn’t hear you. Your child may have unexplained reading challenges.

When asked to repeat words that sound slightly different, he may pronounce them the same. For example, he may read ‘where’ instead of ‘were’ or ‘mack’ for ‘make’ or ‘bleed’ for ‘bled’ or ‘shock’ for ‘shop’ or ‘sack’ for ‘snack’.

Although many of these mistakes are common for early readers, children with problems hearing these sounds may continue to make errors while their peers ‘grow out of it’.

They may struggle to see the difference between two similar words. Their spelling is likely to be affected. It is very difficult to spell words correctly when the sounds were not correctly deciphered in the first place.

What do challenges with Auditory Processing look like?

  • Asking, ‘Wait, what did you say’?
  • Having a hard time understanding words?
  • Listening and paying attention but still not getting it?
  • Struggling with reading because he does not ‘hear’ the letter sounds right?
  • Having trouble spelling?
  • Demonstrating poor vocabulary in spite of high intelligence?
  • Getting lost in class?
  • Asking people to repeat a lot?

Why is Auditory Processing happening?

People who listen but do not hear you may have problems with auditory processing. ‘Auditory processing’ refers to the brain’s ability to hear and understand information that comes in through the ears. Auditory processing is not the same as hearing. Hearing is a combination of both what the ears do and what the brain does. Auditory processing is the part that the brain does. Auditory Processing includes the following skills: listening comprehension, discriminating sound patterns, auditory memory, and rhythm. Auditory processing may impact  following oral directions. For example, if the teacher says, ‘put a line through the yellow circle before you cross out the blue square’, they may get confused. Generally, problems with auditory processing impact learning. This ability to discern the difference between similar phonemes is necessary for reading, and reading is necessary for most other subjects.

How can I manage Auditory Processing at home?

If your child is struggling with auditory processing, a variety of professionals can be consulted.

First, have your child’s hearing checked.

  • Talk to your pediatrician about having hearing checked
  • If any concerns arise, request a referral to a pediatric audiologist
  • If there are additional concerns, your child may require a hearing aid

Second, talk to the school about formal or diagnostic reading tests

  • Most public schools have reading tests available that can test your child’s ‘phonemic awareness’ (meaning can he or she identify sounds within words)
  • Diagnostic tests should provide an age and grade equivalent of your child’s abilities. If your child is two grade levels behind, this is a red flag

Third, talk to the school about formal speech / language tests.

  • Speech / Language pathologists can test for your child’s ability to discern and articulate sounds
  • If concerns arise, your school may have speech services to help address both the hearing and speaking of sounds

If there are additional concerns, talk to a school psychologist or licensed psychologist about testing.

  • An IQ test can provide information about your child’s vocabulary and comprehension
  • Many IQ tests provide a scale or an ‘index’ for auditory processing. Specifically, you can request that a measure of auditory processing be included in the testing
  • The psychologist can provide you with a percentile rank and standard score. Standard Scores below 79 on Auditory Processing scales would be cause for concern

How can Clear Child Psychology help with Auditory Processing?

If your child is struggling with this symptom to the point that it is getting in the way of his or her learning, relationships, or happiness, it’s time to seek professional help.

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Our Free Discovery Session is a 20-minute consultation where we can talk one-on-one about the concerns and questions you have about your child.

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Our Initial Consultation allows us to get a deeper understanding of your child’s needs and determine if an assessment is appropriate.

We Build a Customized Plan

Our Assessments allow us to determine your child’s specific strengths and challenges. We can use this information to develop a customized support plan which includes: referrals

We Connect you with the Right Professionals

Once we understand your child’s needs, we will help families get connected to the right specialists. No more guesswork, no more wasted time and resources.

We Provide Ongoing Coaching and Support

Our Coaching Packages allow us to continually support families as they continue their journeys. Parental coaching, life-skills practice, and school advocacy are just a few examples of ways we help.

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