If your child has auditory processing problems, she may hear every word you say, but still find it difficult to interpret the meaning of your words. Auditory processing disorder (APD) is a communication disorder that affects approximately five percent of school-age children, according to Kids Health. Children with APD find it difficult to listen in noisy environments, follow verbal directions and distinguish between similar sounds. While a child with APD may have perfect hearing, she will likely appear forgetful or disorganized and may find it difficult to concentrate in school.
Consult an audiologist to discover what changes you can make to help your child focus says the National Institutes of Health. An audiologist can suggest ways to manage acoustics at home and can help determine where your child should sit in the classroom to help him concentrate.
Work with a speech and language therapist to identify areas of language your child finds most problematic. A speech and language therapist can evaluate your child's written and oral language skills to determine an appropriate therapeutic approach.
Use short, simple sentences and maintain eye contact when you speak to your child. If you need to give complex directions, ask your child to repeat each step back to you. Doing these things will help your child focus on your message and increase the likelihood that he will understand what you say.
Teach your child that she must continually seek out ways to compensate for her APD. While teachers and therapists can make certain concessions and adjustments to facilitate learning, your child must accept responsibility for obtaining necessary information.
Obtain an auditory trainer device for your child. An auditory trainer device is a headset used in conjunction with a teacher's microphone to eliminate background noise and ease communication in the classroom.
Educate yourself about various treatment therapies available for APD and find which therapy works best for your child. According to Teri James Bellis, PhD, CCC-A of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, there are numerous therapies designed to treat APD, and your child's success will depend on finding the right one.
- National Institutes of Health: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
- Kids Health: Auditory Processing Disorder
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: Understanding Auditoty Processing Disorders in Children
- Judith W. Paton, M.A.: Audiology Pediatric and Adult: CAPD Symptoms and Subtypes Checklist