Thursday, 22 October 2015

Auditory Processing Assessment and Certain Misconceptions Regarding It

With an increasing awareness about the auditory processing deficiencies, there are also more misconceptions that are doing the rounds about the nature and the type of this disability. This has led to almost all auditory problem issues as being termed as Auditory Processing Deficiency or the APD. Children or even adults who suffer from similar other cognitive or behavioral problems, that lead to the incorrect processing of the heard matter, are also incorrectly labeled as suffering from the APD, though the two may often be related. For this purpose, it is essential that the experts use the necessary tools to ascertain the deficiency quotient in an individual.

The Right Attention

The auditory processing ability requires the attention of professionals like the psychologist to shed light on the behavioral aspects. The speech pathologist determines the difference between the written and oral capacities and finally the technician investigates the sound receiving and processing. These tests subject the listener to listen and respond to a variety of sound signals and also repeat them in a sound proof room. In case of children the auditory processing assessment can be administered only after the age of seven or eight years.

The Common Misconceptions Regarding Auditory Process Assessment:

To clear the misconception of attaching the tag of auditory deficiency to any and every person who suffer from sound processing disorder, it is necessary to remember certain criteria.

  • APD should not be understood as a result or an outcome of any higher mental deficit that concerns the central nervous system.
  • All learning disorders that are due to poor hearing and analysis of the hearing material are not due to APD.
  • The correct assessment of the APD can be made only be a qualified audiologist and its treatment is highly specialized and individualized.

The Problem Areas

The ability of the brain to identify the sounds and analyze their physical features such as the frequency of the sound, its intensity is then followed up by constructing and storing these sounds in the brain. When new signals come in, the brain begins the matching process that then leads to the identification of the sound. Thus a child who hears then recognizes what has been said in class and then uses that information to further process it. Whenever there is a failure in any one part of this identification of the sound process, there is a deficiency in the total output resulting in the APD.

The Manifest Behavior

There are no one reason that can lead to APD and there are certain manifest behavior patterns that are helpful in identifying if a child is suffering from APD.

  • When a child has a problem in hearing and asks for repetition in a noisy situation, it may be due to APD.
  • Difficulty in following long conversations is another sign where the child’s brain is not able to match the long sound sequences with the images in the brain.
  • Where there is a tendency to fare badly when there is spoken information involved, like learning difficulty vocabulary, remembering spoken information and the related, it is indicative of APD.
  • In case there are multiple sounds and child fails to concentrate on to the present task and gets distracted by other sounds, it is a sign of APD.
  • Difficulty with spellings, reading and also following multiple steps instructions is a sure sign that the child is suffering from APD.

The Advanced Assessment

Apart from the regular audiometry, there are also several advanced tests that are helpful in auditory processing assessment. The Electrophysiological tests measure the brain’s response to the sounds that have been received. The electrodes that are placed on the earlobes of the child measure the electrical potentials of the CNS to the auditory responses.

Auditory processing assessment should be done only under the guidance of registered medical practitioners; who is sensitive to the needs and difficulties of a child. If you want to know more then go through this link and get more details about it.



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