This does not relate to the inability to hear sounds, but to the inability to process the meaning of sounds. There is no relationship between the level of intelligence of the child and them having auditory processing difficulties. The level of difficulty in interpreting the sounds can vary from day to day. Children with Auditory Processing Difficulties can struggle to decode receptive language and this can lead a general influence on their learning and engagement at home and school.
The three main causes of Auditory Processing Difficulties include, Neurological Diseases or Disorders, delay in the development of the Central Nervous Auditory System and damage in the left hemisphere of the brain. When a child has Auditory Processing Difficulties are common to have in conjunction with other conditions such as Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD or Dyspraxia. In these cases treatment of the auditory processing difficulties is seen to have a positive effect of symptoms of the other conditions, and is seen to be a keen to learning and behaviour.
Difficulties the child may experience:
Sense of isolation
Expressive and Receptive Communication Difficulties
Delayed language development
Difficulty in distinguishing between different frequency of sounds
Short attention span
Difficulties in academic tasks such as spelling, reading and comprehension
Irregularity in responses to verbal stimuli
Difficult to settle in crowded and noisy environment
Poor short term oral recall
Aims of therapy:
Hemispheres, is not an audiology centre, but we are recognised practitioners in the delivery of the Listening Programme, one of many different listening programmes commercially available.
The aim for including this type of intervention in therapy would be to:
Improve expressive and receptive communication
Improve attention and concentration in busy environment
Enhance speech and language recognition speed
Improve short term and long term memory
Have greater co-ordination and balance skills
Reduce social isolation and increase social interaction with peers/family/adults
Reduce sensory overload
Hemispheres works from a neurological foundation, and auditory integration is a valued aspect of natural development. Whilst Hemispheres primarily uses a specific specialised movement programme to develop, mature and improve the connectivity and functioning of the whole brain, including the Cerebellum, Brain Stem, Motor and Pre Frontal Cortex, we also look to include auditory stimulation if necessary. If auditory stimulation is required, Hemispheres recommend the Listening Programme. The Listening Programme was developed by Advanced Brain Technologies in the US as a non invasive programme to address auditory processing difficulties but it also can improve the integration of the central nervous system if delivered with support. Hemispheres, follows the prescribed schedule for 20 weeks, and then we individualise the programme of listening to address the specific areas pertinent to each child’s therapy. The listening programme’s psychoacoustically modified music is designed to stimulate, or ‘exercise’, the different functions of the auditory processing systems. This enables the brain to better receive, process, store and utilize the information it receives from the inner ear.
The Listening Programme is delivered over a twenty week period at home, where Hemisphere will provide distance support during this time, charting the changes and responses a child’s nervous system makes to the different sound frequencies. After 20 weeks the programme of listening is then individualised to target specific areas of the central nervous system, thereby enhancing the improvements for each individual child. The child’s auditory processing levels are measured at the start and end of the twenty weeks, as well as intermittently whilst the child is receiving therapy, to monitor the benefits of the programme.