Auditory Processing Disorder – What It Is and How Remedial Schooling Can Help

Does your child have Auditory Processing Disorder? We can help. Since 1966, Japari’s passion has been to help students that have remedial needs. We are also eager to broaden awareness of barriers to learning. We want to dispel incorrect information about various conditions which can affect how a child learns. For these students their intelligence can be above average. But they do not learn as most people do. The conditions include ADHDdysgraphia and dyscalculia, all of which we have discussed in various articles.

These students need individualised and specialised help. They have barriers to learning that can be overcome in the right conditions. Japari is a remedial school that has created an environment for them to thrive.

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is one such condition. Some do not classify it as an official learning disorder. Others do recognise it as such. Regardless, it will certainly affect how a child learns. It is a prime example of the type of issue that Japari is equipped to address. It is also little-known and less understood, as so many of these conditions are.

What is Auditory Processing Disorder?

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is not a loss of hearing. The student with this condition has normal hearing capacity. Traditional tests for how well children hear do not pick up on APD.

APD means that a child’s brain does not process sounds in the same way that most people’s brains process what is heard. There are deficits in the brain with regards to how it filters and interprets auditory input. It is not that these individuals cannot hear. Rather their brains struggle with receiving sounds. The information that sounds give is then difficult to make sense of and organise in the child’s mind.

APD means that the sounds that make up speech are especially difficult to recognise and interpret.

It may surprise you to know that APD affects as many as between 2% and 7% of all children. APD can affect the way a child speaks. It can also have an impact on how they read and write.  

Like so many barriers to learning, APD is not correlated with intelligence. It can, however, impact a child’s learning. Due to its nature, it is not surprising that APD can be misdiagnosed. It can be mistaken for different, more well-known barriers to learning. What also complicates the situation for someone who experiences APD is that they often have other conditions as well.

What causes Auditory Processing Disorder?

Experts are not entirely certain. Two broad categories are recognised as possible causes for the condition. These are developmental and acquired.

If there were developmental delays in the maturation of the central auditory pathway, this can lead to APD. Acquired APD could have resulted from brain injury sustained, possibly even when in adulthood.

Risk factors potentially associated with APD include Low birthweight, ear infections and maternal diabetes.

What are the effects endured by someone with Auditory Processing Disorder?

There are quite a few ways that APD can affect a person’s everyday living experience. Think about all these issues at play in a regular classroom!

Someone with APD will have difficulty determining from which direction a sound is coming.

It is especially difficult to hear speech in a noisy environment if you have APD. Verbal instructions will also be hard to follow. It becomes increasingly difficult to remember multiple steps. On top of this, you would often need to ask that information be repeated. If tone is slightly changed when speaking to someone, you are unable to detect it. Listening to music can be a very real challenge as well.

APD means that it is difficult to maintain attention. This also means that a child’s behaviour is often distracted and inattentive in nature.

Children with APD struggle to learn to read. Reading is the basis of all schoolwork. Having difficulty with reading and poor spelling will have a severe impact on academic performance.

It should be apparent that anyone with APD will benefit greatly from attending a remedial school.

Helping children with Auditory Processing Disorder

How to help a child with Auditory Processing Disorder

While there is as yet no cure for APD, it can be managed. Such management will be specific to each individual. There are, however, some general ideas that could be very helpful for a child with APD.

At school, children with APD should sit towards the front of their class. Close windows and doors to improve the acoustics of classrooms. Putting carpets on the floor will absorb sound. This will help to limit background noises.

Teachers must emphasise speaking clearly in the class. Make sure the student can see their teacher’s mouth when they speak.  Teaching other children to repeat themselves is a good exercise too. Giving instructions more than once will also help the students with APD. Making a habit of rephrasing instructions in simpler terms is also invaluable. Delivering such subject matter in the absence of noisy distractions is also vital. Written instructions are very helpful, whether on paper, whiteboard, or email.

Give learners with APD notes and summaries of class content – this will greatly assist them. Their comprehension should be checked and rechecked. Students must be made to feel comfortable in asking and asking again. They will likely already be struggling with issues of self-esteem. Fostering a supportive environment is a step towards building confidence.  

Having a sound system in the hall and using it will help during assemblies.

Speech therapy can assist children with APD to identify sounds. It will also improve their ability to carry on and follow a conversation. Reading support can also be very beneficial.

Strengthening problem solving and memory skills can mean that children improve in dealing with APD.

At home, it would be beneficial to reduce noise. This can be done, for example, by also laying down carpets over hard floors. This would reduce echoes. Limiting how much noise is produced from television and radios is also helpful for households with someone with APD.

Parents can also help by talking a little slower and giving time for the child to process. Let the child watch their mouths during conversations too.

Japari cares for children with remedial needs such as Auditory Processing Disorder

Auditory Processing Disorder is just one of the many obstacles to learning that your child might be facing. We specialise in helping children overcome the barriers to their learning, whatever they might be. We are a remedial learning environment that prepares our students to thrive in life. Many of our children graduate able to attend mainstream high schools and enjoy success there.

The key is to equip them to function with their unique challenges, including such learning difficulties as APD or ADHD. Japari is there to help.

Japari has expert teachers who are trained to meet the needs of students facing learning difficulties. We also offer psycho-educational assessments. These assessments can assist you to determine the exact learning needs of your child.

We accept year-round enrolment and offer a trial week. All of this means that you have the chance to see whether your child is happy at the school.

Call today. We would love having your child become a part of our school family.

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