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There are many strategies available to help children with auditory processing disorders. Most importantly, it is essential to get an accurate diagnosis so that you can access services for your child. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists can work with children with auditory processing disorders in a variety of different ways. Some specialists may work with children to help them learn to hear sounds more accurately and follow directions of increasing length in increasingly distracted environments. Others may use specially-developed and acoustically-modified computer programs such as FastForWord to retrain a child’s brain to process sound more accurately.
What’s more, teachers and parents can play a role in helping a child with an auditory processing disorder cope by implementing the following strategies:
Seat the child close to the front of the class where he can better hear and attend to a teacher, Allow the child to wear a special assisted listening device which makes the teacher’s voice just a bit louder, Give the child time to recharge in quiet, calm environments, Recognize and prepare for difficulties in noisy environments such as restaurants, classrooms, gyms, and supermarkets, Limit loud TV and music in the house, especially when a child is being asked to concentrate or participate in conversation, Give only one direction at a time or pause between directions to give the child time to process what is being said, Ensure that you have the child’s attention before speaking, Check to make sure a child has heard and understood something before expecting him to follow a direction, and Use visual supports, such as pictures, whenever possible at home and in school. Auditory processing disorders can be hard on children, families, and teachers alike. With the proper treatment and coping strategies in place, however, there is much hope for everyone involved.
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As always, thank you for allowing us to assist with your communication needs.
Dr. Nancy L. Datino