1,101

Auditory Processing Disorder: 10 Ways to Help Your Child

Auditory Processing Disorder: How can I help my child? - All About Learning Press

If you have a child who is struggling with an auditory processing disorder (APD), you probably have many questions.

And the biggest question of all is, “What can I do to help?” I have heard it again and again from concerned parents.

It can be so frustrating. You know your child can hear, but sometimes it seems like he can’t.

That’s what can happen in a child with auditory processing disorder (APD), or central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), as it is also called.

What Is Auditory Processing Disorder?

In a child with APD, the brain doesn’t recognize and interpret sounds correctly—especially the sounds that make up speech. Your child may appear to have an auditory deficit, but in most cases, hearing is not the problem. It’s like there’s a disconnect somewhere between the ears and the brain. He can hear what you say; he just can’t always process it.

A learner with APD is like an old computer with a fast, new processor. Neither the old computer nor the child with APD can keep up. The data goes in, but once it’s in, it can’t be processed quickly enough or efficiently enough. And in both cases the result is major frustration.

Auditory Processing Disorder Quick Guide

The Signs of Auditory Processing Disorder

The symptoms of auditory processing disorder can range from mild to severe and may look different from child to child. APD is diagnosed by an audiologist, but the child who has APD may display many of the following characteristics.

  • He may struggle to hear in crowded, noisy places.
  • He may frequently ask you to repeat yourself.
  • He may appear to be inattentive or he may be easily distracted.
  • He has difficulty following directions.
  • He may have noticeable speech delays.
  • He may seem to have heard you when he hasn’t.

APD and the Struggle to Read and Spell

Auditory Processing Disorder: How can I help my child? - All About Learning Press

From the earliest stages of pre-reading instruction, when the development of phonemic awareness is so important, APD can make reading and spelling difficult. Because of the subtleties of similar-sounding phonemes, APD hampers a child’s ability to match letter names and sounds. This struggle continues to complicate the vital process of learning and using phonograms to build words. How can a child learn to use and manipulate the most basic building blocks of language if he can’t “hear” them to begin with? Just imagine the difficulty of attempting to complete blending and segmenting exercises when you already struggle to hear and process isolated phonemes.

Down the reading road, students with APD may have difficulty recalling what they’ve read or putting their thoughts into words. And because APD learners struggle to hear the individual sounds in words, they may also struggle with rhyming, observing spelling patterns, learning new vocabulary, reading comprehension, oral and written expression, and so much more. In addition to all of that, many APD learners also struggle with long-term memory issues that affect their ability to retain language-based knowledge. It’s not hard to understand why children with APD have such a difficult time with reading and spelling, is it?

Can All About Reading and All About Spelling Help My Child?

Although your APD child will face many academic challenges, you can help him learn to read and spell. All About Reading and All About Spelling offer an instructional approach that is well-suited to the needs of children with APD.

  • The programs are multisensory, meaning they approach learning through sight, sound, and touch. Because auditory instruction can be so difficult for children with APD, teaching through the visual and kinesthetic pathways is extremely important. This actually helps strengthen the weaker auditory pathway while still allowing learning to occur.
  • AAR and AAS use specially color-coded letter tiles. When your child has auditory processing issues, “wordy” explanations can create unnecessary frustration for both of you. It is much more effective to demonstrate a reading or spelling concept with the letter tiles. Using the letter tiles can make all the difference for a child struggling to understand a concept.
  • The programs are scripted in a clear and concise way without excess verbiage. Scripted lessons allow you to concentrate on your child rather than on trying to figure out how to teach a skill.
  • AAR and AAS have built-in review in every lesson. Children with auditory processing difficulties generally need lots of review in order to retain concepts. You can’t assume that everything that has been taught has been learned. The review boxes in AAR and AAS lessons allow you to customize your child’s review, concentrating only on the skills and concepts that need additional review. Your APD learner likely has a short attention span, so you want every minute of your lesson to count.
  • Both AAR and AAS are logical and incremental. Children with auditory struggles need structure and clear guidance, and these programs provide the organization they need to learn.

Auditory Processing Disorder: How can I help my child? - All About Learning Press

10 Ways to Help Your Child Learn

These tips may help you make your lesson times more productive and more enjoyable for both you and your child.

  1. Speak slowly and enunciate clearly. Pausing as you give instructions can also help your child process what you’re saying.
  2. Allow for “lag time” while your child processes what you have said. Let your words sink in for a few seconds before expecting a response or before moving on.
  3. Be concise and direct—don’t attempt long oral explanations. Give simple instructions, one step at a time. Instructing your child to “clean up your room, put on your pajamas, and brush your teeth” may be more than your child can handle.
  4. Work in a quiet room with as few distractions as possible. Listening and processing is hard enough for an APD child; distractions make it nearly impossible.
  5. Optimize concentration and minimize “meltdowns” by holding lessons during your child’s best time of day.
  6. Make sure that your child can watch your mouth as you speak. This is especially important if he easily confuses similar-sounding words. In APD learners, the ears and brain don’t work well together, so watching your mouth will help bring everything into synch. The sounds get “crisper” when the brain has visual cues to go along with the auditory cues.
  7. As much as possible, show rather than tell.
  8. Visual demonstrations are much more effective than oral explanations. If your APD child is struggling to learn a new concept or skill, try to teach the concept with a visual demonstration.
  9. Don’t overwhelm your child. Children with auditory processing issues can become disruptive or argumentative when they don’t understand something. If your child becomes frustrated and you sense a meltdown coming, back up in the lesson to a point where your child is more comfortable. Try presenting the new information again when your child seems ready to tackle it.
  10. Consistent and constant review encourages success, especially for APD learners. To ensure steady progress, be sure to include review in your lessons every single day.
Auditory Processing Disorder: How can I help my child? - All About Learning Press

Your child will face many challenges as an APD learner, but there is hope. By applying some of the tips above during your instruction times, you can help your child overcome these challenges. Just take it one day at a time, and over time you will see progress—and a much happier child.

And remember you’re not alone. If you have questions about your child’s APD and how it affects reading and spelling instruction, please feel free to call or email us.

Does your child struggle with APD? What has helped? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Photo credits: Pam at Everyday Snapshots and Jodi at JodiMcKenna.com.

Share This:

< Previous Post  Next Post >

Leave a Comment

Adriana

says:

My son is going into 5th grade. Are there any tips on books or materials I can look into to help him. He was diagnosed in 2nd grade and has an IEP.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Adriana,
All About Reading and All About Spelling worked wonders for my children with auditory processing disorder.

maata wharehoka

says:

This is so like my granddaughter. I am so pleased there is a diagnosis that I can work with. I have trialed different ways to work with her based on some things I learnt as a mum
1. She has three different teachers as school, one who bribes the kids with lollies and the other yells at them. I take her out of school when her main teacher the principal is absent. I do believe that the child needs one voice of reinforcement not three. Then there is my voice at home as well.
2. I allowed her to take her time to complete the learning components of reading writing and math, this lasted for three months, no pressure was applied to complete tasks, idea was for her to learn that she could achieve by being given more time to complete her work.
3. I figured her short term memory was not good, so I would get her to repeat what i had said to her, I would also wrote it down, and with what ever reading fashion she had she could work it out. I encouraged her to complete tasks. I got her writing stories. She used to take an hour write one sentence. Now, in three hours she can write two pages of 1B and doesnt want to stop writing.
4. She improved her writing technique over that three month period. It took her nearly one week to master the shapes of the letters and words
5. I did up a word list for her, that I felt was achievable because they were common words, then she could use it to spell. Sometimes she could and other times she couldnt and would say “well I dunno how to spell it can you tell me” this is after the third or forth time. I quickly realised her short term memory was not good. I cut up show cards for her to write the words herself. I never got to write them up.
6. This term I am using a timer on her to achieve working faster with getting showered, dressed, making her bed, washing dishes. She loves the challenge.

I hope I havent made things wrong for her, but I know she has done really well and achieved so much in the short while I have had her.

She is good at practical things like sewing, using a machine. Cooking, knitting, Indeed good at singing and learning karakia. Things with rhythm. When she does not compute I make a ditty for her as a memory pattern.

She does not know why she does things the way she does.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Maata,
You have made some amazing progress with your granddaughter in a short period of time! What you are doing is working, so keep doing it. I recommend you speak with her school in detail about what you have been doing and the amazing progress she has had from it. Hopefully they will be able to do similar things at school to support the success you are having at home.

Tangy Thomas

says:

Hello
I have a 9 years old boy white is on an IEP due to having dyslexia. I am figuring out that he had an auditory issue due to processing what he is trying to sound out. This article it’s my son to a to a tee. How do I order the Aas program and do you start with level 1 no matter what?

Thanks

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tangy,
We do have a spelling placement test that I think you will find helpful. However, students that struggle with spelling almost always need to start with level 1 because they are missing foundational skills.

Although, if the words are easy for your student in the lower levels, you can fast-track through them to ensure he learns the skills he is missing while moving on to higher levels as quickly as possible. Our blog post Using All About Spelling with Older Students.

You can order All About Spelling here.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need more information.

Amy Foss

says:

We have a daughter in college. She was IEP in High School. Wants to be a Physical Therapist. A lot of math & science classes. Attended her first year at Ithaca college. Suppose to be a6 year program. Did not do well1st semester . Now has to be a science major & transfer after 4 years. & take GRE. How do we help her get through regular classes before major classes start? She needs a lot of help everyday.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amy,
Your daughter needs to contact the Student Accessibility Services at her college (the link is to the webpage for this office at Ithaca College).

They will be able to help her with what is needed to document her disability and what accommodations she needs to be successful in school. They will be specialists in helping students have the best opportunities for success at Ithaca.

Fadwa Elmasri

says:

Thank you. Is fantastic

Brittany Leader

says:

I just ordered AAR Level 1 and am so excited to start with my 7yr old. Since my order, I’ve been receiving a lot of emails with helpful tips for reluctant readers. We homeschool because my daughter has ADHD (inattentive) and there were too many distractions for her in a classroom of 28 students. I am finding the more I research things that she is struggling with academically, the more I can relate it to myself as a young student. While I am reading about APD, I am realizing these are all things I struggle with as an adult. I know ADHD can be genetic and I’m interested to find out if APD can also be genetic. Thank you for this blog post, it was eye opening!

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Brittany,

I’m glad the article was helpful! There’s a lot to learn yet about the possible causes for APD, but here’s one study that suggests there may be a heritable component to it: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4872837/

Traci schuh

says:

My name is Traci Schuh and I have lived with capd my whole life. Almost 37 years and now realizing more and more about myself in detail. I was diagnosed in third grade with capd and addi inattentive. I hate the way my brain works and it gets so frustrating. I’m learning I’ve become mute in certain situations in life and now recognize it. It was totally a coping mechanism for me because I couldn’t speak. Now with work doing hair my anxiety is so high sometimes. I’m wanting toilet my peers know more about me but also just feel new learning more and more about my self every day.
Please help. I feel like my anxiety is getting worse

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Traci,
I’m so sorry that you are struggling in this way. I do think it will be helpful to let those you work with know about your learning difficulties. I have described my son’s APD as a loose wire in the brain. I explained that he hears fine but there is a delay or disconnect in the processing of what he hears. Let your co-workers know that it can be worse at certain times, and then tell them when. My son has trouble in places in noisy environments where lots of people are talking. He also has more difficulties when he is tired.

I hope this helps some, but please let me know if you need anything else.

Marjorie Russell

says:

A-B-C steps of starting to work with auditory teaching.

Michael Iskowitz

says:

I am hearing impaired. I went to audiology at age five. Back in 1975. The audiologist tested me. And I was found hearing only the vowels and not other 21 letters in alphabet. I didn’t start exhibiting to people my dark side. I was very introvert. I excelled in art. But now I been struggling. I put smile on my pain. I see I have these condition with hearing impairment. The condition you mentioned. I lived confused for long time. I struggled and I couldnt express. Now I’m suffering paranoia or anxiety. I struggle so hard with my impairment since teenager. I speak beautifully. And I could hear. SomewhatBut very frustrating. To be in hearing world. Too long. I feel left behind.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so sorry you have felt left behind, Michael, but thank you for sharing your story with us. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Sheree Garcia

says:

I have guardianship over my 2 1/2 year old grandson with APD that was recieving in home services 4 times a week, due to the Coronavirus the teachers are no longer coming to the house , I have noticed him withdrawing, he was starting to speak a few words but is no longer doing that. I need to pick up the torch so to speak and keep it burning for him. Please email me any suggestions as I am eager to get busy teaching him :) P.S. His grandparents are Spanish, do you have this available in Spanish so I can send it to them as well so that they can understand what he is going through? thank you ! Sheree

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sheree,
I appreciate you trying to help your grandson. The focus of our company, All About Learning Press, is taking the struggle out of learning to read and spell in English. We don’t have much to offer to help with speech therapy.

However, I can offer a few suggestions. My third child has APD and I can tell you the things I did with him when he was two and a half.

First, I read aloud to him daily. Because of his auditory processing disorder and speech delays, I couldn’t read typical picture books aimed at two-year-olds. I had to back up to books marketed to infants, typically the ones that had not more than a single, simple sentence per page with a bright and detailed picture. He strongly preferred books with photographs rather than drawings, so I went out of my way to get books with photographs on each page. The publisher DK has a wonderful selection of baby books with photographic images.

As I read aloud to him, I also talked more about the picture, what was happening, and asked questions. “Look, the girl is playing with a ball. The ball is red. Do you see the red ball? Where is the ball? Ball,” and would encourage him to repeat words and point to things. All day long as we went about doing normal things, I did this sort of talking and encouraging repetition from him. “It’s time for lunch. Do you want to eat? Yes?” and wait for a response. My son was great at responding in non-verbal ways with nods, facial expressions, sound effects, and gestures. I spent a lot of time encouraging him to add words to his responses but aimed to avoid frustrating him. I would give him the word to say so he could immediately repeat it, and then would praise him if he tried at all even if he didn’t say the word correctly.

As mentioned in this blog post, with a child with APD it is best to work in a quiet room with as few distractions as possible. Listening and processing are hard enough for an APD child; distractions make it nearly impossible. This is especially important when learning to speak. So, in my house, we kept sounds to a minimum all day. That meant no TV, no radio, no sound on electronics until after dinner. I had two older children and a baby, so I also needed to set aside time to work with my son when the other three kids were quiet. I did this during my baby’s morning nap and had the older kids doing some quiet activity in the other room.

Can you contact your grandson’s teachers? They should be able to give you ideas, email you lessons, or tell you what to do over the phone to help you keep working with him.

I’m sorry, but we don’t have this available in any other language as our focus is learning to read and spell English.

I hope this helps some.

Phill

says:

After reading this article, I am beginning to believe my 12 year old may have APD. She has the perfect attitude a student should have but does poorly in school. She calls words fluently but struggles with comprehension, mathematics and most of the other subjects. Testing is not readily available in my neck of the woods. I am very frustrated and she is super frustrated. Any suggestions given will be warmly welcomed. Thanks.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Phill,
It’s always so sad to hear of a willing student that is struggling and not getting the help they need. Poor child.

Since you wouldn’t be able to pursue testing, consider reading up on auditory processing disorder from the internet and books and learn more about it. Also look into dyslexia.

One tool for increasing listening comprehension as well as reading comprehension is to read aloud to your daughter daily, or at least do audiobooks. If she is struggling with APD, you may find she has trouble listening to and understanding books for her age. If that is the case, choose younger books. We have a number of book reviews of series that would be great to start with.

You might like to read this article on how we address Reading Comprehension.

Take a look at our All About Reading placement tests. I am interested to know how she does with the level 3 and level 4 tests. Have her do them orally with you. Sometimes we find older students aren’t reading as well as we think they are. They may have memorized many common words, but don’t have strategies for dealing with words they haven’t memorized. Because of this, they become word guessers and this leads to them not understanding what they have read.

You will find the All About Spelling placement test as well. AAS has a gradual progression for increasing the student’s stamina and fluency in writing, from words and short phrases in Level 1, to phrases and short sentences in Level 2, to 12 dictation sentences per step in Level 3. Partway through this level, the Writing Station is introduced. In this exercise, students write sentences of their own that they make up using some of their spelling words.

In this way, students have begun to use words in a more real-world context through dictation and writing, to help them transition to longer writing assignments. Dictation and the Writing Station both serve as an important bridge between spelling words in the context of lists (where the patterns are similar), and more “real world” writing. By the end of Level 3, students have mastered about 1000 words from the regular and reinforcement lists, and they have developed stamina and some beginning editing skills that will help them when they start paragraph and essay writing.

We don’t have any resources for math, but the same concepts apply. Older students that struggle need to go back to foundational skills and master them before they will be ready to tackle more grade-level concepts. There are a number of math programs available, but one that is incremental and multisensory is Math-U-See and they have recently released a program called Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for older students that have not mastered all the aspects of addition and subtraction.

I hope you find this at least a little helpful. Let me know how she does on the placement tests and what additional information you may need.

Tishane Walker

says:

This was so helpful. I am struggling to help my child and in jamaica where we live there is little or no help for him. But this was very helpful and I will most definitely be using these tips

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tishane,
I’m pleased to hear that this is helpful for you. If you have any questions or need further ideas, just let me know.

Shikha

says:

Hello..I am a therapist.. I have a child who closes his ears on hearing jcb’s or trucks sound. And also on washing machine’s sound. And starts screaming…. Initially it was very much but recently he has reduced shouting but closing ears is still present. He follows commands well but not when other disturbing elements are present.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Shikha,
The poor guy! He obviously finds loud noises very disturbing and overwhelming. Children with sensory processing problems do tend to go ing one of two ways. They either are understimulated by sensory input, so they seem not to hear, or they are overstimulated by it and overreact as this boy does. It does sound like he is improving and learning how to deal with such overstimulation though.

Do you have any questions or need anything?

Mariette

says:

Thank you

Karen partridge

says:

I look after little boy through the auntie‘s and uncle‘s program he has auditory processing disorder. We often feel he’s ignoring us and find communication difficult. Sometimes it’s worse than others. He helps me prepare dinner at night this seems to be a good time for communication. Although when I asked him how his week has been, or what has he been doing this week? Finds it very difficult to answer. I would love some more insight on how to help him he is eight years old. Are there any particular books I should read to him or any methods that I could use to make it more useful for him.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

What a blessing you are for this boy, Karen!

I have found it helpful to think of my son’s auditory processing disorder as a loose wire between his ears and the part of his brain that processes what he hears. A loose wire on a lamp moves around at times, so sometimes the lamp works fine, sometimes it flickers, and sometimes it doesn’t work at all. That’s how my son was when he was younger, although now that he is 17 (and we have worked hard to build his listening skills) the lamp works fine more often than not.

One thing that helped my son very much was me reading aloud to him regularly. Listening to books read aloud built his ability to listen and understand in a low stress, enjoyable way. It may be helpful to start with books that have pictures and are about topics he has an interest in. It doesn’t have always to be storybooks; I’ve read a lot of books about things like Lego, race cars, snakes, and other non-fiction topics over the years. Check out 6 Great Reasons to Read Aloud to Your Kids.

With many children, a great time to have conversations is when they work alongside you. But for many with auditory process disorder, that is one of the worst times. They cannot see your face, which means they can’t use facial clues to help them understand what you are saying. Also, when their hands and eyes are busy they seem to have trouble focusing their ears as well. It may be best to try “How has your week been?” type questions when you seated across from him at a table with a snack or tea.

The tips outlined in this blog post are really helpful, especially the one about showing him rather than telling.

This blog post on 4 Great Ways to Build Listening Comprehension maybe helpful for you as well.

Please let me know if you have more questions or need more information.

E Dowis

says:

Hello there, I am interested in chatting about with you about my daughter. She is in 8th grade. We have been on this road for a while, working to find options that work. I am needing a tutor, and any additional curriculum you love. She is home schooled, but has been tested and we were told by the state she qualifies for 4 out of 5 IEP’s. Would you have any suggestion on how to find one who is geared to aid with this specific learning challenge.
Thank you!
Erin

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Erin,
We have had numerous great reports about All About Reading and All About Spelling from parents with students with auditory processing disorder.

I can’t help much with finding a tutor. Begin by searching for tutors for learning disabilities in your area. Then ask specifically about their experience and training for auditory processing disorder. Ask what they would do differently for a student with APD and their answers should sound similar to the tips outlined here. Ask for referrals from parents with students with APD.

I’m sorry I’m not able to help more, but let me know if you have further questions.

Pilar Velez

says:

Thanks!

Valerie Hamilton

says:

Yes i have two grandaughters with this how do i find a teacher who can help with this disorder

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Valerie,

You may find that sharing these tips with your granddaughters’ teachers is helpful–feel free to share the article with them. If you are looking for a tutor for them, a good place to start can be talking to the practitioner who diagnosed them.

Bronwyn Francis

says:

Hello, we have been living with APD for 4 years with my 11 year old daughter. The APD is in her left ear and she uses a fm receiver. She is getting upset as to why she isn’t doing well in Maths and English and is the lowest group for her spelling. She did get 82% for her Japanese test though. I was wondering could you recommend anything we can do to help her not feel so bad and improve to knock the socks off the school she attends. We live in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, and we have felt isolated and we do not know anyone else here with the condition. The other thing I was wondering do you know of any camps that are run in any part of Australia for APD that we can take our daughter too.. Thank you from Bronwyn Francis

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Bronwyn,
I’m so sorry your daughter is struggling in this way. I’m not aware of any camps for APD in any country.

You may need to work with her at home to help her improve in school. I know with my two children with APD that it took a lot of repetition and time for them to have success with spelling. A school’s typical “list on Monday, test of Friday” approach did not work for them as there was not enough time for mastery nor enough ongoing review. All About Spelling, done at their unique speeds, made all the difference for them.

Math was also an issue for them and we found success in switching to a program that uses hands-on materials, goes step-by-step, allows students to move faster or slower as they need, and has ongoing review. Basically, a math program that is similar to All About Spelling.

As for English, which aspects of it is she struggling with? Does she read well? Is it writing papers, essays and such, that she is having trouble with? Learning how to organize their thoughts before a single sentence was written was very important for my children.

I wish I could give you some simple tips that would make a difference, but it’s more complex than that. The answer seems to be making sure the foundational skills are mastered before moving on, but that means going back and moving more slowly, things that aren’t usually possible in typical classrooms where they have to aim for the average student.

Let me know if you have more questions.

rachel

says:

Hi, my daughter is now 7.5 years she’s starting to have more difficulty with reading and following directions. it seems she’s having a hard time processing what the teacher is saying and following through. she’s doing very well in math and spelling pretty much good (also asks to repeat but then gets it). in previous grade she learnt to read and was doing great. she does ask a lot to repeat oneself when told or asked something and can be a little forgetful and distracted. she had a hearing test done by a licensed audiologist and her hearing came back normal. her speech was crystal clear since she started talking at very young age of 1. can it be she’s having a processing disorder?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rachel,
It is possible your daughter may have a processing disorder, although it could be something else as well. From what you describe, it may be beneficial to look into things. Let me know if you have any questions or information.

Heaven

says:

I have a 4 yr old daughter who we thought was choosing not to listen. But i think something is wrong with her hearing cuz she can be looking at me when i give her directions but then she just runs off forgetting what i told her. She also doednt respond to her name if theres alot of noise. And most times she is easily disstracted and cant focus at all. These are just a few things that is happening.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Heaven,
It may be worthwhile to have your daughter evaluated. It could be Auditory Processing Disorder, but it could also be a partial hearing loss, something else, or just normal high-energy, easily-distractible preschool behavior. It’s hard to say. You can start with a visit to her pediatrician, and then she can refer you to specific specialists for evaluation.

Nikole

says:

My child has autism(hyperlexia) and has signs of apd. If you ask him he will Tell you his ears are made of stone, sound goes too fast. To compensate for the hearing problems he taught himself to read at a very young age. He now is 6 and uses closed captioning to understand what they say on TV and videos. he says he wishes people had closed captioning with their words so he can understand them better. We are working on limiting closed captions for electroics and getting his brain to process spoken words faster by focusing on the mouth and imagining words as people are speaking. I have the same issue (not as severe as him) and think in pictures when speaking and when people are talking. Sometimes words go too fast for me to hear/understand but most people are ok with repeating And most worpick up pick up. The visual pictures help. The remembering what people say even harder for me. I have to write a word or note to myself to remember the conversation. I do annoy people with how muchi repeat myself because I can’t even remember what I say. I tell people my audio recording device doesn’t record everything it can be nothing to bits and pieces of audio.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing this, Nikole. I really appreciate it and think this will be helpful for others. I especially found the way you self-advocate interesting. What a great way to explain it!

Chantelle B

says:

My youngest daughter (14) has just started at a public high school and she’s finding the rowdy students in her ‘essentials level’ classes loud and distracting to the point where she’s having difficulty following the teacher’s lessons. She has been identified with Dys/lexia/calculia/graphia, ADHD, APD, and other sensory issues. We are lined up for what they call a SEA claim and assessment through the school board, but we’re concerned that the long wait will discourage her. I’d like to purchase noise-cancelling headphones, with the ability to hear the teacher using wireless technology such as Bluetooth. I would also purchase a mic and receiver to work with it. Do you have any specific suggestions for what to look for in these devices and how they would be set up for classroom use? This is our first foray back into the public system after a long absence so I’m out of the loop. They have set up a mic and speaker, but she says this doesn’t help her with the competing sounds — it really doesn’t help her at all as she’s not hearing impaired.

Gina

says:

My child is struggling with algebra. I wondered what can help him. He says the teacher is going to fast & moves to the next thing quickly.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Gina,
Algebra is one of those subjects that absolutely require students to master each thing before moving onto the next; it builds upon each concept so that each new skill uses previous ones. Because of this, it is important to help your student start to have success with this class as soon as possible.

If the class is using a textbook, your student should preview the lessons ahead of time so he has at least a basic understanding before the lecture begins. This is very effective for learning and a great habit to get into for higher-level classes.

Also, I highly recommend you have your student speak with his Algebra teacher about this as soon as possible. His teacher may be able to offer additional help of some sort or may opt to change how he or she lectures. If he needs further help than the textbook and the teacher can offer, consider a tutor. Often the one-on-one help that tutors give can make a huge difference. It doesn’t have to be a professional tutor either. Often a fellow student that has only a year or two ahead is fine and costs less.

I hope this helps.

Linda Schoen

says:

My son at age 8 was test for Auditory processing disorder, has all the boxes checked. Went to University of Connecticut for testing. The test was in a sound proof booth with no visual distractions. Repeated single word, a few simple 5 word sentences and 2 recordings of someone in a noise room. Tested slight disorder. So no full dx therefore no
Accommodations at school. Very hard to find a place for testing as well. He’s not a senior and still struggles. Did Linda mood bell lips program, Wilson program. Still spells 4th grade level. Can’t retain more then 2 verbal directions given. School
Suppport is for dysgraphia and helps with his writing which is on 8th grade level. 11 years of advocacy. I’m concerned for him
In the work places if he can’t understand people or understand multi step direction. Community Colleges do not accommodate learning disability’s. And grade as if your reading and writing college level. What to do? He smart and hands on person . Please write about upper school students and futures.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Linda,
I’m so sorry your son is still having so many struggles.

Given his level of difficulties, particularly that he still struggles to understand spoken language and multi-step directions, I would recommend having him reevaluated. It may be that things have changed since his first evaluation. I would expect someone his age, even with auditory processing disorder, to have made improvements in his ability to understand by this time, especially after doing Lindamood Bell and the Wilson programs.

If he has a recent diagnosis, colleges must provide accommodations. It is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, there are differences in what colleges provide compared to high schools. This article from Understood.com 7 Things to Know About College Disability Services may help.

It sounds like college may not be a good option for him at this time. Yes, students need to be reading and writing well to be ready for college. With accommodations, that may mean writing using speech-to-text accommodations and such, but he still needs to be able to communicate on a high level.

But the good news is that there are many trades that offer excellent earning opportunities and the ability to work creatively with your hands. I personally know a young man that learned HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) through an apprenticeship. He now has a great career he can excel in and will support a family well.

I hope this offers some small help. Let me know if you have further questions.

Leah Leftwich

says:

Thank you for the great information! My son was in birth to three for speech and has had an IEP for speech ever since. His hearing was tested initially for birth to three and checked out fine. He is now six and getting ready to start First grade. I was very anxious about him struggling with phonemic awareness and reading in general during Kindergarten but he has done amazingly. He can read above level and recognize above level sight words. His problem is comprehension. As of now, he is not diagnosed with APD but I am fairly confident this would explain his deficits. He has no behavioral problems and has no problem staying focused on any given task from a behavioral stand point. He does, however, seem to struggle to understand what is being asked of him. For example, if you are talking to him or telling him a story and then ask a question, he is very excited to answer but his answer isn’t relevant to the conversation or story. Almost like he has an arsenal of prepared responses and he throws one out that he thinks might work. He is most definitely a visual learner. If I can show him how to do something rather than explain it, he’s immediately got it. But as far as struggling with sounds, Reading, and behavioral issues, he has no problems. His goals with his speech therapist at this point are all language based and not actually speech based such as answering WH questions with a certain percent accuracy. When reading with him now, if I ask a question and allow him access to the pictures, he can easily answer correctly. If the book is closed, he can’t answer them all accurately. In your opinion, does this sound like APD? And if so, with ongoing practice on comprehension, is there any potential for him to learn strategies to overcome it?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Leah,
From your detailed description (thank you for that), I would be concerned about auditory processing disorder enough to follow up on it and pursue testing for it.

However, problems with answering questions about what he read aren’t always caused by a problem with reading. Sometimes it is simply a problem with expressing what he knows. Here is something you can try:

Find out something that he is really interested in, such as “raising turtles.” Get a book and read a section aloud to him, such as the section on “what kinds of food should you feed your turtle.” Then start a discussion with him, and incorporate some of the new info that you just read in the book. “I never knew that you could feed lettuce to turtles! What else can you feed turtles?” Then read the part on habitats of box turtles. Start a discussion on that. “If you were to set up a tank for a box turtle, what kinds of things should you include in it?” These types of conversations will show the child’s level of listening comprehension much better than the traditional way for a couple of reasons: 1. The child is more likely to be engaged in the topic. (Oftentimes, kids’ attention wanders during typical reading comprehension passages or books that they aren’t interested in.) 2. The child doesn’t “freeze up” and therefore can relay more info. Just being asked to repeat what was read can be a scary or uncomfortable moment for a child.

Listening comprehension directly relates to reading comprehension. Because of this, regardless of the possibility of APD or anything else, we strongly recommend reading aloud to children of all ages regularly and from a wide variety of books and materials. This is even more important for those children that have learning disabilities or language difficulties. 6 Great Reasons to Read Aloud to Your Kids

Yes, with ongoing work and time, your child will become better and better at comprehending spoken and written language. Reading aloud to him daily should be a priority but you can also help with the tips in this blog post about how to speak to him in a way that will increase his ability to understand.

I hope this helps some. Please let me know if you have more questions or need anything else.

Carolina

says:

My son is 5 years old and I totally relate to this.
Thank you for posting and answering to both of you.

Also what happens is that he is very excited explaining something and in the middle he starts talking about something not related with the topic. I have to say for example: yes, yesterday we had a lot of fun looking for insects. Your grandma was not with us. That was a different day. Something like that so he organizes everything on his mind.

Ginny

says:

Is APD considered part of dyslexia? Pretty positive my daughter has APD but I am also pretty sure she has dyslexia as well. I’m partially homeschooling her as the school system doesn’t seem to want to do anything about it even tho she has an IEP.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Ginny,
I’m sorry to hear your daughter isn’t getting the helps she needs through her school. It’s wonderful that you can help her with partial homeschooling.

Auditory processing disorder and dyslexia are two different learning disabilities. However, they can both be present together. Thankfully, many of the same approaches will help with both, including Orton-Gillingham which All About Reading and All About Spelling is based upon.

Please let me know if you have further questions or need more information.

Cissy

says:

What if you have these challenges as an adult? What can be done to help??

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Cissy,
The tips in this blog post will work equally well for an adult as for a child. The biggest thing for an adult is for them to understand what they need themselves and can take steps to get what they need.

An adult can ask for written instructions or even take notes herself when an employer or other person is inclined to give long, detailed oral instruction. She can ask for a demonstration of a task instead of just being told what to do. An adult should position herself at the front of a class or lecture so she can more clearly see the face of the speaker, or in a one-on-one situation can ask someone to look at her when they speak to her instead of looking away while talking. Adults can also control her environment to minimize noise distraction and can ask for a speaker to repeat was said as necessary. All of this is called self-advocating and it is the best thing an adult that struggles with auditory processing can do.

I hope this helps but please let me know if you have further questions.

Joy

says:

Yes! This is astounding information! I feel like
You know my son! He is 8 and in first grade.
He was in speech therapy for 3 years, and
reading is quite difficult for him as he sounds
out letters, one at a time, instead of blending them or hearing word blends. If the word is
long, he will guess the word based on how it
appears, which is typically wrong. I’m so thankful my sister passed this along to me!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Joy,
I’m happy this has been helpful to you. A couple of my children have struggled with auditory processing disorder as well, so I know how difficult it can be. I’m very thankful to report they both enjoy reading on or above grade level now. It took time with slow but steady progress, but they succeeded. Your son can too.

If you have questions or concerns, just ask. I’d love to help you help your son in any way I can.

Katie

says:

My Son is five , pretty soon to be six, and I feel like he has an auditory processing disorder. We took him to an Audiologist for test and while they feel like he can hear, she did have real concerns about his processing of sound. However she told us he is too young to get tested for an auditory processing disorder right now. He is in Kindergarten and struggling very badly with learning sight words, and word blending. The school is suggesting retention and I don’t know if I am ready to consider this just yet because he seems to be doing well in other areas of study. If he is too young to have the testing done what should we do in the meantime when we know he is struggling?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Katie,
I’m sorry your son is struggling in this way. However, even without a diagnosis, you can apply all the tips and recommendations found in this blog post to help your son. Remember that he will have to work harder than others to make progress and working hard makes for tired learners. Because of this, work with him daily but for short periods. We typically recommend 20 minutes a day, but with such a young child with a possible learning difficulty, he may grow tired faster. It is best to adjust to his needs, stopping each day’s work at the first sign of tiredness and frustration.

Children with possible auditory processing disorder very often struggle with the reading readiness skill of phonological awareness. This is the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds in language. If a child doesn’t hear all three sounds in a word like cat, sounding the word out and reading it is very difficult, maybe even impossible. Our Pre-reading level works extensively on phonological awareness and the other Reading Readiness skills that need to be mastered before being ready to learn to read. Our blog post Fun Ways to Develop Phonological Awareness has free downloadable games and activities for working on this particular skill.

I cannot advise you on retention or not, but I can tell you that my two children that struggle with auditory processing disorder took a while to learn to read even with help specific to their needs. All aspects of language are just harder for them. While focusing on the foundational readiness skills and using materials that are as multisensory as possible will help your son to make progress, he may not be ready for first grade reading by the end of summer. Sadly, most classrooms aren’t set up to allow individuals to progress at their own pace in each subject separately.

Please let me know if you have further questions or need more information about All About Reading or anything else.

Leave a Comment