Did your child come back from the doctor’s with multiple diagnoses, because he has overlapping symptoms? This happens more often than you think, and while there are cases of multiple disorders, there is also a chance that there is a misdiagnosis. Take auditory processing disorder (APD). With APD, the ears send imprecise, wrong information to the brain. Your child may only hear the last part of the word or have a hard time distinguishing between similar words. APD may also result in the inability to remember the first part of a sentence or a list, especially if there are distractions. According to a SciLearn article:
“Children with APD haven’t yet learned how to cope when all the sounds are muddled or when information gets lost before it can be stored properly in the brain for immediate retrieval. APD can be especially challenging in conversation because someone with APD may not receive extra time from others, which often creates feelings of frustration and confusion. A child with APD may stop listening altogether if it proves too difficult, time-consuming, or overwhelming. They simply avoid the burden of asking questions to understand a conversation that’s moving much too fast.”
All of these issues result in the child having trouble paying attention or following direction, having low academic performance, poor reading and vocabulary. Sound familiar? These are also symptoms of ADHD or autism. And often, the APD child gets mislabeled as autistic – or worse, that he is being willfully stubborn or defiant.
If you suspect your child has APD, the best way to find out is by having them tested by an audiologist. This can help you and your child rule out other disorders and narrow down to the core issue. If your child does get diagnosed with APD, the good news is that there are ways to overcome it! Here are a couple ideas, recommended by SciLearn:
1. Use Fast ForWord. It’s a proven fact that Fast ForWord program actually enhances the brain’s ability to process auditory information. Fast ForWord is available at Learn 2 Focus, and I’d be happy to help your child overcome APD.
2. Get Visual. Listening to words and long conversations are often overwhelming for children with APD. These children usually are visual learners, so provide context and alternate learning methods by using flashcards, videos and images.
3. Be Patient. APD children need extra patience to put the pieces of the puzzle together in academia. Give them time to process and understand the problem at hand.
4. Read Aloud. There is no end to the benefits of reading aloud! Let your child follow along to your reading and have him practice sounding out difficult words after you’ve said them. This can help improve language acquisition, reading ability and auditory processing.
5. Be Clear as Possible. Enunciate your words, and then check to make sure they understand. When your child won’t answer a question, don’t chalk it up to them being obstinate. Ask your child to repeat your request or to answer in context, which can help you know whether your child heard you correctly.