Auditory Processing: What is it?
What you do with what you hear.
Technical Definition: Auditory Processing Disorder, sometimes called a central auditory processing disorder, has been defined as: “…A central auditory processing disorder is not really a hearing impairment of reception and reduced hearing sensivity. Instead, a central auditory processing problem causes difficulty in understanding the meaning of incoming sounds… Sounds get into the auditory system, but the brain is unable to interpret efficiently or at all, the meaning of sounds…in an extreme case, meaningful sounds can not be differentiated from nonmeaningful sounds.” (Flexer, 1994). Auditory processing difficulties impact language and information processing.
Successful Auditory Processing is a multi-faceted process by which we hear a signal (let’s say speech), perceive it accurately, understand what is said, and remember it or forget it after we have performed a requested task. This all occurs rapidly, as the conversation or lecture continues; we also have to sequence the information, synthesize what was said, and analyze it . In addition, decisions must be made as to which information we pay attention to, which information we remember and which information we act upon.
Auditory processing is a complex neurological process, that when it works efficiently, appears effortless.
Adults can miss parts of a message and fill them in using their life and language experience. However, a young student, is learning from what is presented orally in the classroom and has limited life experience to use to fill in the blanks (Palmer, 2013).
Your student may have trouble:
Learning his or her address
Remembering the letters of the alphabet
Remembering information for a test
Learning multiplication tables and/or just remembering ‘rote facts’
The student may not pay attention to or recognize social cues and thus have difficulty making and maintaining friendships. These students may have a problem perceiving sounds accurately and rapidly, assigning meaning to them, and remembering what was said quickly.