Auditory and Language Processing

In order to learn, we must first understand and use language.  Language learning starts at the sound level. That is, we must first be able  to process the individual sounds that form words before we can apply meaning to the words in our language, understand the language we hear, and use language to express our needs, thoughts, and ideas. Speaking, reading, writing, and facial expressions/gestures are all forms of language. About 1 in every 20 children experiences difficulty with langauge. Language difficulties are not always obvious, and often go untreated. Children may have global attention deficits (e.g., ADHD) that result in an auditory processing deficit, or may have an auditory processing deficit that has been misinterpreted as ADD/ADHD. Often, language disorders can stem from underlying auditory processing deficits that go untreated. As you will see below, the characteristics of both auditory processing deficits and language deficits are very similar. Whatever the underlying cause of this language-learning difficulty,  these children are often mislabeled as “lazy,” “not applying himself,” “late bloomer,” or “doesn’t listen.” A child of normal or above average intelligence may not be able to understand and use language at their expected age levels. Some children acquire langauge normally, and some may have “gaps” in their language acquistion, which affects their ability to reach their full learning potential. At SPS, we can help find the underlying causes of the language-learning deficits, and work to permanently remediate these imperative functions  and skills.

Signs of Auditory Processing Difficulties

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Slow acquisition of vocabulary and concepts

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Requests that information be repeated

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Poor phonological awareness skills

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Often distracted or inattentive

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Seems to have poor listening skills

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Gives slow or delayed responses

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Difficulty following spoken directions

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Difficulty listening in noisy environments

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Inconsistency in learning

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Difficulty understanding and answering questions

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Confusion over similar sounding words

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Difficulty learning to read spell or write

Signs of Language Difficulties

  • Slow acquisition of vocabulary & concepts
  • Difficulty remembering/ following spoken directions
  • Difficulty summarizing verbally presented information and/or recalling details
  • Difficulty learning and retaining new words and concepts
  • Requires extensive overview of previously-learned material
  • Spoken language is “simpler” than peers- uses immature vocabulary
  • Word retrieval difficulty, overuse of fillers (e.g., “um”)
  • Difficulty “finding” the right words
  • Difficulty describing with salient information- uses few descriptive words in speaking and writing
  • Difficulty with grammar and/or sentence structure
  • Difficulty relating sequential events
  • Needs requent redirection
  • Difficulty with math word problems
  • Uses comments that are off-topic or inappropriate for the conversation
  • Social difficulty – reluctant to engage in conversation
  • Difficulty understanding and using jokes or sarcasm
  • Inconsistency in learning 
  • Difficulty learning to read, spell, and write 

 

 

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