If your child is sensitive to sounds, a speech therapist can be a great resource to address the underlying issue.
Often, it can be an indicator that your child has a central auditory processing disorder.
This requires an audiologist to diagnose, but afterwards a Washington DC speech therapy clinic can really help to minimize the impact this disorder has on your child’s day to day.
Washington has some great options if you’re looking for speech therapy for children near me.
Now, let’s dive in.
What Is Central Auditory Processing Disorder?
Your central auditory processing is your ability to process the auditory information you hear in your central nervous system.
A disorder of this process means that it’s harder for your neural system to process what you hear.
This challenge can manifest in a number of different ways.
But, it’s worth noting that a central auditory processing disorder does not occur as a result of a learning or reading impairment.
If anything, it may lead to one, which can complicate a correct diagnosis.
What Are The Symptoms Of Central Auditory Processing Disorder?
There are a lot of symptoms associated with a central auditory processing disorder.
This is because the symptoms of a central auditory processing disorder can also include symptoms associated with a learning disability or a language challenge, which is why it can be hard to diagnose this disorder without a lot of testing.
Symptoms may include:
- Sound sensitivities
- Sound identifying challenges
- Frequently asking for repetition
- Challenges understanding complex or fast speech
- Long pauses before responding to speech
- Inconsistent responding
- Difficulty focusing
What Causes Central Auditory Processing Disorder?
It’s often difficult to say exactly what causes a central auditory processing disorder.
This is because there are a lot of possible causes that can include:
- Age-related changes to your central auditory neural system
- Neurological disorders or damage
- Exposure to toxic heavy metals
- Birth complications like prematurity or low birth weight
- Ear disorders or injuries
How Speech Therapists Screen For Central Auditory Processing Disorder?
Screening for a central auditory processing disorder involves a comprehensive central auditory assessment.
This assessment will include a series of tests designed to understand your child’s capacity in a wide number of subject areas.
In this case, the subject areas will focus on behaviors related to listening skills, academic ability, and general communication.
Depending on the results of this assessment, your child may be referred to an audiologist who will conduct further tests to determine if your child has a central auditory processing disorder.
The audiologist is the specialist who makes the final potential diagnosis.
But, your child will probably be working with an interdisciplinary team which will help the audiologist make the diagnosis.
This team will often include speech therapists, who can then offer therapy to help your child with their central auditory processing disorder.
How Does Speech Therapy Treat Central Auditory Processing Disorder?
A central auditory processing disorder can impact many aspects of your child’s life.
As a result, their speech therapy will focus on improving their communication in order to also improve possible affected areas like academic performance and language development.
Let’s explore what strategies your speech therapist could employ in more detail.
1. Direct Skills Remediation
Direct skills remediation targets multiple skills associated with auditory processing and aims to improve them.
Some examples include training your child to perceive sounds over time or training to distinguish between different speech sounds that signal a difference in meaning.
In English, this could be learning to distinguish ‘b’ and ‘p’.
Another example is training to distinguish patterns in sound, both similarities and differences.
2. Compensatory Strategies
Compensatory strategies are focused on minimizing the effect of your child’s central auditory processing disorder on their language, cognition, and academics.
To do this, these strategies strengthen your child’s language, memory and attention in order to improve their listening, communication, learning, and social skills.
Some examples include focusing on strategies to improve their problem solving, organization, and assertiveness training.
3. Language Based Treatments
Language based treatments focus on linguistic goals in order to minimize the effects of your child’s central auditory processing disorder.
For example, this could include focusing on improving their language understanding by learning word meanings, explaining differences and teaching skills such as paraphrasing, and syntax.
4. Environmental Modifications
Environmental modifications are changes made to improve your child’s access of auditory information.
The goal is to enhance the sound and the listening environment so that it’s easier for your child to listen.
Some examples include using remote microphone hearing assistive technology, or modifying the acoustic environment by reducing reverberations.
There are a lot of different strategies to do this, but it will depend on the needs of your child’s learning space.
Book Your Appointment With District Speech Today
As you can see, there are a lot of different strategies your speech therapist can use to help your child learn to cope with their central auditory processing disorder.
The sooner your child starts speech therapy, the sooner they’ll start to notice positive results.
District Speech has a team of highly specialized pediatric speech therapists ready to help.
Book an appointment to schedule an evaluation today.
1300 I St NW, #400E,
Washington, DC 20005
District Speech and Language Therapy specializes in speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy solutions, for both children and adults, in the Washington D.C and the Arlington Virginia areas.