Central auditory processing is a term used to describe what happens when your brain recognizes and interprets the sounds around you. Humans hear when energy that we recognize as sound travels through the ear and is changed into electrical information that can be interpreted by the brain. The "disorder" part of auditory processing disorder means that something is adversely affecting the processing or interpretation of the information. Katz, Stecker & Henderson (1992) described central auditory processing as "what we do with what we hear." In other words, it is the ability of the brain (i.e., the central nervous system) to process incoming auditory signals. The brain identifies sounds by analyzing their distinguishing physical characteristics frequency, intensity, and temporal features. These are features that we perceive as pitch, loudness, and duration. Once the brain has completed its analysis of the physical characteristics of the incoming sound or message, it then constructs an "image" of the signal from these component parts for comparison with stored "images." If a match occurs, we can then understand what is being said or we can recognize sounds that have important meanings in our lives (sirens, doorbells, crying, etc.). Children with CAPD often do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words,even though the sounds themselves are loud and clear. For example, the request "Tell me how a chair and a couch are alike" may sound to a child with CAPD like "Tell me how a couch and a chair are alike." It can even be understood by the child as "Tell me how a cow and a hair are alike." These kinds of problems are more likely to occur when a person with CAPD is in a noisy environment or when he or she is listening to complex information.
(CAPD) goes by many other names: APD auditory processing disorder, auditory perception problem, auditory comprehension deficit, central auditory dysfunction, central deafness, and so-called "word deafness."
An auditory-processing deficit is the inability to interpret, organize, analyze, or synthesize an auditory message in the absence of a hearing impairment. Many children who have been diagnosed with Central Auditory-Processing Disorder (CAPD) would fall under this category.
The following is a list of characteristics that may be evident in children with this deficit. Use this as a checklist with regard to students who you think may fit this category.
-The student tunes out in a noisy environment-(may be viewed as a daydreamer).
-The student listens but processes the information heard inaccurately and often out of proper sequence.
-The student is unable to follow oral directions, especially those given quickly.
-The student frequently asks for information to be repeated (often uses question words such as huh? what?).
-The student has difficulty retaining material presented orally.
-The student has difficulty learning sounds and sound patterns (phonemic awareness, phonics, linguistic method).
-The student is unable to retain sounds or words long enough in order to make meaning from them.
-The student has a delay in language development, vocabulary, or articulation.
-The student is unable to discriminate between similar sounding words (e.g. shut and shot).
-The student often looks to see what everybody else is doing before carrying out directions.
-The student prefers visual or active games to those involving listening or speaking.
-The student may not respond as rapidly to sounds as others.
-The student is unable to explain in verbal or written fashion what he or she can achieve by doing.
-The student’s written or oral responses will appear very simple and will not be an accurate indication of his or her knowledge.
-The student’s responses and comments may often appear to be dissociated from the topic.
-The student experiences difficulty with dictated notes.
-The student experiences difficulty with short and fast quizzes.
-The student experiences difficulty making notes from what the teacher has said.
-The student has difficulty sorting out background noises.
-The student has difficulty focusing on one sound among many.
-The student has difficulty answering oral questions and repeating sentences.
• Place the student near the front of the room or near the teacher, away from the door or window that may provide a source of auditory distraction.
• Offer the student a study carrel to work in if one is available.
• Place the student in a structured rather than an open classroom if possible.
• Have most oral lessons in written form or in outline form for this student.
• Place less emphasis on decoding words. Encourage the use of context and picture cues.
• Use taped books, as this will assist the child to associate the auditory with a visual message.
• Intervene with phonemic awareness activities or programs.
• Make sure the student has eye contact with the teacher when instructions are given, and ensure that the student is attending to what is being said.
• Teach the student the mouth position associated with certain sounds, when teaching these skills in the classroom.
• Speak in a slow and distinct manner, using simple vocabulary.
• Use gesture to reinforce what is being said.
• Emphasize key words and word endings when speaking or writing, especially when presenting new information.
• Paraphrase instructions and information in simpler language rather than only repeating.
• Encourage the student to ask questions when confused.
• Make instructional transitions clear.
• Avoid asking the student to listen and write notes at the same time.
• Provide copied notes when necessary.
• Show patience with these children as they tire easily.
• Monitor the student’s understanding of directions by asking the student to repeat the direction given.
• Pair the student with a peer helper who can assist the student when he or she has not grasped the auditory message.
• Do not count spelling in daily work or test situations.
• Break the test into smaller portions.
• Provide a scribe for testing.
• Do not count spelling on a test.
• Ensure that the student has understood the directions for a test.
• Give the student short directions, explanations, and instructions to follow.
• Provide written directions and instructions to supplement verbal directions and instructions.
• Identify a list of word endings, key words, etc. that the student will practise listening for when someone is speaking.
• Have the student silently repeat or subvocalize information just heard.
• Deliver directions to the child individually.
• Interact frequently with the student duringtesting.
• Give the student one task to perform at one time.
• Provide visual aids whenever possible.
• Provide a quiet place to write a test.
• Provide extra time whennecessary (usually time and a half is sufficient)
• Allow point-form answers to essay questions.
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