Maximizing Outcomes for Children with Auditory Processing Disorders
An auditory processing disorder (APD) can come in many forms, but at its core it affects the ability to recognize and interpret sound, especially speech. An affected child may hear words but are unable to process their meaning in the same way their peers do because something causes their brain to decipher them differently or inaccurately. APDs may create auditory memory problems (trouble remembering directions or a short list of items either right away or later on) and auditory cohesion problems. This refers to higher-level listening skills, such as solving a riddle or understanding a verbal math problem.
The Mayo Clinic estimates that about 5% of school-aged children are affected by an auditory processing disorder. These children generally receive individual noises just fine in a very quiet environment, but they struggle to recognize slight differences between sounds in words (such as “chair” and “share”).
Background noises amplify the problem, which is why kids with APD can have trouble understanding what’s being said to them in social situations like the school cafeteria, sporting events, parties or at a playground. Noisy classroom environments can also make it hard to pay attention and follow directions, creating frustration for a child.
It’s important to distinguish between hearing issues and APD. Hearing tests (such as those in a booth) measure acuity—is the brain correctly receiving the sound being presented to the ears. Most individuals with APD have fine and sometimes excellent hearing. Its the processing of the information that’s the challenge.
A Loaded Therapy Toolbox
Creative Health Solutions takes great pride in its listening therapy offerings. Based on the brilliant and insightful work of Dr. Alfred Tomatis, they address a variety of auditory processing and other challenges—including those that accompany autism, sensory processing disorder and learning challenges including ADHD.
Since listening therapies require precise customization based on age and skill level, as well as careful monitoring to assure optimal results, we integrate and tailor the leading technologies for each client. These programs integrate sound and sometimes movement to create a foundation for learning, attention, processing and behavior—and support a lasting change. They are based on brain or neuro-plasticity: the fact that we can change and improve our brain at any age.
After a consultation to assess your child’s particular condition, we will create a program that meets your clinical needs and fits your lifestyle and budget. Creative offers a variety of therapy options that have proven successful for our clients. Let’s take a look at some of the programs in our toolbox.
The Tomatis® Method: Developed by the French doctor and researcher Alfred Tomatis, this method is a natural approach to neurosensory stimulation. Its listening programs change the music and voice in real time in order to capture the brain’s attention and to develop motor, emotional and cognitive skills.
Vital Links: A specific sound-based intervention that is embedded in a developmental and sensory integration perspective. The music in Therapeutic Listening gives the listener unique and precisely-controlled sensory information. The music is electronically modified to highlight the parts of the sound spectrum that naturally capture attention and activate body movement, synchronizing it with the environment.
Integrated Listening Systems: Integrating music, movement and language exercises for the purpose of improving brain function, iLs programs are designed to let a child have fun with their therapy. They may be used on their own or in conjunction with other methods.
Forbrain: An award-winning neural device that has shown conclusive results in enhancing speech, attentional strengthening and focus. Built with bone conduction technology and a unique dynamic filter, the device provides the user instantaneous feedback of their own voice that then creates an enhanced auditory-feedback loop. This helps improve attention, focus, memory, and auditory and sensory processing.
EASe (Electronic Auditory Stimulation effect): This therapy delivers short, intense bursts of sensory experiences to stimulate but not over-stimulate a child experiencing difficulty with sensory processing and organization. This virtual sensory diet creates a palette of experiences to help a child cope with typical environmental conditions.
Advanced Brain Technologies: A neuroscience-based music program that can help anyone achieve optimal brain health for a better life.