- 1 What is Auditory Processing Therapy
- 2 Common Signs/Symptoms of an Auditory Processing Delay
- 3 Who Should do Auditory Processing Intervention?
- 4 Programs for Auditory Processing Delays
- 5 Fast ForWord Programs
- 6 Reading Readiness
- 7 Fast ForWord Language v2
- 8 Fast ForWord Language to Reading
- 9 Fast ForWord Literacy and Literacy Advanced
- 10 The iLs Program
- 11 Hear Builder
- 12 How Our Treatment for Auditory Processing is Different
What is Auditory Processing Therapy
Auditory processing is an umbrella term used to describe what the brain does with what it hears. When any element of the auditory processing system is disturbed or delayed, sounds, including speech become difficult for the brain to process. This results in poor transmission of an intended message and leads to various levels of communication breakdowns. With proper identification, the mechanisms which underlie the disturbance can be treated either in isolation or in combination.
Children and adults with auditory processing delays represent a heterogeneous group of individuals who have difficulties using auditory information. The term auditory processing refers to a set of skills that are required in order to accurately process information that is heard. These skills include:
- Localizing the source of sound
- Discriminating different sounds
- Recognizing sound patterns
- Temporal aspects of sounds
- Processing sound in background noise
- Processing sounds when part of the sound is missing
- Auditory attention
- Auditory comprehension/cohesion skills
- Auditory memory skills
Common Signs/Symptoms of an Auditory Processing Delay
Taken together these skills are generally considered to be listening skills and comprehension skills and when any of these elements are not functioning appropriately an auditory processing delay may be diagnosed. The behaviors often associated with an auditory processing delay include:
- Difficulty hearing in background noise
- Difficulty following directions
- Poor listening skills
- Academic struggles
- Poor comprehension skills
- Poor auditory association skills
- Difficulties with attention
All of these behaviors can be successfully remediated with appropriate identification of the source of the problem and selection of the appropriate treatment program to address those problems.
Who Should do Auditory Processing Intervention?
Results of testing will indicate who is appropriate for training/remediation of auditory processing skills. Very often clients, both children and adults, will have features of an auditory processing delay and require specific intervention. The most common diagnoses that may require intervention are:
- Auditory Processing Disorders
- Memory Disorders
- Receptive/Expressive Language Disorders
- Language Processing Delays
- Learning Disabilities
- Spectrum Disorders
- Sensory Processing Disorders
- Cognitive Delays
- Behavioral Disorders
Programs for Auditory Processing Delays
Fast ForWord Programs
Scientific Learning provides a variety of programs which emphasize training and remediation of auditory processing systems, language systems, and reading skills. Their programs have been successful in the treatment of auditory processing delays and disorders. Each Fast ForWord Language program provides exercises for different levels of auditory processing and language processing from the earliest levels of processing the elements of sound to later levels of processing multi-step instructions and language comprehension tasks. Each level the program is designed to prepare the brain for learning through working on key foundational aspects of cognitive functioning, processing speed, memory, and attention.
Combining the reading programs with the language programs results in stronger auditory processing abilities, and ensures continued practice in the area of auditory processing while improving reading skills.
In addition to the Fast ForWord language programs, Fast ForWord provides a series of reading programs that can be used in conjunction with the language programs to reinforce the auditory processing aspects of reading skills. Auditory processing deficits result in the inability to process clear phonological representations which leads to impaired phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is an essential skill for reading. Combining the reading programs with the language programs results in stronger auditory processing abilities, and ensures continued practice in the area of auditory processing while improving reading skills.
As with any intervention program it is essential to identify the appropriate level or combination of levels which may be appropriate based on the information from the integrated brain systems evaluation.
Although this program is called reading readiness and represents the first program in the reading series for reading intervention it is an excellent program for foundational auditory processing skills for young children. This program is effective because the temporal aspects of the sounds and words presented in the tasks are modified to allow for easier processing. This program allows for early practice of phonemic awareness skills, sound recognition skills, auditory discrimination skills, processing of the temporal aspects of sound, and auditory attention.
Fast ForWord Language v2
Fast ForWord Language v2 is an effective intervention for children with early-stage deficits in auditory processing as it is a level 1 intervention program. Each exercise targets different foundational skills such as sounds frequencies, phonemes, syllables, and finally words and sentences. The program builds upon the cognitive skills to provide individualized, intensive practice on the underlying auditory elements of language processing skills. Sound exercises present complex auditory information in a pre-word format with digitally enhanced speech sounds. The syllables, words and sentences tasks at the higher levels, have been acoustically modified to emphasize the rapidly changing phonetic elements within natural speech. These modifications provide an ideal environment for learning language based information when there are deficits in the auditory processing mechanism. The exercises at this level provide essential skills for learning to read.
Fast ForWord Language to Reading
This is a second level program that provides additional practice with basic speech sounds while performing in reading tasks. Similar to Fast ForWord Language v2 the exercises have been acoustically modified to emphasize the rapidly changing phonetic elements within natural speech. This level adds new sequences of sound combinations with different time durations, as well as more word exercises of various levels of linguistic complexity. The Language to the Reading program also adds reinforcement of reading concepts such as graphemes, the letters that represent phonemes, and elements of visual tracking to support left-to-right reading patterns.
Fast ForWord Literacy and Literacy Advanced
This program is geared toward middle and high school students but can be used with upper elementary students who’s auditory processing delays require less early stage intervention.
Although these programs continue to develop auditory skills for processing sounds, syllables, and words, they introduce activities for used auditory cohesion and auditory/listening comprehension, sequencing of multi-step instructions, and auditory-visual memory skills. The activities provide advanced grammatical structures and vocabulary, as well as auditory skills related to reading such as phonemic awareness, decoding, and word recognition skills.
The iLs Program
The iLs program is an exercise program for the brain and the body that combines the elements of music, balance, movement and language to support the sensory processing mechanisms.
The program targets the foundations of learning and behavior through multisensory input to the motor, visual, vestibular, and auditory systems. It does this in a hierarchical manner with the early phases of intervention supporting sensory processing and later levels gradually increasing to higher order cognitive functions. Together, the body and brain become better organized and primed for improved processing of environmental information, improved attention, and overall improved learning.
Hear Builder is a program that addresses language and auditory processing skills in children from PreK to eighth grade. It provides individualized instruction at three levels of difficulty in 5 key areas of auditory and language development. Within each key area there are specific activities designed to target the multiple skills sets which are required for mastery of the domain. The following 5 areas and their skills sets are as follows:
- 1 Phonological Awareness
- Sentence Segmentation
- Syllable Blending
- Syllable Segmentation
- Phoneme Blending
- Phoneme Segmentation and Identification
- 2) Phonological Sequencing
- Place 2 of 3 Step Story Sequences with Pictures, Text, and Audio
- Place 3 of 3 Step Instructional Sequences with Pictures and Audio
- Place 3 of 4 Step Instructional Sequences with Text and Audio
- Place 4 of 4 Step Story Sequences with Pictures and Text
- 3) Basic Concepts
- 4) Following Directions
- Basic Directions
- Seqential Directions
- Quantitative and Spatial Directions
- Temporal Directions
- Conditional Directions
- 5) Auditory Memory
- Memory for Numbers
- Memory for Words
- Memory for Details
- Auditory Closure
- Memory for WH Information
- Memory Strategies
This program provides comprehensive training in a variety of areas to improve early developing language skills, auditory processing skills and reading skills.
How Our Treatment for Auditory Processing is Different
Brain locations involved in auditory processing can be localized with relative precision from the neurophysiological areas identified by Brodmann. The different sites used in the Brain Map / QEEG test correspond to these Brodmann areas which localize brain functions. The Brain Map can identify when any of the areas of the brain involved in auditory processing may be involved. These specific areas can be directly targeted through neurofeedback.
Placement of the leads directly on the sites identified as primarily responsible for auditory processing will result in highly focused auditory processing intervention.