Some Causes of Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
- Middle ear infections leading to glue ear and the need for grommets. This prevents or reduces sound transmission via the ear to the brain, resulting in poor hearing that may lead to poor academic performance. The incidence of acute ear infection in New Zealand children (aged less than 5 years) was recently estimated at 27%, with up to 80% of children having at least one episode by three years of age according to Starship Hospital.
- Head trauma. Our brains receive around 80% of all sensory stimulation through our ears. With a head trauma, things get shaken up between and in the ears, and it may affect the way our brain receives and processes information.
- Learning difficulties where APD co-exists, e.g. with Dyslexia (25-61%), ASD (9-53%), Speech Disorder (10-38%), and Dyspraxia (6%).
- Other Brain disorders such as Autism (oversensitive to sounds), ADD/ ADHD (difficulty understanding instructions), Anxiety and Depression (zones out or choosing not to listen)
Signs and Impact of APD on:
SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
Poor auditory discrimination and auditory memory leads to:
- language delays when young
- difficulty with phonics, sound discrimination, speech and language development
- stammering reading with difficulty sounding out words
- poor understanding of syntax (word/sentence structure) and grammar rules causing misspelling and jumbling words
- an inability to express ideas and feelings, verbally or in writing
- poor task planning and organising
LEARNING AND PERFORMANCE
Struggling in a classroom as auditory experiences become persistently more stressful:
- drifting off in class with a loss of focus, attention and concentration causing them to fall behind
- easily distracted by any noise
- difficulty listening with background noise or finding it annoying
- delayed reaction time especially when responding to verbal instructions
- low or poor academic performance
- poor reading and spelling skills
- poor memory causing confusion
- forgetfulness and unable to remember instructions
- needing more time with simple tasks and task completion
- slow progress in school or at work
EMOTION & BEHAVIOUR
Common sounds and noises are distracting leading to anxiety and frustration:
- emotional meltdowns and/or exhausted at the end of the school or workday
- misunderstanding what is said with slow or incorrect responses to questions
- low self-esteem and confidence
- anxiety and panic-freeze mode increase due to poor performance in class or at work
- may experience frustration, social isolation and poor social skills that might lead to behaviour issues and depression
More than 80% of the sensory stimulation our brain receives comes from our ears. When your listening is challenged, the auditory system as a powerful sensory integrator, is disrupted, leading to major repercussions for our development and well-being.
Dr. Alfred Tomatis invented a device capable of rehabilitating listening. By working on the reception and integration of sound, the Tomatis® Method helps to stimulate the brain effectively through a system of sound contrasts called “Electronic Gating®”, which is contained in our unique TalksUp®. Consequently, as the brain learns to pay attention to the sound contrasts, it automatically trains the individual to pay particular attention to external and new events and filter out irrelevant sounds.