Effective Listening and Communication

What is Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)?

Essentially, it is a listening dysfunction and is not linked to impaired hearing, hearing loss, nor to poor intelligence. It is rather a developmental or acquired inability of the brain to understand and interpret the meaning of sounds. Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD).

APD is difficult to diagnose as it shares symptoms and overlaps with several
other learning difficulties described under our section ‘Academic Skills’. It affects academic results, behaviour, speech and language development, social interaction and can lead to anxiety and sleep disorders.

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:

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

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

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

Restore and Regain Listening Ability

Listening is much, much more than hearing!

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.

For Dr Tomatis, the mother’s voice and foetus’ early listening, played a significant role in inviting the foetus to communicate, develop language, and learn. Language development starts in the womb. The vestibule in the inner ear plays a fundamental role in integrating the rhythms of language due to its intricate network of connections to the brain via nine cranial nerves. The Tomatis® Method stimulates the audio-vocal loop and improves speech and language development.

Working on the autonomic nervous system through the Vagus nerve (parasympathetic nervous system), the Tomatis® Method tends to calm and relax people who are highly stressed and anxious. In this manner, it has a direct effect on emotional disorders such as stress, anxiety, and depression often associated with APD.

The KingsFisher Institute, its programmes and protocols along with the TOMATIS® Method, are Educational Programmes and are considered neither medical treatments, nor a means to establish a medical diagnosis. The content of this website is for informational purposes only. It should be neither considered as, nor substitute for medical advice. We neither suggest stopping any medication or psychological treatments. The KingsFisher Institute is duly licensed by TOMATIS DEVELOPMENT S.A. which is the owner of “TOMATIS”, “TOMATIS +LOGO”, “SOLISTEN”, “TalksUP” trademarks www.tomatis.com

How We Can Help

KingsFisher unique assessment methods reveal the underlying, often undetected difficulties that hamper and delay development and progress:

  • Our Cognitive Skills Assessment reveals the underpinning cognitive skills related to poor academic performance
  • With our Tomatis® Listening Profile we can determine how efficient the relationship between the ears and brain is for information processing
  • Using our Visagraph™, we can track and monitor eye movements indicating how orderly the brain deals with information, how it is fed into short-term memory and the ability to retrieve information. “There exists a functional relationship between ocular movements and central processes” as reported by Herman F. Brandt in The Psychology of Seeing
  • Our Mineral Therapy Assessment reveals which minerals are lacking for optimal performance

Based on our findings, our intervention programmes and protocols are tailor-made for each individual

Ready to Get Started?

Get the help you need from Yolinda Bullians and our friendly team at the KingsFisher Institute.


This product has been added to your cart