Early receptive language development is characterized, for example, by how well children follow directions, answer questions, and understand words (spatial terms such as the difference between on or off), or animals (show me the animal who meows), identify common body parts, and understand concepts (toy vs. food).
Delays in early receptive language development are characterized by the child relying on visual information to process spoken words (parents point to the garbage can and the child understands that the point means to place the tissue in the garbage).
SCHOOL-AGE RECEPTIVE LANGUAGE
Some students have difficulty processing or listening to language, particularly in academic settings. Some of these children need information repeated, may easily forget what they heard, or have trouble understanding what was said.
We help students recall information, improve listening to spoken short passages, focus on important facts, understand complex language, use visual aids to facilitate listening skills, and take advantage of multisensory materials to facilitate learning.
Read more about our school-age comprehension tutoring (listening and reading).
Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), also known as auditory processing disorder, refers to difficulties in processing speech or taking in verbal information when presented with background noise. The brain fails to assign the correct meaning to the words an individual hears and does not identify the subtle differences in them. The condition is not related to hearing problems or intelligence. However, it may coexist and overlap with other disorders such as ADHD, language disorders, and learning disability.
Children with CAPD typically struggle to remember—or remember correctly—what they hear. Information expressed orally, such as when receiving instructions or directions, are often missed or misunderstood. What’s confusing is that CAPD is a different disorder than an expressive-receptive language disorder, or also known as a developmental language disorder. Many of these symptoms overlap and can easily be misdiagnosed even among professionals.
To learn more, read this article by the American Speech Hearing Association. In a nutshell, it takes the brain’s auditory cortex at least seven years to mature. CAPD testing should not be performed before a child turns seven years of age and should not occur in isolation. CAPD testing assessed by audiologists should be part of language and attentional testing performed by psychologists and speech language pathologists. Otherwise, you will not know the full scope of why your child is having difficulties processing sounds or words.
For a person with CAPD, struggling with one or more of the four basic skills of auditory processing can include:
When a child shows signs of listening difficulties, it does not automatically mean he or she has a central auditory processing disorder. Here are some signs and symptoms of CAPD that may help you determine if you should consult with an expert.
While these symptoms may indicate an auditory processing disorder, it should be noted that some of these signs can also indicate other conditions. These symptoms overlap with ADHD or other language or learning disorders. Seeking the help of experts early on is crucial to determine the real cause of the problem. Otherwise these symptoms can not be ruled-in or out during a multidisciplinary assessment.
Assessing and treating CAPD requires a multidisciplinary team, but diagnosis can only be made by an audiologist. During the evaluation, the audiologist measures the child’s specific auditory processing functions. This is done through a series of tests in a sound-treated room. The child will then be asked to listen to various signals and respond to them. A child must be at least seven or eight years old to ensure that they are mature enough to understand and take the test.
Together with an audiologist, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) should be part of the diagnosis by conducting complete speech and language assessments of the child. An SLP can also help determine the precise nature of the disorder and its implications. Psychologists also play an important part, as well, to rule out any attentional or learning difficulties which play a part in auditory or listening skills.
Once a diagnosis has been made, an SLP is the best professional to carry out the intervention. Speech-language pathologists can give explicit training and develop strategies to help the child identify, remember, and sequence sounds. The goals of therapy are to:
In many instances, central auditory processing disorder is confused with receptive language disorder and listening difficulties. This is due to the overlap and similarities of some of their signs and symptoms. Early receptive language development is characterized, for example, by how well children follow directions, answer questions, and understand words. Delays in early receptive language development are characterized by the child relying on visual information to process spoken words, e.g. parents point to the garbage can and the child understands that the point means to place the tissue in the garbage.
To know more about receptive language disorder, please click here.
At Queens Letters, several of our speech language pathologists are trained in CAPD intervention.
We asked one of our speech language pathologists, Ewa, about auditory processing listening programs. She is one of our top CAPD experts. Here is what she had to say:
Integrated Listening System program is based on and similar to auditory integration therapy and the Tomatis method. However, there has been a lack of consensus regarding its efficacy. This is also true for auditory integration therapy.
There is also Therapeutic Listening, which is done by occupational therapists. I know this is geared for children and targeted for greater sensory-motor integration. The idea of these therapies is listening to music that has been filtered or modified to increase attention, self-regulation, communication, etc.
SLPs can provide auditory therapy to increase speech sound perception. I have done this to increase speech perception in children with auditory processing disorders. I have also incorporated different types of noise at varying volumes to increase the child’s ability to ignore the noise and attend to the spoken information in order to better understand, integrate, and respond appropriately.
Audiologists who specialize in auditory processing disorders may also do auditory therapy in a soundproof booth for speech sound perception.