Auditory Processing Disorder
As a NeuroCognitive Specialist, I have realized that many of the common characteristics we attribute to ADHD, ADD, and nonspecific learning disabilities are often exacerbated by Auditory Processing concerns. Because most of these disorders interface with one another and share many common elements it is important to determine whether the attention difficulties are particularly associated with cognitive, auditory or visual processing deficits.
Types of Auditory Processing Concerns
Four major areas:
- Auditory Discrimination - Perceiving the specific individual phonemes that makes up a word.
- Auditory Reception - The process of understanding verbal information given in a fast, consistent method such as in a lecture.
- Auditory Association - The ability to use new information and pair it to pertinent past information.
- Auditory Sequential Memory - The ability to retain 6-8 digits and recall them immediately after the presentation of the material.
Tests for Auditory Disorders
I have found that by using of a variety of auditory tests I can discern the attention problems more specifically.
Current tests such as Scan-C for children or Scan-A for adolescents and adults and The Woodcock Test of Auditory Discrimination can help pinpoint whether problems with processing the information exist and are relatively inexpensive. The Woodcock Test of Auditory Processing Discrimination looks at whether the individual can discriminate phonemes in the initial, medial or final position, in a quiet or noisy environment. The Scan-C or Scan-A determines the processing of information using dichotic listening techniques; isolated words in specific ears, figure-ground, competing words in both ears or competing sentences simultaneously.
Another excellent test for a pre & post measurement for neurofeedback is the ITPA (Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities). No longer in print this test is comprised of several subtests, four of which I find extremely useful; Auditory Reception, Auditory Association, Auditory Sequential Memory and Auditory Closure. Each of these subtests measures a separate component of listening and attention skills.
Neurofeedback is a useful tool when working with Auditory Disorders. Research found that after twenty sessions of neurofeedback coupled with the neurocognitive activities, experimental groups had significant gains in Auditory Discrimination in comparison with the control groups. (DeLong, 2002).