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Auditory Processing Disorders

Auditory Processing Disorder is "a deficit in neural processing of auditory stimuli that is not due to higher order language, cognitive or related factors, yet may lead to or be associated with difficulties in higher order language, learning, cognitive an

Alecia McFarlane

on 21 October 2013

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Transcript of Auditory Processing Disorders

Auditory Processing Disorders
What is APD?
Auditory Processing Disorder is characterized by poor perception of sounds, has its origins in impaired neural function, and impacts on everyday life primarily through a reduced ability to listen and so respond appropriately to sounds (British Society of Audiology, 2011).

How does a student with APD present?
Overall performance in auditory functioning is poor
Weaknesses in receptive and expressive language
Often viewed as a behavior problem
Performance for Auditory Functioning
Responds inconsistently to auditory stimuli
Difficulty localizing sound sources
Easily distracted; short attention span
Unusually bothered by loud or sudden noises or noisy environments
Appears to perform better in quieter settings
Poor auditory memory for numbers and words
Poor sequencing skills and sense of rhythm
Viewed as a Behavior Problem
Fidgety behaviors; hyperactivity; often irritable
Often disorganized and forgetful; tendency to procrastinate
Unusually tired at the end of the day
Low self-esteem; tendency to be depressed and feel overburdened
Often viewed as immature; easily frustrated
Not motivated, or negative about school
Pragmatically inappropriate due to difficulty following conversations
Weakness in Receptive/Expressive Language Skills
Misunderstands what is said; confuses similar-sounding words
Requires information to be repeated several times; asks What???!
Finds abstract information difficult to understand when presented orally
Difficulty following simple and complex oral directions
Hesitant speech; responds to questions and instructions slowly or with delay
Weak vocabulary
Difficulty singing in tune
Difficulty with spelling, reading and writing
This is NOT the student in your class that is diagnosed with ADHD.

The student with ADHD may have difficulty attending to information, or forget verbal information, however their actual neural processing of auditory information is intact. Instead it is the attention deficit that is impeding access to the auditory information that is coming in.
What does that mean?
How can we help?
There are 3 levels of support for students who meet APD criteria:
Direct Training
Examples include:
Preferential Seating
Improving Classroom Acoustics
FM systems
Changes to the way curriculum is provided while the curriculum content remains the same
Changing content of curriculum and/or expectations of the student
Alternate assignments/tests
Alternate administration procedures
Compensatory strategies (strengthening language, problem-solving, memory, attention, and other cognitive skills)
Teach student to take responsibility for their own listening success
Student may participate in small group or 1:1 intervention sessions with SLP or other professional with targets of:
Auditory Discrimination
Dichotic Tasks
Temporal Processing
Direct Intervention:
focus on improving auditory performance
Golden Nuggets
APD is a stand-alone difficulty in neural processing of the auditory signal.
Students with APD often present with characteristics that resemble those of students with attention, speech/language and cognitive deficits.
On top of that, students with APD often have co-morbid difficulties in the areas of attention, speech/language and cognition.
Different levels of support can be provided for each student:
Direct Intervention
What is Auditory Processing?
Listening: the processing of sound before it takes meaning.
Noticing and interpreting sounds that we hear.
Increase availability of visual cues
Pre-teach and preview new material
Extend time, or reduce workload
Adjust schedules
Repetition of information
Support information access by direct signal enhancement:
use of concrete manipulatives,
audio recording,
note-taking or scribe
Teaching Strategies
Development of AP
Inherited differences associated with neuro-diversity (e.g. Dyslexia)
Pre-natal neurological or genetic disorder (e.g. Cerebral Palsy)
Post-natal events (neuro trauma or infection)
Disruption of balanced development (e.g. emotional deprivation)
Poverty of available attention to sound (e.g. attention disorders, emotional issues)
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