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BY Marla

“Auditory Overload” a Challenge for Many Kids

As a parent have you ever noticed that your child exhibits some of the following behaviors?

  • Says “huh?” or “what?” frequently
  • Has difficulty with phonics and speech sound discrimination
  • Often misunderstands what is said
  • Constantly requests information be repeated
  • Has poor receptive and expressive language
  • Is easily distracted
  • Has difficulty following and carrying out verbal, multi-step directions (such as, put on your coat and open the door)
  • Has poor auditory memory, such as telling the days of the week, reciting the alphabet or counting to 20
  • Has poor listening skills, especially in the presence of background noise
  • Learns poorly through the auditory channel; needs visual and/or tactile support
  • Gives inconsistent responses to auditory stimuli
  • Gives slow or delayed response to questions and directions; needs more time to process information
  • Has reading, comprehension, spelling and vocabulary difficulties
  • Has low academic performance
  • Confuses words that sound alike
  • Exhibits behavior problems

If you have answered “yes” to some of the above, your child may be showing signs of an auditory linguistic processing disorder.

An auditory processing disorder is a sensory processing deficit that commonly impacts listening, spoken language comprehension, and learning.  It is the inability or decreased ability to attend to, discriminate among and between, recognize, or understand auditory information.  In simple terms, it’s what the brain does with what it hears.

Most language is learned by listening. In order to learn, a child must be able to attend to, listen to, and separate important speech from all the other noises at home and school.  When auditory skills are weak, the child may experience “auditory overload”.  This makes learning more challenging and sometimes too difficult without special assistance.

If you are concerned or unsure about your child, you should seek the professional opinion of a speech language pathologist or an audiologist.  They will be able to take an extensive case history and conduct testing to determine if an auditory processing disorder exists.

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Written on November 4, 2010 by:

Marla Zerbib, M.A., CCC/SLP is a Speech Language Pathologist at the Kafuman Children’s Center for Speech, Language, Sensory-Motor & Social Connections, Inc. Marla has an undergrad degree from the University of Windsor and earned her master’s in speech and language pathology from Wayne State University. She has worked with children for over 14 years, in both private practice and school settings.

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