How We Can Help Auditory Processing Disorder

LEARNING requires a complex interplay of the brain-body functions. You acquire learning because your brain knows how to filter out the unnecessary input (i.e. background noise) and store the important information for immediate or future use.

The brain is constantly changing depending on the sensory experiences of an individual, that is, neuroplasticity in action. The Tomatis® Method relies on its electronic gating system that produces sound contrasts stimulating the brain.

This is targeted on the brain’s plasticity or its ability to change over prolonged exposure or stimulation. Consequently, as the brain learns to pay attention to the sound contrasts, it can automatically train the individual to pay a particular attention to external and new events.

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE The Tomatis® Method is beneficial for children and adults with speech and language delays (See more Speech and Language Delays). As for children with APD, the main difficulty lies in the inability to manipulate the sounds of language.

Nevertheless, the Tomatis® Method treats the voice of the subject (active phase) and transmitting it via air and bone conduction. This promotes perception towards significant language sounds (i.e. tone, jokes, pragmatic language, etc.) and improves the well-being of children with speech and language disorders.

EMOTIONAL REGULATION In the middle part of the brain lies the limbic system–the part responsible for emotions, memory, and learning–connected to the prefrontal cortex. Then, the Tomatis® Method intervenes and stimulates these parts for better functioning.

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

If your child presents signs of Auditory Processing Disorder, claim your 20 minutes FREE chat valued at $125 with our expert

child covering ears autism sound sensitivity
  • Short attention span? Easily distracted?
  • Oversensitivity to certain sounds?
  • Poor vocabulary? Poor memory?
  • Easily confused with simple instructions?

These are only some of the most common signs of Auditory Processing Disorder (APD).

Auditory Processing Disorder, also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), is a developmental or acquired inability of the brain to understand the meaning of soundsAPD is not linked to impaired hearing or hearing loss at all nor poor intelligence.

Below you will discover the following:

  • Hearing vs. Listening
  • Causes of APD
  • Impacts of APD on Learning
  • Impacts of APD on Speech & Language
  • Impacts of APD on Emotion & Behaviour
  • How the Tomatis® Method Can Help

Hearing is a passive mechanism of the ear to perceive the sounds in your environment.

In contrary, listening is an active process. It hearing, attention on or not and then you are going to give a meaning to those sounds unless they don’t interest you.

In fact, listening is the ability to focus on certain information and filter out the irrelevant noise. If hearing is a mechanism of the ear, listening is a function of the brain involving the whole body and the emotions too.

Where hearing is a function of the ear, listening is a function of the brain.

Even though there is still unknown specific cause of auditory processing disorder, research suggests that the following play a role:

  1. Head trauma
  2. Chronic ear infections
  3. Other brain disorders
    • Autism (ASD) Auditory processing disorder and Autism can also co-exist with a child’s set of difficulties. An autistic child’s hypersensitivity to noise or low tolerance to common sounds is one of the most common signals of APD. Not all children with APD are autistic, but a lot of cases of children with autism have APD.
    • ADHD/ADD  If you do not understand what you are hearing, chances are you won’t be interested to listen. In the class, if a child is having trouble understanding his/her teacher’s instructions, he/she will easily get distracted and find it difficult to sit still in class.
    • Anxiety & Depression Anxiety and Depression could cause someone to ‘space out’ and lose the interest to listen. Vice versa, the impacts of APD could also lead to anxiety, frustration, and depression.
    • Learning Difficulties Studies found that APD co-exists in children with Dyslexia (25-61%), ASD (9-53%), Speech Disorder (10-38%), and Dyspraxia (6%).

Children with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) often struggle in a mainstream classroom setting.

The dynamic environment dispenses an overwhelming supply of sensory information (i.e. background noise, visual stimuli etc).

The never-ending stream of auditory experiences becomes persistently and inevitably stressful, taking a toll on the overall academic performance.

Auditory processing disorder in adults also have the following problems below:

Delayed reaction time | They consume more time even with simple tasks.

Attention and concentration issues | The brain is unable to filter important sounds from unnecessary ones (i.e. background noises) making it harder to pay attention.

Communication difficulties | Being unable to understand ideas (especially those expressed verbally) makes them less motivated to speak and express their thoughts and feelings.

Impaired memory | The auditory processing centre in our brain is also responsible for memory. The disorder causes the confusion and forgetfulness.

Writing and spelling issues | Unable to understand the basic rules and instructions of syntax (word/sentence structure) and grammar, the effects are visible on how he/she misspells and jumbles words.

Low self-esteem and confidence | Not being able to perform well in class increases anxiety and sets them into a panic-freeze mode.

auditory processing

Common sounds and noises could easily distract and overwhelm children and adults with auditory processing disorder.

This leads to anxiety, frustration, and other behaviours such as:

  • Slow or incorrect response to questions
  • Get easily distracted (ADHD/ADD)
  • Poor work processes (i.e. poor organizational skills, not meeting deadlines)
  • Easily annoyed by background noise
  • Often exhausted and emotionally unstable at the end of a work or school day
  • Often forget simple instructions
  • Require more time and repetition; slow progress in school/ work
  • Poor reading and speaking skills
  • Easily confused

If left ignored, the impacts of auditory processing disorder to your emotions and behaviour can heighten to:

  • Frustration
  • Social Isolation
  • Behavioural issues
  • Depression
  • Low academic performance
  • Poor speech (i.e. stuttering, hesitant speech, mispronouncing)
  • Poor social skills / Isolation / Withdrawn
auditory processing disorder learning speech emotion behaviour

One known underlying cause of speech and language difficulties is Auditory Processing Disorder (APD).

APD is a listening difficulty and we all know how important listening is to learning.

Poor auditory discrimination | People with APD are often unable to recognize differences of sounds in words even when they are spoken loudly and clearly. Worse, the struggle increases when there is too much background noise like the playground, parties, TV in the background or when they are upset or sad.

Poor auditory memory | APD in adults or children disrupts the flow of verbal information to the brain. Thus, the memory has very little to offer for expression and effective communication.  This is why they would take a lot of time to answer exams and express ideas either written or oral.

Aside from comprehension and memory, people with auditory processing disorder often have problems with:

  • Expressing one’s ideas and feelings
  • Following directions both simple and complex
  • Reading skills (i.e. stammering, hesitant reading)
  • Organizing and planning
  • Following threads of conversation
  • Remembering what they have been told

Ready to get started? Claim your FREE 20-min phone chat valued at $125

The Tomatis® Method is definitely the best gift to you or your child! Contact Françoise Nicoloff or any of the Tomatis® professionals in Australia to get started today!

Does your child or someone you know exhibit the following struggles?

If many of the troubles apply to you or your child, you or your child may have a listening dysfunction. Use this form to select any difficulties that apply to you and then fill in your contact details if you would like to speak with us.