Kids with auditory processing disorder can have trouble making sense of the sounds they hear. This can cause problems at school and at home. There isn’t a ton of research on treatment for kids with auditory processing disorder. But here’s what we do know.
Are there medications to help kids with auditory processing disorder?
There are no medications to treat auditory processing disorder. However, some kids with auditory processing disorder also have ADHD or anxiety, which can be treated with medicine.
It’s best to talk with your doctor if you think your child is dealing with ADHD or anxiety. Together, you can come up with a treatment plan that may or may not include medication.
What types of therapy and intervention can help kids with auditory processing disorder?
Sound discrimination is one of the main difficulties for kids with auditory processing disorder. This means they can have trouble hearing the difference between certain sounds or may hear certain sounds incorrectly. As a result, they may say dat for that, or free for three.
Speech therapy can help kids with auditory processing disorder make those sounds better and more clearly. Speech therapists can also help kids learn to:
- Improve perception of individual sounds (phonemes) in words, which can help with reading skills
- Develop active listening skills, like asking a person to repeat directions
- Use language appropriately in social situations
Kids with auditory processing disorder might get frustrated about school. Imagine not being able to understand what the teacher is saying! If your child is dealing with frustration, you might want to explore educational therapy. This can helps kids with different kinds of learning and attention issues develop strategies for working around their issues and dealing with frustration.
Auditory training therapy (sometimes called auditory integration therapy) is an alternative treatment for kids with auditory processing disorder. This includes auditory training programs like the Berard Auditory Integration Training Services and Fast ForWord. A main goal of these programs is to improve listening comprehension through various activities or games.
Keep in mind that auditory training therapy is somewhat controversial. There isn’t a lot of research that shows it works. But there is anecdotal evidence that it’s helpful for some kids.
What educational strategies can help kids with auditory processing disorder?
Beyond therapies and medication, there are many ways to help kids with auditory processing disorder succeed in the classroom. You might want to talk to your child’s teachers about different instructional strategies. Kids with auditory processing disorder may have a hard time connecting sounds to written words. So reading interventions that clearly teach the systems of sounds, letters and grammar may help.
You can also talk to your child’s teacher about classroom accommodations to make learning a little easier. Examples include closing windows and doors to reduce distracting noise and using visual aids to help your child process lessons. Accommodations can be formalized in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan or agreed on informally with the teacher.
Special hearing devices that filter sounds can help some kids “tune out” distractions. The system works by amplifying sound—making certain frequencies louder and toning down or changing others. This could help your child focus on, for example, the teacher’s voice.
What else can help kids with auditory processing disorder?
You may also want to explore Tech Finder for apps to help your child with listening comprehension. Learn more about what helps kids with auditory processing disorder.