Receptive Language And Reading Therapies and Issues

Simply put, auditory processing is “what we do with what we hear”.  When we receive the auditory signal or sound, it is picked up inside our ear and transmitted to our brains for processing via a nerve.  Auditory processing disorders arise when the child hears the sound correctly at the level of the ear but has problems with the transmission of this sound up the nerve and across the left temporal lobe within the brain itself.  Typically, is accompanied a very small decrease in processing speed.

When exploring the possibility of an auditory processing and/or receptive language disorder, the child must first be examined for wax or fluid in the ears and, have a complete audiogram to rule out an problems with hearing.  This can be done at the pediatrician’s, audiologist’s and/or ear, nose and throat doctor’s offices.

Children with auditory processing and/or receptive language disorders display one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Behaves as though there is a peripheral hearing loss in spite of normal hearing;
  • Poor listening skills characterized by decreased attention for auditory information, distractible or restless in listening situations;
  • Appears to be self-absorbed and disinterested in other people; has challenges with social skills and pragmatics; appears to be on the autism spectrum;
  • Have generalized problems with the processing of a wide variety of sensory information (sensory integration);
  • Weak auditory memory; unable to remember auditory information or follow directions;
  • Responds inconsistently to auditory information or has inconsistent auditory awareness (does more poorly when listening within a group rather than 1:1 context);
  • Has a receptive and/or expressive language disorder; may be a discrepancy between receptive and expressive language skills;
  • Difficulties understanding rapid speech or people with an unfamiliar dialect;
  • Trouble remembering sounds and manipulating them for tasks such as reading, spelling and phonics;
  • Difficulty understanding speech in the presence of background noise;
  • Poor vocal prosody in speech production; has poor musical abilities.

Reading is heavily influenced by the child’s auditory processing skills. When a child is at risk, the SLP needs to evaluate not only how she decodes (sound out the word) and encodes (comprehension) the written word but, very importantly,  what are her auditory processing skills.  The SLP will examine the child’s phonological awareness, too, which is the child’s ability to create a structural link between the sounds and letters.

Testing Options:

The SLPs may chose from the following tests depending on the age and symptoms of the child:

  1. “The Listening Test” for Berard Auditory Integration Training;
  2. The SCANC Test for Auditory processing Disorders in Children-Revised;
  3. The “JF Kennedy Commands” checklist;
  4. Test of Auditory Processing Skills-Third Edition;
  5. Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, Preschool and 4(for school-aged children);
  6. The Lindamood Auditory Conceptualization TEST (LAC)
  7. The Phonological Awareness Test, Revised
  8. Gray Oral Reading Test

Therapeutic Intervention:

Diane Lewis, MA, CCC-SLP is highly trained to work with the full range of auditory processing challenges starting with the child who does not respond to her name all the way through to the child in elementary school who is struggling with reading.  The therapy programs will vary from doing therapeutic listening, computer-driven technology (Fast ForWord and Earobics), ABLC and Floortime to language and reading therapies.

  • The Listening Program;
  • Listening with the Whole Body;
  • Auditory Integration Training, Berard;
  • Fast ForWord;
  • Earobics;
  • Floortime and The Affect-Based Language Curriculum(ABLC);
  • Therapy specifically to strengthen all aspects of auditory processing from listening to directions to learning auditory reasoning skills;
  • Reading (Lindamood-Bell and Phonographix).