Auditory Processing Disorder

Auditory Processing Disorder - 500x300

It is not easy to sit with your child, see how hard they are studying and trying to understand the information only to see them come home with poorer grades than they deserve. Reading comprehension, paying attention and following instructions seems to be an ongoing concern from the teachers. Noticing how distracted your child is by background noise and how anxious he or she may be in new situations are all things that your kiddo does not need to live with.

Some of the red flags mentioned above may be a sign of an Auditory Processing Weakness. One of the positives about picking up on this weakness and understanding what area your child is struggling with is that there is intervention. Our brains are very plastic, and this means it is not too late to provide your child with the stronger auditory foundation that he or she needs.

What is Auditory Processing Disorder?

Information about Central Auditory Processing Disorder can often be confusing and misleading. Below, you will find some common myths and what you should actually know about Central Auditory Processing Disorder:

Common Myth: Central Auditory Processing Disorder is a hearing problem.

Fact: The act of hearing does not end with mere detection of an acoustic stimulus. Rather, several neurophysiological and cognitive mechanisms and processes are necessary for an accurate decoding of auditory input. Much of what is considered central auditory processing is preconscious; that is, it occurs without the listener being aware of it.

So How Does This Relate to Your Child?

Simply put, auditory processing is “what we do with what we hear.” And if there is something adversely affecting the process or interpretation of this auditory information as it travels through the auditory system, children will exhibit various weaknesses in their communicative environment (like at school or at home).

Common Myth: My child’s school and/or psycho-educational evaluation can be used to diagnose Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

Fact: Only an audiologist has the training and knowledge base necessary for comprehensive central auditory processing service delivery, theoretical underpinnings, and methods of practical application of scientific theory.

Appropriate equipment (such as a sound proof booth) is required for a full battery of tests that will need to be administered in order to diagnose Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Audiology Island is the only clinic on Staten Island that has a highly specialized protocol for diagnosis of Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Following the evaluation process, you will meet with our central auditory processing specialists for an educational counseling session regarding your child’s results. During this session, different types of auditory deficit and how they manifest in your child will be discussed. This is a vital component prior to management options. Parents are the experts when it comes to their children. Understanding the medical jargon of reports is not easy, but sitting down with the doctor and going through the results will ensure the most individualized management plans and will provide the assistance that your child needs.

Common Myth: My child needs an FM system in the classroom as treatment for Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

Fact: Central Auditory Processing Disorder management should be viewed as a tripod. Without all three “legs” (environmental modifications, remediation activities, and compensatory strategies), the tripod cannot stand. At Audiology Island, we tailor each management plan to the child, based on the evaluation. The three vital components are always involved. Our remediation techniques include direct therapy approach, which is not available anywhere else on Staten Island. It is only through direct therapy that our neuroplasticity can be maximized and auditory performance can be improved.

Benefits of Auditory Processing Disorder

  • Improvement in reading comprehension
  • Increased participation in class
  • Decreased sensitivity to noise
  • Improvement in the ability to focus
  • Improvement in following multistep instructions
  • Improvement in confidence levels

APD Therapy Programs at Audiology Island

Audiology Island is the only clinic on Staten Island to provide a direct therapy approach. We are very proud to utilize the Buffalo Model of Central Auditory Processing as designed by Dr. Jack Katz, who has been involved in the study of central auditory processing for over five decades. The success we have seen in the children we have worked with (ages five and older) has been tremendous. At Audiology Island on Staten Island, we evaluate a broad range of auditory skills in young children who are typically not formally tested in these areas yet could benefit most from early intervention. The following are therapy programs for Central Auditory Processing Disorder at Audiology Island:

  • Fast ForWord
  • The Listening Program
  • Interactive Metronome
  • iLs Integrated Listening System
  • One on One Auditory Therapy

Fast ForWord

The Ideal Reading and Language Intervention Program for Struggling Readers and English Language Learners.

Fast ForWord is an evidence-based language and reading intervention program that uses a unique 3-step approach to deliver fast learning gains. The program was developed by world-renowned neuroscientists to target the root causes of language and reading difficulty directly. No other intervention does this. Once these underlying areas are addressed, learners’ reading and language skills improve quickly, and continue to improve even after they have completed using Fast ForWord.

Key Features:

  • Dozens of online and mobile skill-building exercises for elementary and secondary school age learners
  • Adaptive technology that adjusts delivery to meet the needs of each learner
  • A digital guided reading tool that provides real-time corrective feedback as students read texts aloud
  • Automated assessments to ensure continued learning growth
  • Digital reporting to track reading and language skill development

At Audiology Island we are certified Fast ForWord providers. We believe this program is a great compliment to those students that have been struggling with auditory weakness and need improvement in reading comprehension. Our pricing is very competitive. Not only do we provide a full year license giving you the ability to get through the many programs within the battery but ongoing support with our doctors.

The Listening Program

Sound is everywhere, it is as much a part of our lives as the air we breathe, and the food we eat.

But, have you ever considered the impact of sound on your mental and physical health? Research shows that certain types of music can improve your health and brain performance. That’s what The Listening Program is about, improving your sound brain fitness. Our team of experts develops sound tracks of evidence-based music to improve your attention, memory, listening, creativity, and communication, while reducing stress, and enhancing your cognitive health, mood and sense of well-being. Positive and often life changing results in school, work, and home are common result from the program.

At Audiology Island we have been utilizing the benefits of the Listening program for 5 years. We are certified providers and have been incorporating this program as part of our Auditory Therapy. This music- based program has been shown to improve active listening in children and adults. It is designed to slowly build up tolerance to sounds, decrease frustration and improve active listening.


First module in a series, CAPDOTS-Integrated is a Dichotic Integration Listening Training Program used to treat CAPD, specifically binaural integration deficits (also referred to as auditory divided attention).

CAPDOTS-Integrated can be used on CAPD individuals from ages 5 years and older. It is being used successfully on those with learning disabilities, dyslexia, autism and head injuries. It is also uniquely appropriate for those with hearing impairment.

CAPDOTS™-Selected is a Dichotic Selection/Separation Listening Training program that is useful for those with binaural separation deficits and who fail or present with atypical interaural symmetries on Competing Sentences type tests.
The program presents dichotic stimuli at staggered onset times to favour the weaker (focus) ear. As training progresses, the timing differences decrease until they are presented simultaneously.

At Audiology Island we are certified providers and can provide CAPDOTS therapy. The convenience of a home based program while being supervised by a professional has been a tremendous benefit to our patients.

Interactive Metronome

Interactive Metronome (IM) is an objective assessment and training tool that improves neural synchronization and function in children and adults who display impairments in cognitive, communicative, sensory, motor and/or academic/vocational performance. Training plans are individualized to meet the unique needs of each person.

At Audiology Island we are able to utilize the many benefits of this program to strengthen integration weaknesses. A program that can be done both in the office and/or in the home environment will be developed to meet the needs of your child.

iLs Integrated Listening System

Decoding, phonemic awareness, listening in a noisy environment and speaking clearly require efficient processing and storage of information. The goal is to train the ear and the brain to analyze and process sound more efficiently and accurately.

Through repeated exercises, iLs programs train one’s ability to:

  • Discriminate similar sounding phonemes
  • Process and differentiate rapid occurring speech sounds
  • Improve inflection and rhythm in speaking and reading aloud

Bone/air conduction headphones deliver unique and efficient stimulation of the auditory and vestibular systems. Exercises in auditory figure ground, filtered words, repeating words and dichotic listening focus on skills related to auditory processing.

At Audiology Island we are happy to be providers of this therapy program. The unique features of the iLS Voice Pro System is a fun and effective way of strengthening various areas of the auditory system for children of all ages.

iLs Integrated Listening System

Based on the individual’s diagnostic profile, direct therapy techniques are used.

14-week program will concentrate on:

  • Decoding problems – phonemic training, emphasizing individual speech sounds
  • Tolerance Fading Memory problems – Speech-in-Noise (SN) desensitization and Auditory Memory Training
  • Auditory Organization problems – therapy for what we believe is the underlying problem: sequencing
  • Integration problems – dichotic listening training and some non-auditory approaches are used to strengthen the auditory connections in the brain

Our approach to therapy is based on the Buffalo Model of APD and was designed by Dr Jack Katz, who has been involved in the study of central auditory processing for over five decades. Reach out to us and we will be able to work together in designing the proper intervention needed for your child’s auditory needs.

Our Doctors of Audiology

Request Your Appointment

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is very treatable. If you are worried that your child is struggling in school or requires extra help it is important to look at the specific difficulties. Knowing the weaknesses will allow for the proper intervention and decrease your and your child’s frustration. Reach out to us today, to fill out the screening forms and see if your Childs difficulties are auditory related.

Patient Information

Audiologist is the proper type of specialist to diagnose Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). Although developmental psychologists and speech language pathologists may high light some auditory weaknesses, they can not diagnose and auditory processing disorder. Diagnoses is made when a battery of tests is administered in very specific conditions. Testing is done in a sound proof booth with recorded material that is routed into right, left or both ears (depending on the test) via headphones. Several tests are done through a speaker, but everything is done auditory only (no visual cues) and the presented signal is calibrated as well as presented at a specific volume. This is very necessary in order to apply age appropriate norms and see where your child’s scores are in each category of APD.

This is not true. Children enter school at 5 years old and are expected to recognize sounds and learn how to read at a young age. It is unreasonable to wait until they are in 2nd grade to assess their auditory skills. Testing always utilizes a battery of tests (several tests in one evaluation) and each test has age appropriate norms. There are many assessments that include norming data for younger children. In addition, the sooner the weaknesses are identified, the quicker remediation can be applied in order to prevent further difficulties particularly as educational setting becomes more challenging with older grades.

Knowing the weaknesses in Auditory Processing skills is a huge step in the right direction. Our brain has what is knows as neuroplasticity (ability for the brain to form new pathways and learn new skills). It is due to this ability that APD is very manageable and treatable. Auditory training, environmental modifications as well as scientifically validated online programs your child’s auditory skills can be strengthened to provide them with the foundation they need and deserve.

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