Lannon Twomey: Speech-Language Pathologist

Treatment Areas: Hearing - (Central) Auditory Processing Disorders

Lannon Twomey: Speech Pathology With A Difference

Auditory processing refers to how the central nervous system interprets information received through the auditory system, unrelated to cognitive or language abilities or other neurological conditions. Only an audiologist can diagnose a (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder; however a speech-language pathologist can provide valuable information to determine if processing needs are related to underlying language disabilities or may be connected to other auditory or linguistic deficits. A speech-language pathologist can also provide treatment for students who are diagnosed with a disorder. It is also important to remember that many students with diagnosis other than (Central) Auditory Processing Disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, have difficulties processing auditory information and would benefit from intervention in this area.

A child with an auditory processing disorder may:

  • have difficulty understanding auditory information such as directions, orally read stories or content material in the classroom.
  • have difficulty discriminating between phonemically similar words or sounds.
  • have difficulty learning to read or spell.
  • demonstrate difficulty understanding speech in an environment with competing noise.
  • take a longer amount of time to process language.
  • make errors in pronunciation of words.
  • be able to complete school-related tasks once expectations are made clear.
  • demonstrate characteristics consistent with a hearing loss.
  • have adequate language skills.

In addition to classroom accommodations that are often recommended by audiologists, treatment for auditory processing disorders is necessary for most children. Treatment addresses auditory sensitivity and develops skills and strategies related to auditory extraction, attention, memory, auditory integration, organization and sequencing, and auditory encoding. Although (C) APD and hearing losses are not identical problems within the auditory system, some treatment approaches for hearing loss are relevant to (C) APD intervention. Click here for more information about treatment for hearing impairments.