What Is Auditory Processing Disorder?


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Hearing plays a vital role in continuing relationships and connections with friends and family, fully participating in team and community activities, and experiencing life events. Hearing makes it possible to participate, listen, laugh, and appreciate many of the things that help shape your quality of life.

What Is Auditory Processing Disorder?

Kids with Auditory Processing Disorder(APD) can’t understand what they hear in the same way other kids do. The main reason for auditory processing disorder is because their ears and brain don’t fully coordinate.

Such a situation is also known as central processing disorder (CAPD), and these conditions almost affect 3% – 5% of school-going children. Kids with APD find it difficult to understand when something is said to them in noisier places like classrooms, school cafeterias, playgrounds, or parties. By using the right tactics, we can see improvement in kids and can be successful in school and life. But such conditions need to be diagnosed and managed early to manage learning problems at home or school.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder?

Every child who suffers from Auditory Processing Disorder has a different range which can be from mild to severe. As a parent, you need to identify such a situation that if your child finds it difficult to process sounds. You need to identify the situation and answer the following questions:

  • Does my child find it hard to hear sounds and words correctly?
  • When my child tries to listen, do noisy environments make any difficulties?
  • Does my children listen better in quieter settings?
  • Does my child find difficulties when following simple or complicated verbal directions?
  • Is my child facing a problem with spelling or phonics?
  • Is the child finds it difficult to solve verbal math problems?
  • Is it hard for the child to follow the conversation?
  • Consistent struggle in understanding letter sounds or how sounds go together to form words. In other words, trouble reading.
  • Facing any difficulties in identifying rhyming words.
  • Saying common words incorrectly and omitting sounds.
  • Always looking for information and directions to be repeated. 

Specifically, there is no cure available but there are different proven strategies that can help to improve listening and development of auditory pathway over time. These strategies can be done by parents who are interested in helping their child to improve their auditory processing skills but these should be done at a younger age.

Activities To Improve Auditory Processing Disorder

Recorded Sounds

Record different sounds of trains, cars, planes, animals on a device and then ask the children to identify the sound and answer. Continue practice can improve the hearing skills with amazing results.

Attending For Sound Patterns

Ask the child to close his eye and ask him to be attentive. Now clap hands, bounce a ball, or play drum. Now ask the child that can he count the number of sounds he heard or can he repeat the sound pattern. 

Repeat this activity with different speeds like slow and fast.

Near or Far

The child closes their eyes and listens carefully, analyzes it, and tells what part of the room a sound is coming from and whether it is far or near.

Listening and Responding Quickly

Red Light/Green Light.

This is an old-fashioned game perfect to practice listening skills and kids can also learn how to respond quickly. More than one player is required to play this game. Stand the children away from you and instruct them to run towards you when you say green light. But when you say stop, instruct them to stop quickly. The player who reaches you first will be the winner. When you say red light and someone doesn’t stop, he must return to the starting point of the game. 

Musical Chairs

Normally this game is played with several players. Use one less chair as compared to the number of players. For example, if you have five players, use four chairs. Play music and ask players to walk around the chairs with the background music. When the music stops, players try to sit in the empty chairs. The player who does not get a seat will be out of the game. The player left at the end with the last chair will be the winner. This is a great activity for responding to auditory changes quickly. 

Listening and Remembering

I Went Shopping

It is better to play this game with only two players. The first player will make a grocery list and add a new piece of item in alphabetical order in every turn. I went shopping and bought an apricot. I went shopping and bought an apricot and a banana. I went shopping and bought an apricot, a banana, a candy. Now the second player will also repeat the same in the same order. This game is best for listening and remembering.

Who Comes Next?

The picture of a deck of cards is very useful for brain training. In this game, the parent calls out two of the card’s characters, and the child must find the characters and place them in the order mentioned. Next time, list three characters and add more characters in the next term. And, continue to increase the listening skills and short-term memory.

Read with Inflection

Parents should always read aloud with inflection and expect the same from the child. If your child effort with inflection, practice this skill specifically during short narrations.

Listening Nature Walk

On a listening walk, ask your child to focus on the sounds he hears around him. Natural sounds like airwaves leave rustling, bird’s songs can be relaxing and enjoyable. 

  • Explain to your child how to listen carefully while on your walk and ask him what sounds he expects to hear.
  • Stop at different places and close your eyes together. Ask your child what he can hear?
  • Ask him to notice that sound is coming from near or from far places and how loud the sounds are and who is making the sounds. Are they made by people or machines?

Let your child take the lead and have fun walking home together.

LEGO & Describe Constructions.

Two people are required for this activity. The first person will build a small figure with lego blocks. Then the first person will give oral instructions to the other player to build the same figure with Lego blocks. The other player cannot see the first figure unless he completes his block.

Now compare the two figures and check if they are the same or not. If they are the same add a few more blocks for the next game. But if both figures are not the same, keep practicing until they both get the same figure. Now ask other players to listen and make figures according to the oral instruction of the first player which will give responsibility to both players to listen and build. 

Silent Or Loud Sound Game

Silent or Loud Sound Game is very helpful for improving the sense of hearing but the game also helps children to listen more carefully and pay attention.

What You Need?

It’s easy to arrange items for silent or loud sound games and you can use items available at home.

  • 3 egg cartons or any container 
  • 2 pieces of paper
  • Metal tin (empty)
  • Random small items (water beads, plastic beads, wooden blocks, coins, bells, beads, toothpicks, pony bands, rice, etc.)

Silent or Loud Sound Game not only helps the child with their sense of hearing but the game also helps children to listen more carefully and pay attention. Hope your child will also love this game!

It’s always hard to explain to kids to keep their volume a bit lower. In some situations, kids don’t know how to speak low with a soft voice.

We tried to use ordinary household items to keep it simple and put together this game in less than 5 minutes because everything used in this game is either from recycle bin or taken from the home.

And this is how Silent or loud sound game is played:

Invite your kid to pick an item from the pile and ask her to name it if she can. If she didn’t know the name, tell her the name and invite her to repeat it.

Next asked about her opinion, will ____ make a loud or silent sound?” as she was placing the item in a tin. She would answer by making a guess and she may tell the right or wrong answer.

As the last step, she would place it in separate egg cartons one with loud items and the other with silent items, depending on the sound that item created in a metal tin.

Repeat the process all over again until you went through all the items! It takes a while but kids don’t mind because they are having so much fun.

What Kids Can Learn?

 It is useful to improve their vocabulary as kids learned some new words as previously never used.

It is helpful to improve her fine motor skills as she used her fingers to transfer even tiny items like beans and rice from egg carton to tin and back to the egg carton. Kids can learn how sounds may be different depending on materials.

These small activities are useful to improve auditory disorders in kids. Try these if your child is facing any difficulty in listening as these activities are easy to prepare and conduct and kids can learn a lot playing these games.

Do you have any questions about arts and crafts? If so, we encourage you to leave a comment below.

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About CraftyThinking

CraftyThinking is a company that strives to inspire creativity in children by providing them with the opportunity to explore their creative side through art and crafts. We are about helping parents give their child an outlet where they can explore their creativity without worrying about the mess or time commitment!

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