Auditory processing disorder is a condition that makes it difficult for individuals to recognize small differences in sound and speech patterns. The disorder in kids makes it difficult for the children to recognize and learn several speech related skills like other children at their stage. For instance a child growing up with APD may not know how to differentiate seventy and seventeen speech wise, or free and three. This makes it difficult for the child to develop academic skills that heavily depend on speech. Children with APD also tend to be very distracted with background noise and as a result, the child, for instance, cannot hear instructions in class because of the background sounds.
For parents who have children with this disorder, it may seem like a daunting task tantamount to raising a child with hearing disabilities. This is mostly a false paranoid feeling. Children with auditory processing disorder can actually hear, and do not necessarily have a mental disorder as feared by parents.
As a parent, there are several ways you can help your child with the disorder and slowly restore "normalcy" to your child's life as they grow up. There are several simple managing and coping mechanisms, both at the proven and research stages, which can be used by parents with children who have been diagnosed with APD.
Conditions at home
To help your child at home, you need to create an environment that assists the child's hearing and concentration. For a start, you should try as much as possibly to minimize echoes in your child's reading and sleeping areas. Hard surfaces produce more echoes than smooth surfaces. So, try carpeting and covering most of the hard, exposed surfaces around your home with soft materials. The reduction in echoes minimizes the frequency of background sounds confusing the child and making them unable to concentrate on speech. You should also minimize background noises from televisions and radios. In your child's room, try not to have devices such as AC units, fans , or other electrical devices that emit some form of background buzz, no matter how dulled they are.
If you can, it would also be helpful to find a speech therapist who works with children. He or she should work with your child when they are also doing things like school homework. This will help the child with their education and also boosts their confidence with class work.
Conditions at school
While you do not want your child to feel different and disabled at school, it may be best to organize with the school some subtle aid mechanisms during lessons. Talk to the teachers about having your child seat near the teachers. Also, you can buy your child radio receivers that connect wirelessly to a small microphone the teachers wear on their collar or tie. You can also request the teacher to use visual aids, speak more slowly, and emphasise key things for the benefit of your child.
Remember auditory processing disorder can be dealt with and most children often overcome its limitations as they grow up in environments with suitable coping factors. While some school subjects may become challenging, children with APD can be quite skillful in other areas that do not heavily rely on speech recognition patterns. Visit an audiologist and find out other mechanisms of helping your child through this stage.