TEENAGERS

Auditory Processing Difficulties

Joseph is 13 and started secondary school last September. He has been looking forward to moving on from his primary school and is excited about the new subjects, changing classrooms and having different teachers for different subjects. It is a longer day, and there will be lots of new faces but Joseph feels that he is ready for it!

Joseph has Auditory Processing Difficulties

Joseph’s parents thought that the first week or two of their eldest child’s journey through secondary education were going well. However in the third week Joseph’s father received a phone call from the class tutor saying that they were worried that Joseph was struggling. The tutor described ho...

Joseph’s parents thought that the first week or two of their eldest child’s journey through secondary education were going well. However in the third week Joseph’s father received a phone call from the class tutor saying that they were worried that Joseph was struggling.

The tutor described how teachers would report that often Joseph appeared to be daydreaming – and when asked a question about the topic at hand was not able to answer. He often appears to lose attention and is unable to concentrate on what his teacher is saying. His teacher said that she often finds Joseph in a daydream, this is especially true when the class as a whole are getting giddy, or there are other pupils talking, during art for example.

When a teacher gives the class an assignment or instruction, Joseph always has to ask another student what they are supposed to be doing.

He was having difficulty comprehending what he was reading from his school books, and at the end of each class Joseph had real difficulty absorbing and understanding vital information and instructions regarding homework and preparation for the next class.

In primary school Joseph had at times made letter reversals when writing, but this was not really an issue at the time and his parents felt that he would just grow out of it. However now with the added pressure of Secondary school he seemed to be increasingly mixing up “d” and “b” and sometimes even wrote his numbers in mirror image.

A family friend told Joseph’s parents that a lot of his difficulties may be connected to or as a result of Auditory Processing Difficulties – An Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) or Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD).

Joseph and his parents came to Cluas for an assessment. When there, Joseph completed a Listening Test and standardised Auditory Processing Tests. The results of these tests and anecdotal information from discussion with his parents showed that Joseph did indeed have Auditory Processing Difficulties. That is, despite having perfect hearing, Joseph does not process auditory information (what is said to him) in the same way as his brother.

Joseph’s parents described how he had very frequent ear infections (or Otitis Media) when he was younger. These ear infections have contributed to his Auditory Processing Difficulty as during the early stages of development, Joseph was processing auditory information through the filter of the ear infection. It is also possible that the ear infections impeded the development of his Auditory Processing abilities.

Joseph’s parents decided that a Cluas Programme would be beneficial in helping him to develop his Auditory Processing Abilities. The Cluas Programme retrained his ear so that it could firstly receive auditory information correctly and secondly so that it could be processed more efficiently.

The Cluas Programmes are delivered through specialized sound equipment using classical music and active microphone work. Joseph’s individual programme was tailored and designed to specifically address his difficulties. His individual auditory training programme included listening to his own voice through his headphones. His voice was filtered and gated as he spoke into a microphone, allowing him to listen to his own voice through both air and bone conduction and giving him the chance to self- correct if he made a mistake. This retrained his ability to analyze sounds, and generally retrained his listening and auditory processing abilities.

Joseph completed his Cluas programme six months ago and has shown quite a turn around. His tutor says that he is much more tuned in to what is going on in the class. He is able to express his opinions, and is much more able to understand what he has read. His mother was very surprised by Joseph’s sudden interest in reading. Joseph’s letter reversals and mirror numbers are much reduced – and are no longer an issue. Additionally, Joseph has discovered that he has quite a talent for swimming and has joined the school swimming team where his coach is very encouraged by his quick progress. Joseph and his parents are absolutely delighted with his progress to date.

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TESTIMONIAL

Ciaran - aged 17 - from Co. Dublin, with School and Study DifficultiesNov '13

“… he is much more focused, better organised and more easily able to concentrate both in class …” Ciaran and his parents came to Cluas in Dublin in November 2012 for an Assessment and within a few weeks Ciaran started a Cluas @ Home program. The three program stages were completed for two ho...

“… he is much more focused, better organised and more easily able to concentrate both in class …”

Ciaran and his parents came to Cluas in Dublin in November 2012 for an Assessment and within a few weeks Ciaran started a Cluas @ Home program.

The three program stages were completed for two hours each day after school in December (for 15 days) and in January (for 8 more days) and in March (for a final 8 days). Ciaran came back to Cluas in Novemeber 2013 for a review and his mother Una told us how Ciaran was now getting on:

We embarked on the Cluas program in an effort to help Ciaran settle better into the classroom environment in preparation for his Leaving Certificate. Since he started in 5th year we have found that he is much more focused, better organised and more easily able to concentrate both in class and at home.  He has matured significantly and we are sure that the Cluas program has contributed, coinciding with his Transition Year experience and his own personal development.   

Una, November 2013

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