Patti Hamaguchi, MA, CCC-SLP
If your child is struggling with auditory comprehension weaknesses, you will likely want to consider some kind of intervention either as part of their school curriculum or at home. For children in a self-contained special education class, the intervention may be woven into a more comprehensive curriculum rather than a separate therapeutic program. In fact, introducing new curricular concepts within a cohesive class setting is often preferred to a fragmented, isolated introduction of vocabulary (typically nouns) concepts.
But for many children, comprehension generally gets bogged down in those pesky “little words” that connect the noun concepts including actions, prepositions (to, from, for, by, with) plurals, possessives, pronouns and other elements of language. When they are all put together in a sentence—not to mention when spoken rapidly—the meaning can become confusing, or quickly forgotten, if there are memory problems. In these cases, consider these options in addition to formal speech-language/auditory therapy:
Commercial Therapy Programs:
* Please note: We have had children come to our practice who have been through the programs listed below and have reported positive changes in their child’s auditory skills. We have also had children go through them and not have any reported success. No program can “cure” auditory processing/comprehension difficulties so beware anyone who promises otherwise!
1. Fast ForWord: This is a computer-based, intensive (5 days a week) program that focuses on processing speed, auditory discrimination, memory and attention. They are currently marketing more towards the reading aspects of this program, but its original intent was auditory processing and it still offers a super way to work on these skills intensively. (I generally prefer to have children do this program over the summer due to the intensity level.) Their website: http://www.scilearn.com/
2. Therapeutic Listening: There are a number of programs that work at the frequency level and report to strengthen auditory processing through the use of carefully selected music, through headphones. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association does not advocate for these programs and feels the collective research is still lacking to prove their efficacy and thus considers them “experimental”. That said, many people do report some improvements with them, especially children who have attending, memory, processing speed, and sound sensitivity issues. Some of these programs include:
• Tomatis www.tomatis.com
• Integrated Listening System: http://www.integratedlistening.com/ (This also includes some motor activities, which is helpful for left-right brain integration)
• The Listening Program: http://www.thelisteningprogram.com/
3. Lindamood Bell: These are centers/programs that offer some structured, programmed activities that are designed for auditory discrimination (“LIPS” program) and also visualizing language (Visualizing and Verbalizing).
1. Picture the Sentence (Hamaguchi Apps)
2. Fun with Directions (Hamaguchi Apps)
3. More Fun with Directions (Hamaguchi Apps)
4. Sound Matching SM (Foundations Developmental House)
5. Syllable Counting (Foundations Developmental House)
6. Target Sound ID (Foundations Developmental House)
1. Childhood Speech, Language & Listening Problems: What Every Parent Should Know (Hamaguchi, 3rd edition 2012, Wiley & Sons Inc)
2. The Sound of Hope: Recognizing, Coping with, and Treating Your Child’s Auditory Processing Disorder by Lois Cam Heymann (Ballantine Books 2010)
3. When the Brain Can’t Hear by Teri James Bellis (Atria Books 2003)
2. Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)- www.cec.sped.org Search on” auditory processing disorder”. Detailed information about APD including remediation techniques is provided.
3. Kuster, JM, Do You Hear What I Hear? Listening Activities -
Patti Hamaguchi has been a speech-language pathologist for over 30 years. She is Director at Hamaguchi & Associates, a pediatric speech therapy practice in Cupertino, CA, and the author of Childhood Speech, Language & Listening Problems: What Every Parent Should Know, as well as several books on auditory processing disorders including “It’s Time to Listen” and “A Metacognitive Program for Treating Auditory Processing Disorders” (Proedinc.com) and an expert speech pathologist panelist on BabyCenter.com. Patti is also the founder and creator of Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development.