Auditory Processing Evaluation

An auditory processing evaluation measures whether a child has the necessary auditory skills for learning. If auditory deficits are present, they are specified and their effects upon reading, spelling and overall learning are identified.

In order to determine whether a child has the necessary auditory skills for learning, a variety of tests are administered to determine whether the auditory processing pathways are functioning properly. In order to determine this, the auditory pathways are "stressed". The "stress" is created by an altered type of speech signal, making the auditory pathways work harder. The "stress" may result from deletion of auditory information, such as omitting sounds within words. The "stress" may also be caused by the addition of information, such as adding background noise. The "stress" may result from fusion of auditory information, such as presenting part of one word in one ear and part of the word in the other ear, requiring the auditory system to fuse auditory information. A normal auditory processing mechanism is able to handle mild distortions of the speech signal while those with central auditory processing problems are unable to do so. By "stressing" the auditory pathways, information is obtained about the individual's ability to recognize the differences in words, fill in missing parts of words, blend sounds together to form words, understand speech in background noise and remember what is said for following directions and retaining academic concepts presented in the classroom.

In addition to determining whether the child has the necessary auditory skills for learning, the auditory processing test battery also measures the child's ability to use auditory skills for reading and spelling. Tests are given to measure the child's ability to associate sounds with their written symbols, sound out words, analyze the placement of sounds within words and spell words phonetically.

In summary, the auditory processing evaluation consists of a variety of tests that measure whether the child has the necessary auditory skills for learning. The areas of auditory deficits are identified and the effects of these deficits upon reading, spelling, memory and overall learning are determined. Specific recommendations are given for ways the teacher can help the child as well as programs that are commercially available to improve the auditory deficits.

To determine whether your child may have auditory processing difficulties, answer the following questions. Does your child:

  • Experience difficulty with phonics and reading comprehension?
  • Have difficulty with spelling?
  • Have difficulty associating what is heard with what is seen?
  • Exhibit below average academic performance, with gaps between ability and achievement?
  • Lack motivation to learn?
  • Have difficulty following directions, especially when several are given at one time?
  • Have trouble recalling a sequence heard?
  • Forget easily what is said?
  • Say "What" or "Huh" frequently?
  • Misunderstand what is said?
  • Exhibit a delayed response to what is said?
  • Exhibit a blank stare when a message is given?
  • Have trouble attending to messages for an appropriate amount of time?
  • Frequently daydream?
  • Become easily distracted by background noise or sights?

If you answered "yes" to several of the questions above, your child may have auditory processing difficulties which may be interfering with learning. If you would like your child evaluated, contact Children and Family Hearing Associates at 309-686-7250 to schedule an appointment. Our office receives referrals throughout the state of Illinois due to the thoroughness of the evaluation and the extensive personalized recommendations that are provided for each child.