Auditory processing disorder (ADP) is characterized by an inability in children to process the information they hear in the same way as others. Children who have ADP often cannot recognize the small differences between sounds in words no matter how clearly the word might be spoken. While this disorder affects roughly 5% of school-aged-children, the nature of ADP’s symptom mean that it is often times misdiagnosed as ADHD or depression. For this reason, children with suspected ADP should be examined by a certified speech-language pathologist.
Guidelines for Parents
If you or an caregiver, like a teacher or babysitter, have concerns that your child might be experiencing speech or language difficulties, the best thing you can do as a parent is seek professional assistance from a licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP). He or she can assess whether or not your child has a language disorder and, if so, recommend the best way to administer the proper, individualized treatment that would yield the best results. Additionally, it is wise to intervene quickly – since children’s brains are rapidly developing, therapies which start while the child is still in early development tend to be more successful than those which begin later in development.
The Importance of Speech-Language Pathologists
Speech-language pathologists are professionals who specialized in the study of human communication, its development, and its disorders. Speech-language pathologists are uniquely capable of assessing your child and potentially helping him or her to overcome the difficulties involved with a specific communication disorder. Therapy treatments can mean anything from a few sessions to months of in-home or small-group treatments and will be tailored to meet the specific needs of your child.
It is important to make sure that the speech-language therapist you choose is a fully certified professional. Certification means the speech-language therapist has at least a master’s degree in the field, and has passed a national examination and successfully completed a supervised clinical fellowship.
If you are looking for a speech-language pathologist in the Chicago area, Karen George is a highly-regarded, in-home speech therapist who provides speech therapy services throughout the Chicago Area. If you are interested in learning more about her practice or contacting Karen you can do so by calling 312-399-0370 or clicking on the “contact us” link on the right of this page.
If your speech-language pathologist does find that your child has auditory processing disorder, it is important that you as a parent get involved in your child’s speech therapy program. Children who complete therapy programs the quickest and with the most success tend to be those with parents who were actively involved along the way. Your speech-language pathologist should be able to suggest games, activities or exercises to do with your child which will reinforce the work done in his or her therapy sessions. Ask your speech-language pathologist which at-home activities you can do with your child and commit to doing them on a consistent basis!
While the process involved in overcoming a speech or language disorder might seem daunting, it is helpful to remember that the time and effort your put in now can mean big life differences for your child in the years to come. Remember to be patient and understanding with your child; you are both in this together.