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Auditory Processing Disorder

Ruben Struggled to Read & Pay Attention – How Did Fast ForWord Help?

Rubin was in his first year at school (kindergarten in NSW). His teachers told his mum, Lani, that he was not concentrating, he fidgeted a lot, and he could not complete his work.

He was also having great difficulty with his early reading, struggling to sound out simple sentences like "I am Tim. Tim sits."

Because his older brother Kito* had benefited from the Fast ForWord brain training exercises a few years ago following an audiologist's recommendation for his auditory processing disorder, Lani decided to have Ruben do the exercises as well.

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Poor Listening Skills - Could it be Auditory Processing Disorder?

Do you have a child or student with poor listening skills?

At home you might ask your child to do something like, "go and put on your school clothes, get your jacket and put your library book in your school bag". He or she may look confused or just say "huh", or actually go and just get one or two of the three things done.

In the classroom, the student with poor listening skills will have trouble keeping up with classroom discussions, following instructions and learning information when it is presented to them by the teacher's voice.

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Brain Wave Research: Fast ForWord Aids Language-Based Learning Problems

Do you know what this means?:
"Brain wave oscillation bands appear to be a major mechanism co-ordinating billions of nerves across different brain regions to perform even basic cognitive tasks such as paying attention to someone who is talking and understanding what they are saying."

It's about brain science, language learning and reading, and it may help your children or students.

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ADHD, Auditory Processing Disorder or Specific Language Impairment?

Many of the children I work with in my speech pathology clinic who have dyslexia also have additional difficulties with processing information and sustaining their attention.

They often have some or many of these challenges: 

  • Difficulty following verbal instructions
  • Need instructions to be repeated
  • Slow to process information
  • Easily overloaded with auditory information
  • Difficulty sustaining attention for learning tasks
  • A tendency to daydream
  • Easily distracted
  • Academic difficulties

These symptoms could indicate that they have one or more of the conditions known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), auditory processing disorder (APD), or specific language impairment (SLI).

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Fast ForWord Helped Mac with Auditory Processing, Writing & Spelling

Sally Wilcox noticed that her son Mac was becoming increasingly frustrated with writing and spelling when he was in grade 5. 

In Mac’s words, it was very simple - he hated writing.

Thinking back, Sally recalled that the early markers were already appearing in grade 1 when Mac had difficulty following instructions.

On deeper investigation, Mac was diagnosed with auditory processing disorder. At first Sally was told that this was developmental and that Mac would grow out of it, and to some extent this was true. Yet the problems persisted and Sally knew that something else needed to happen.

Eventually she found the Fast ForWord programs, and that’s when things started to change for the better. Fortunately Mac was very receptive to resolving his issue, and his teacher was also familiar with auditory processing disorder.

This combination helped Mac make significant gains at school with his academic results. He also increased his self confidence and became more willing to try.

In this episode of Learning Capacity Podcast Sally shares Mac’s story.


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How Elaine Finally Found a Solution to Her Son's Learning Difficulties

Elliot’s mum, Elaine had been concerned about his learning ever since he started school. Elliott is now aged 10 and in Year 5 at school.

He did not seem to be making progress with learning to read in Year 1, and by Year 3 he was having trouble with literacy concepts, particularly with comprehension. He also struggled to understand maths concepts. He found it difficult to make sense of the relationships between mathematical symbols and what he was meant to do with them.

As a primary school teacher, Elaine saw a discrepancy between her very energetic, able, motivated, and clever-in-many-different-areas little boy, and his lack of learning progress at school. He needed a lot of help to grasp simple concepts in reading and maths.

Listen to Elaine tell the story in her own words:

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Hugh's Psychologist Proposed Fast ForWord for his APD - What Happened?

It was clear to Melissa Bowman that her son Hugh was struggling in his first year of school. So she got help from the school psychologist who diagnosed Hugh with Auditory Processing Disorder.

The psychologist suggested that Melissa consider the Fast ForWord program and after researching it, Melissa had Hugh do the online exercises at home for about 6 months. Melissa was delighted with the improvements that Hugh made, including:

  • His listening improved
  • He is now better organised
  • His reading improved from below his age level to about a year above 

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How Auditory Processing Disorder and Dyslexia are Related

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) and Dyslexia are related conditions. LearnFast interviewed Dr Martha Burns, international expert on dyslexia and APD, about how they are connected and how we can treat them.

Key points from the interview included:

  • A child identified with APD in kindergarten is likely to show signs of dyslexia in year 3
  • Auditory processing disorders are treatable
  • There are various kinds of dyslexia
  • Dyslexia is a learning difference, not a disease

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How Ear Structure Can Contribute to Auditory Processing Disorder

What is “hearing acuity”? What does it have to do with auditory processing disorder and our ability to learn?

LearnFast asked Devon Barnes, speech pathologist and Auditory Processing Disorder specialist to explain the links between a child’s ear structure, their hearing acuity, auditory processing disorder and learning ability.


 Key points from the interview included

  • Hearing acuity refers to the very softest sound we can hear across a range of frequencies.
  • Hearing is fundamental to learning language.
  • Ear infection or “glue ear” can cause problems for children
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What Causes Auditory Processing Disorder?


How do we get auditory processing disorder (APD) – is it something we are born with? To find out, LearnFast interviewed Devon Barnes, speech pathologist and APD specialist.

Key points from the interview included:

• You can be born with it
• There are likely to be students with APD in almost every classroom
• Informed, aware teachers can identify students who may have APD
• This disorder can be related to dyslexia

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