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Auditory Processing Disorder
Q: We suspect my three-year-old has an auditory processing language disorder and a very short attention span. Is there anything else we should do besides speech therapy?
A: An auditory processing disorder (APD) can make a child appear to have attentional issues. Have you had your child evaluated by an audiologist? That is usually the best road to travel to get an appropriate diagnosis as well as the treatment recommendations and environmental accommodations your child might need. For example, your child may benefit from the use of an electronic device like an auditory trainer that would allow him to focus attention on a speaker and reduce interference of background noises.
For more information about identification and treatment for auditory processing disorders, go to the website for the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at www.nidcd.nih.gov. They have an excellent article, "Auditory Processing Disorder in Children: What Does It Mean?"
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For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.