Auditory Processing Evaluations

Auditory processing skills are necessary for us to communicate effectively in a very noisy and fast-paced world.  If all of our personal encounters were in very quiet, well-lit surroundings and the individuals speaking were always in close proximity, spoke in complete sentences and at a normal pace, then the hearing part of our brain wouldnt have to work very hard.  Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.  As a result, our hearing system has to do much more that just detect sound.  This system must be able to take incomplete information (often the case in noisy environments), slow down the rate of delivery, and place each speech sound in the correct sequence.  All this is necessary in order to discriminate speech in an accurate and useful way.  This is a very complex process and the job of the auditory nervous system.

Most individuals do not have auditory processing deficits.  But for some, their apparent hearing problems have little to do with an inability to detect sound.  The problems lie further up the auditory pathway, affecting the accuracy in which they can discriminate one speech sound from another.    Auditory processing deficits can significantly impact learning, reading and speech-language development.  The ability to understand speech in noisy environment, like a classroom or restaurant, can also be affected.  Auditory processing deficits can be found in individuals of all ages.

It is the job of your audiologist to determine if an auditory processing problems is possible.  If suspected, a comprehensive battery of test can help identify both strengths and weakness.  Based on the findings from the auditory processing evaluation, and possibly from other related measures, recommendations can be made to help improve communication performance.