Auditory Processing Evaluation
The simplest definition of auditory processing is what we do with what we hear. The first step in processing is the ability to detect or hear the sound or words. As we process information, it is transmitted through our inner ear (cochlea), auditory nerve, brainstem and cortex to be packaged into meaningful facts that we use to understand conversations, directions, inflection or tone of speech, etc. There are many skills needed to successfully process speech, in particular. Memory, language level, cognition, attention and discrimination of speech in background noise are a few. Often, individuals with processing problems have the same symptoms as someone who is hard of hearing despite the fact that his/her hearing is normal. Processing problems may be seen in young children through older adults. Even adults with normal processing skills may find that they have more difficulty understanding speech as they grow older if they find themselves in noisy environments, if the speaker is talking fast, or if the speaker has an unfamiliar accent/speech pattern. Augusta Audiology Associates offers a complete battery of tests to aid in the identification of auditory processing deficits. Once the weak skill areas are identified, recommendations are made to help manage the problem. Listening strategies are devised and sometimes assistive equipment is used to help with attention and listening in background noise. Often therapy is recommended to train the weak skill(s), especially in young children. By identifying the problem areas, we hope to be part of the team that helps to put the diagnostic puzzle pieces together to form a plan that helps our patients achieve their goals whether educational, social/communication or personal.