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All About The Numbers!

As some of you might have heard before, at Little Listeners, we are all about the numbers. With so many numbers to keep track of though, it is very common that we are asked what do all these numbers mean? So, let’s break some of this down and dive right in to the numbers world of Little Listeners!

2013 – The year Little Listeners became a dream come true. Dr. Christa Reeves founded Little Listeners after her time at DeKalb Medical Center where she saw a particular need for Auditory Processing Disorder evaluation and therapy. With the help of Ms. Dawn and Ms. Kim, they have been growing ever since. 

930 – The estimated number of Little Listeners we have helped over the years. This total is astounding when thinking about the number of lives that have been changed. 

3 – Little Listener therapy sessions are comprised of listening training and rhythm training. For the listening portion of our sessions, patients listen to the Little Listeners PASE program recording tracks. There are 3 of them: Distorted Words (muffled speech), Words in Noise (think of sitting in a noisy restaurant and trying to listen to only the person across from you) and Competing Words (the patient hears one word in each ear so two words in total). These tracks are designed especially for Little Listeners therapy to help our patients strengthen their listening skills in situations they struggle with like a noisy classroom or hearing directions from a different room at their house.  

10 – Out of the three listening playlists (Distorted Words, Words in Noise, and Competing Words), there are 10 tracks of each. As the patient progresses in their therapy session, they move from tracks 1 to 10 and they become progressively more difficult. 

45-40-45 – How does a patient move from tracks 1 to 10? When a patient is listening to the words, they repeat them back to the Little Listeners staff member they are working with. If they get a word incorrect, it is marked so we can keep track of errors and correct them over time. For Distorted Words, patients are allowed to miss five out of 50 words to move on to the next track; hence, 45/50 correct. For Words in Noise, Little Listeners decided to allow patients to miss 10 out of 50 words since these are usually the most difficult words for our patients; hence, 40/50 correct. For Competing Words, patients are only allowed to miss five out of 50 words which brings us back to 45/50 correct. When a patient achieves these goals, they move on to the next listening track. 

0 – 100 – As mentioned earlier, the other part of Little Listeners therapy is rhythm training. During a patient’s initial Auditory Processing Disorder Evaluation, the patient will complete a Long Form Assessment (LFA) with the Interactive Metronome (IM) Unit. Interactive Metronome is an incredible program used for numerous things such as Auditory Processing Disorder, stroke victims, or those who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. If you would like more information about IM, we strongly encourage you to check out their website. When deciding what kind of training the patient should complete during therapy sessions, we use their millisecond averages from the complete during the Long Form Assessment. If their millisecond average is under 100 milliseconds, they start on a Hard Training Plan. This is very common for our adult patients.  

101 – 200 – If a patient’s IM LFA millisecond average was between 101 and 200, they start on a Medium Training Plan. This is common for our patients who are in middle school or high school. 

201 and up – If a patient’s IM LFA millisecond average is above 201 milliseconds, then they start on an Easy Training Plan. This is very common for our younger patients. As patient’s complete their training plan, they move on to a more difficult setting to strengthen their rhythm and timing skills even more. 

0 – 200 – while completing Interactive Metronome, the Little Listeners staff encourages patients to be in synchronization with the IM beat (the cow bell noise everyone hears around our office). When a patient is right on the beat, they earn an SRO or Super Right On. This number is then recorded and sets a new goal for the patient. It is so fun to see this number get higher and higher throughout therapy sessions. Sometimes it takes a while to get right on the beat, but when it does happen, it is especially rewarding for the patient! The highest number we have ever seen is around 150 which is very impressive considering there are only 200 beats in a task. During the summer, Little Listeners holds weekly competitions for the highest number of SRO’s. Stay tuned to learn about more details about this Summer’s competition!

6 – 12 – Part of the Little Listeners Therapy Model includes a reassessment 6 to 12 months after the chosen therapy option has been completed. Why is this reassessment so important? As you might have heard a Little Listeners staff member say before, we see a “setting in” phase for about 6 to 12 months after therapy sessions. During our intensive therapy sessions, the brain is trying to figure out what to do with the listening and rhythm training. However, during these 6 to 12 months, the brain can absorb and rewire the brain to use what has been taught during the therapy sessions. Therefore, it is vital for patients to come back after this 6 to 12-month period to see how much the brain has absorbed and how it is using what we taught it to do during therapy. The Little Listeners staff also wants to make sure that the patient’s skills are holding strong and/ or progressing compared to the testing norms from right when therapy ended. It is amazing to see how much the brain can still do after therapy is over, and we love to watch it work!

6 – the number of staff members Little Listeners is blessed to have. Between Dr. Reeves, Ms. Dawn, Ms. Karen, Ms. Kim, Ms. Lindsey, and Olly of course, Little Listeners is full of knowledge, passion, joy, and lots of tail wagging. 

1 – ONE office, ONE amazing team, ONE incredible community, all working towards ONE goal – helping anyone and everyone with their Auditory Processing and Audiology needs. 

Well that’s all for now Little Listeners! We hope you all enjoyed learning some of the meaning behind our number madness. If you have any questions about these numbers or any of this information, please do not hesitate to ask!

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Mythbusters: Kids Under 7 Can Not Be Assessed for APD

We are often faced with confused parents that have been told that children under 7 can not be tested for Auditory Processing Disorder (APD).  These parents are concerned for the well being and success of their children and are often desperate for help.  Despite numerous publications from many well known audiologists in clinical and research settings, this AGE MYTH continues to thrive.  Here are some facts and some publications from some of the most respected Audiologists when it comes to Auditory Processing that I am hoping will help to BUST this misguided MYTH:

In summary, I think it’s important to recognize that a child’s auditory development can be assessed at ANY age, either by assessing subjective observations from the parents, evaluating current speech/language skills, understanding objective peripheral hearing abilities, or investigating central auditory processing skills with reliable and normed test batteries (available as young as 3 ½ years of age).  Reliable assessment of a child’s auditory processing development is possible at any age when cautious interpretation is utilized (a recurring theme across all cited articles above).  It is not appropriate to put off a developmental evaluation because we are waiting for a “magical age” that simply does not exist.   Age is just a number!  There have been plenty of mature 4 and 5 year olds that have been able to complete testing in our clinic far more reliably than some 7, 8 and 9 year olds that we have seen.  There is no value in considering a child’s age when it comes to determining eligibility for testing and auditory therapy.

At any stage, Little Listeners can advise or provide direct therapy for any developmental concerns that are reported by the parents or evident in the objective testing that can be performed:

  • Infants –  we can provide screenings or physiological measurements of peripheral hearing abilities and provide developmental checklists for parents to monitor speech/language milestones at home. 
    • Toddlers – we are able to perform behavioral assessments and physiological measurements to ensure normal peripheral hearing and provide home therapy tools that will promote normal auditory development, or refer out to speech/language therapists for speech stimulation. 
    • Children 5-7 years of age – we are able to assess central auditory processing skills with reliably normed processing tests and parent/teacher questionnaires regarding communication/learning abilities. 
    • Children and adults 7 years of age and older – comprehensive auditory processing assessments are available. 
    • All school aged children – there are reliable auditory training tools available for use at home, in the clinic, or in both environments to help remediate any processing delays. 

A therapist should first meet a child and attempt testing with all resources available before determining if their skills can be reliably measured or not.  And if not, it is crucial to recognize that there are many wonderful sound-based interventions that are commercially available to help young children develop their auditory processing skills appropriately, while waiting for the right maturity (not the right age!) for testing. 

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A Valentine from Little Listeners!

As most of you know, the month of February is all about love. In the spirit of the season, we wanted to share what we love about Little Listeners and in return, what our clients love about this special place as well.

Little Listeners is well loved for many reasons, one of which is being one of a kind! We are the only facility in the state of Georgia that diagnoses and treats Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) all in one place.

Little Listeners holds a special place in Dr. Reeves’ heart. Dr. Christa started this company six years ago with the dream of being the go-to location for APD testing AND treatment. Clearly, she made this dream a reality. With a lot of hard work and the help of her staff, Little Listeners has become a place like no other. She also loves that she gets to work with some of her life long best friends – Dawn and Kim.

Ms. Dawn says she loves Little Listeners because she loves working with all her kiddos. To see their progress from the beginning of therapy to the finish is remarkable. Being a part of their hard work is rewarding for our staff of course, but seeing the kids be proud of themselves is the best. Ms. Dawn also loves getting creative with therapy and creating a fun and engaging place where kiddos want to work hard and accomplish goals.

Ms. Kim loves Little Listeners especially because she loves interacting with the kiddos and their families. When a family first calls Little Listeners, they usually talk to Ms. Kim. Also, when you enter Little Listeners, she is usually the first face you see. This has made it possible for her to build great relationships with the kids, but also their awesome families.

Ms. Lindsey has loved Little Listeners from the start and treasures all the experience she has gained here which will surely help her when she gets to graduate school in the fall. She has not only learned about Auditory Processing, but also how to work with patients and their families to help them accomplish their goals. Ms. Lindsey also loves the sweet surprises that often await her at the office, such as her super spooky room that was decorated for Halloween.

What makes Little Listeners special is not just that the staff loves the company, but even more that our kiddos love us right back. If you have ever walked around our office, you have probably seen the “graduation pictures” of some of our patients. On each picture, our graduates write what Little Listeners has helped them do. These answers range from improving their grades at school to being able to listen to loud noises without getting frustrated. While we all know that our patients love hanging out with Olly the most, it is heartwarming when they are excited to come back and get to work with us too.

Well that’s all for now Little Listeners. We hope everyone loves Little Listeners as much as we do and has a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

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Happy New Year!

Happy 2019 Little Listeners! We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year. While enjoying some much-needed time off, we could not be happier to get back to work and see all of our friends! We have a couple of announcements as well as some New Year’s “To Dos” that we want to share and hope to challenge everyone to accomplish with us in the upcoming months!

             Before we look at the things on our “To Do” list let’s give a major shout out to our top three users in our holiday INTERACTIVE METRONOME HOME and the HEARBUILDER Competitions. We saw an incredible increase in usage during the holidays, and we hope to keep seeing this throughout the year. As some of you may remember, we had similar competitions over the summer. The highest usage we saw during the three months of the summer competition was 19 days, however; over this recent holiday competition, the highest amount of usage was 21 days! It is remarkable that we had our Little Listeners practice more in one month than we did over the entire three summer months. This is a testament to everyone’s dedication and hard work!

            Now let’s look at how we can keep challenging ourselves during 2019:

To Do #1:  We want to encourage you to keep using your HearBuilder and Interactive Metronome Home units throughout the remainder of the school year so you can complete your training goals!  

To Do #2:  We want our kiddos to continue to bring their awesome attitude to therapy, so we can keep having fun while accomplishing therapy goals.

To Do #3:  We want to focus on healthy eating and keeping active.  As some of you may remember from last summer, we had a blog post about eating right and getting plenty of exercise. Now that the holidays are over, we hope everyone gets back on track with eating healthy, staying active and drinking plenty of water.

To Do #4:  We want our Little Listeners to keep working hard in school.  Continue to stay dedicated to your school work and homework, get plenty of sleep during the weekdays, enjoy the awesome extracurricular activities you are involved with and spend some time relaxing on the weekend!

To Do #5: Limit screen time/take a break from technology. Another blog post from this summer was about the proper amount of screen time. While it can be difficult to limit screen time with homework, video games, and television, remember that too much time staring at a screen is not good for you! Here are some awesome tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to limit screen time: turn off technology at least one hour prior to bedtime, have designated technology free zones in your home, limit screen time during meals, and increase time spent outdoors with family and friends.

We are excited to work together so we can all check off the items on our 2019 To Do List!!

One last important item to mention…

Little Listeners is pleased to welcome a new member to our team! Karen Wilson (Ms. Karen), started working with us this past fall, two days a week to help with administrative tasks. Throughout this spring, she will continue to help out in Ms. Kim’s office as well as train with Ms. Christa, Ms. Dawn and Ms. Lindsey to become a licensed Audiology Assistant to help administer therapy with our kiddos. We are confident that she will make a great addition to our team and cannot wait for all of you to see how awesome she is!

That’s all for now Little Listeners! 2018 was an incredible year for us, and we know 2019 will be even greater. We look forward to embarking on this adventure with you all.   

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A Holiday Hooray!

This year Little Listeners has accomplished so many incredible things! From new staff members to our kiddos reaching new heights, 2018 was one for the books!

This summer we added a seasonal Audiology Assistant, Lindsey, who decided to stay with us through the school year. With her help, we started summer competitions seeing which Little Listener used HearBuilder and Interactive Metronome Home the most. It was so great seeing all of our friends accomplish their goals while receiving gift cards to awesome places. The summer competitions were definitely a success, and we are so excited to see how the holiday competitions go! From December 3rd to January 7th, we will be monitoring our kiddo who has the most usage with either the IM Home unit and/or HearBuilder program, so if you are a part of these competitions make sure to keep up the work to win those prizes!

Our kiddos winning competitions was not the only exciting thing going on in 2018. Our patients’ progress amazes us more and more every day. A few of our patients have really exceeded expectations! When our friend Tripp first came to us, he had significant goals to meet. At reassessment, he accomplished all of them! It was great to see him excited about not only accomplishing his goals but surpassing them. Teachers of our patients have also told us success story after success story. Seeing their progress pay off in the classroom is a goal we take seriously here at Little Listeners, and from what teachers have been telling us, we have not disappointed. One of our patients, Chase, was terrified of dogs when he first started coming here. By the end of his therapy sessions though, Chase and Olly were best friends! One of the best parts of the Little Listeners experience is hearing our patients tell us how much they have benefitted from our therapy whether that means making new furry friends, accomplishing their in-therapy goals, strengthening skills in the classroom, or having more confidence outside of therapy. Our friend Casler told us that Little Listeners not only helped her with her Dyslexia, but with life in general. It does not get much better than that!

As far as our staff goes, Dr. Reeves became an official GETA speaker this year. She will now be traveling to teach Educators about Auditory Processing Disorder. This education is much needed, so we are very excited that our very own Dr. Reeves will be helping meet this task. We also added an additional support staff member, Karen. She has been helping us around the office, and we cannot imagine what we would do without her. She is working to become an additional Audiology Assistant, so we will have an extra set of hands on deck!  We cannot wait to see where time with her takes us. 

As everyone already knows, Little Listeners goes all out for the holidays. This holiday season is no different. We will be celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas with lots of yummy treats and fun arts and crafts with our kiddos. Little Listeners will also be having tacky holiday week starting on December 10th and ending on December 14th. Come dressed up in your favorite tacky holiday sweater or dressed up as your favorite character from your favorite holiday movie. On December 17th and 19th, we will be wearing our holiday pajamas so feel free to come join our pajama party! Starting on December 20th, Little Listeners will be closed until we reopen on Monday, January 7th, 2019. 

When looking back on this past year, Little Listeners is so proud of all we have accomplished and so thankful we have gotten the opportunity to spend time with all of our special clients. We know 2019 will bring even more exciting and smile-worthy moments. We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year! 

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We’re Thankful!

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching! In the spirit of being thankful, Little Listeners wanted to express our appreciation for all of the other disciplines that help our kiddos! It takes a village sometimes, and we are so thankful our village consists of talented Audiologists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Music Therapists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Educational Therapists, just to name a few! With all of these professionals offering great services, it is sometimes hard to know where to start or what the differences are. The most common confusion we see at Little Listeners is the difference between Speech therapy, Sensory Integration therapy, and Auditory Processing therapy. Hopefully this blog will help answer some of these questions.

Speech-Language Pathologists primarily focus on expressive, receptive, and social language, swallowing, voice disorders, stuttering, and speech and language issues for those who have hearing impairments. This therapy might include activities focusing on certain sounds like ‘th’ or ‘r’, feeding therapy, or how to answer questions starting with where or when.

Sensory Integration therapy on the other hand tackles issues involving noise, tactile, taste, and visual sensitivities. During sensory integration therapy, a patient might play with Play-Doh, partake in a brushing activity, or exercise in a sensory room.

At Little Listeners, our Auditory Processing therapy helps the brain learn to listen. When a child can physically hear the stimulus around them, but cannot process it, that is when we see auditory processing difficulties. During our therapy, kiddos listen to tracks of words to practice their listening skills and do rhythm training through Interactive Metronome along with phonological synthesis and auditory memory training. It can be confusing to keep all these disciplines straight especially if your child is in multiple therapies at once.

Little Listeners is dedicated to accomplishing goals across intra-disciplinary lines. In the past, we have consulted with other professionals to ensure the greatest progress for our kiddos. From collaborating with Occupational Therapists to receiving additional ideas from Speech-Language Pathologists, we love learning about other disciplines and how they can contribute to our therapy methods here at Little Listeners. If you ever have any questions about what we do, please do not hesitate to ask. While we might not fully know what your child does in other therapies, we can answer almost any questions you have about what we do at Little Listeners.

On another note, this past October Little Listeners participated in the Dyslexia Dash! This race event raised awareness for Dyslexia and supporting programs in the greater Atlanta area. We were so happy to see some of our Little Listener’s friends, as well as meet new potential clients. Along with private schools, a variety of learning programs and other local therapy companies, we were able to provide information and education to help those with Dyslexia explore their options for intervention techniques. It was great to consult with these other professionals to explore different possibilities for those with Dyslexia. If you would like more information about the awesome people we met at the Dyslexia Dash, please let us know.

One final note: We are so excited to announce is that we are having another HearBuilder and IM Home competition! We had a similar competition over summer which was a great success! Many of our kiddos accomplished goals and improved tremendously in Super Right On’s and progressing through higher levels of the HearBuilder Program. This progress from increased usage at home also helped when the clients came in to the office to be reassessed. We are hoping this competition will help our friends stay motivated over the holiday break and keep working on their auditory processing skills! The winners of this competition will receive awesome gift cards and other great prizes. We will be sending more information and details as we get closer to the beginning of December, so stay tuned!

That’s all for now Little Listeners! We hope this blog finds everyone having a great school year and you are ready for some well needed holiday rest!

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October Is Testing Month!

October is a crucial month for standardized test taking in Georgia. These tests can help parents, teachers, and the school identify strengths and areas that need additional support. With all of these important tests coming up, Little Listeners wanted to provide some tips and tricks for the best outcome possible.

The night before test taking, make sure your child gets plenty of sleep and be encouraging! Test anxiety can develop in children at an extremely young age and get worse over time so try to present the test as a way to show off how much they have learned and how well they can do. It is also a great idea to plan ahead so there is not as much rushing in the morning. This could mean planning what they are going to wear or what they will have for breakfast. When the morning of the test comes, make sure that breakfast is a healthy one and that their outfit is comfortable and familiar. After testing is done, reward your child! Testing takes a lot out of the child mentally, emotionally, and physically. Talk to your child about what they learned from the test and what they would like to work on harder if need be.

When the test results come back, do not compare one child’s performance to another. This could be the case especially for siblings or twins in the same grade. Every student is different so make sure they feel special and proud of their score in their own way. Also, tell them how proud you are of them. A little positivity goes a long way. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or school guidance counselor. Your child’s success is what we are all here for. 

While we all hope for the best outcomes on standardizing testing, sometimes the scores come back and are not what we quite hoped for. If this is the case, it is not the end of the road. It is the beginning of figuring out what the issues are that need to be corrected for the child to reach their highest potential. If your child has low math or reading scores, it could be signs or poor reading comprehension or weak memory and organizational skills. Some children have issues with math facts, this could be a sign of tolerance fading memory. If there are signs of poor spelling, that could be an indicator of a decoding issue. Organizational skills are also present when dealing with multiple choice questions, steps in a math equation, or writing a story. If someone has problems with any of these questions, this could be another red flag. If the child was not able to even finish the test, that could be another indicator or memory or organizational weaknesses. All of these issues are major indicators of Auditory Processing Disorder and can be remediated with proper diagnosis and therapy.

There are also several things parents can do if they know their child has a hard time with noisy environments. Even though teachers try to keep their students quiet during testing, there can be noise coming from the hallway, sneezes, foot tapping, pen clicking, etc. Sending your child to school with ear plugs on testing day is a great option especially if they are seated next to a noise source like a window or door. Asking your child’s teacher if they can sit in the front of the classroom or go to a different space to take their test might be beneficial as well. It is also important for parents to remember to be patient with their child’s teacher and the school. Auditory Processing Disorder is relatively “new” so having to educate the educators is sometimes necessary.

Being patient with your child is also vital. Make sure to give them extra time to organize thoughts and fully comprehend what you are saying or repeat instructions. Sometimes, rephrasing the instructions or using more simple language can also be effective. Understanding Auditory Processing Disorder and helping others around you understand what your child needs can be challenging at times, but it is very worth it in the end.

If you have any additional questions about testing strategies or concerns about your child’s test scores, please reach out to us. Happy testing!

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Little Listeners Intern Takeover

Throughout the last five years here at Little Listeners, we have had the pleasure to host many interns. This past summer, there have been several interns working in the afternoons you have probably met as well. They have helped with countless projects such as monitoring competitions this summer, data analysis with Dr. Reeves, and scheduling appointments for all of our friends. Before our wonderful interns go off to do bigger and better things, they would like to say some things about their time here at Little Listeners.

My name is Lauren Casey, and I have been an intern at Little Listeners for about a year and a half. I have found Little Listeners to be so rewarding because I have been able to see how their business works as well as make connections with the amazing kids. Everyone at Little Listeners is so invested, engaged, and genuinely loves what they do. This internship has been one of the best parts of my high school career, and I am so glad I have had the opportunity to work here!

-Lauren

I’ve been at Little Listeners for almost a year now, and although that may not seem very long, it has made a huge impact on me in ways I never expected. I began at Little Listeners as an intern for a class at my high school, where I was looking forward to working in a clinic setting with unusual, but tested and effective, methods of treatment. Working here has led to realize the importance of Audiology and to understand how to work with children in a way that doesn’t belittle or bore them. I am grateful to the incredible women who work here, and I hope to repay them by teaching others what I’ve learned here. Thanks for letting me be part of your weekly schedule!

-Nathan

I interned with Little Listeners my senior year of high school, and I am so grateful to have learned from Dr. Reeves, her team, and the kids as well! Each day in the office was different, and I worked with kids of all ages – from infants to middle schoolers. The most memorable part of the experience was watching Dr. Reeves successfully run her own business in an environment she is passionate about. Once I started at UNC Chapel Hill in 2015, I furthered this interest in the business side of healthcare by studying both business administration and biology. I just graduated last month and am excited to move to Raleigh, North Carolina to work for a market research consultancy that focuses in healthcare/pharmaceutical primary research. My internship with Little Listeners definitely showed me the excitement that comes along with working in healthcare, and I hope to continue that excitement throughout my career!

  -Elizabeth 

“This is my second summer as an intern at Little Listeners and it has been such an incredible experience. I have been able to observe therapy sessions, research relevant topics for blog posts, and help facilitate office tasks. I feel that I am better equipped for my undergraduate studies as a Communication Sciences and Disorders major at the University of Kentucky. My understanding of the Audiology field has expanded as well as my leadership skills.”

-Emma

We want to thank all of our amazing interns – past and present – for the wonderful times we have all spent together. As much as they have enjoyed working here, we have enjoyed them and appreciate their hard work and dedication even more. Hopefully, the lessons learned here whether it be business or healthcare related will be beneficial to them with all their future endeavors. We wish all our interns the best of luck wherever life takes them!

Sincerely,

The Staff of Little Listeners

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Auditory Processing Disorder Subtypes

As anyone who has spent time in our office will know, Little Listeners is passionate about treating and educating people about Auditory Processing Disorder. What some might not know is that there are six different subtypes of APD. In this blog, we will attempt to define and outline these subtypes as well as explain what they might look like.

Decoding Deficit – A DD is the inability to process and discriminate incoming auditory information.  This deficit manifests itself as a discrimination issue with misunderstanding information, difficulty hearing in noise, and weaknesses with language skills such as reading, spelling, and vocabulary. Patients often have difficulty with sounding out words, discriminating between similar-sounding words, speech clarity, and word ending discrimination.

Tolerance Fading Memory – A TFM deficit is an inability to retain auditory information as well as a significant inability to process information with background noise present. This is characterized by poor handwriting, short-term memory weaknesses, difficulties with reading comprehension and expressive language disorder.  Often individuals will need instructions to be repeated, are easily distracted, and experience auditory overload.

Associative Deficit – An associative deficit is defined by information becoming stalled during processing, which results in patients being unable to understand how language fits together. Patients will have difficulties in reading and listening comprehension, as well as a poor understanding of word problems, and often difficulty with writing. This deficit can often be characterized as an auditory manifestation of a language processing disorder.

Output/Organization Deficit – An organization deficit occurs when a patient is unable to act on the incoming information which is trying to get to another part of the brain. Patients will display symptoms such as difficulty with sequences and follow-throughs, and impulsivity.  They often appear disorganized and inattentive.

Prosody – A prosodic deficiency results from a lack of understanding the unspecified cues of language. Patients may have a monotone voice and may develop social or emotional disorders as a result of the deficit. Patients will have difficulties with focus, background noise, directions, or the true intent of a verbal message (sarcasm, irony, etc). Social cues and facial expressions may mean little to them, and they may often display defensive behavior due to misunderstanding social cues.

Integration – An integration deficit occurs because of a difficulty in transferring information between the left and right sides of the brain. Patients will hear clearly, but the individual pieces of information will not logically piece together. They may feel as though they have details but cannot see the big picture because they have too much information to comprehend. Patients will have difficulties with multi-tasking, transitioning, listening in noise, reading comprehension, spelling, and written language.

Having any of the subtypes of APD can be a huge struggle for children, especially in learning environments where their success can impact their future. If you suspect your child has one of these subtypes, please talk to us about it. With proper diagnosis and a successful therapy program, it is possible for those struggling with APD to reach their highest level of success.

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Limit Technology Usage for a Healthier Summer!

As shared last week, staying healthy over summer involves maintaining a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle. Another key aspect for a healthy lifestyle comes from understanding your technology usage. With technology surrounding us at work, school, and in social environments, it may seem impossible to limit screen time. Since children are exposed to technology as they are still developing, it is important to understand the recommended guidelines for healthy technology usage. Summer is a great time to assess your family’s technology habits and implement changes.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has published the following guidelines for technology usage:

  • For children younger than 2 years old, they recommend no technology.
  • For children ages 2 to 5 years old, they recommend an hour or less of supervised media time per day.
  • For children ages 6 and older, they recommend that guardians emphasize sleep, physical activity, and school over screen time.

An average day for a healthy child includes 8 to 12 hours of sleep, an hour of physical activity, and time for social interaction in addition to school. It is important to recognize that school activities and educational tools are often accessed online. Recreational screen time (video games, television, social media) is the area to reduce the most.

The AAP has an online calculator to create an individualized technology plan for your family. By entering in all the activities your child does each day, it creates a daily schedule and allots the remaining time for technology. You can create your plan here: HealthyChildren.org: Create Your Family Media Plan

Below are some tips to consider for your technology diet:

  • Limit screen time during meals
  • Turn off technology at least one hour prior to bedtime
  • Have designated technology free zones in your home
  • Focus on online educational activities such as HearBuilder (our favorite)
  • Increase time spent outdoors with family and friends

Through decreasing time idly spent online, you will have more time to focus on your overall health. This summer is the time to power down devices and get outside!

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