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Recent Study: Remediation Programs for Children with Auditory Processing Disorder

It may seem impossible to keep up with new information in the technological age we live in today, especially if that new information is not a dramatic breakthrough in its field. However, progress is progress regardless of its contribution, and in this blog Little Listeners would like to keep you informed on a recent study about remediation programs for children with Auditory Processing Disorder.

“Comparing Outcome of Formal and Informal Remediation Programs in Children with Central Auditory Processing Disorder” by Samah Oraky, Somaia Tawfik, Mohamed Salama, and Enass Mohamed was accepted to The Egyptian Journal of Otolaryngology in January of 2017. This study focused on fifty children who suffered from Auditory Processing Disorder and divided them into two groups. These two groups were then treated with two different remediation methods. The first method was formal auditory training, which involves a set program with specialized equipment. The second method is informal auditory training, which does not require a professional or special equipment.

Both groups underwent two months of their respective therapy programs. The variables measured were their results with four tests including dichotic digits, pitch pattern sequences, auditory fusion, and electrophysiological tests. The dichotic digits test involved repeating a set of four digits. The pitch pattern sequence test involved a series of either high or low pitches, and the patient must recall the order of the pitches. The auditory fusion test involved determining when a sound occurred between long periods of silence. The electrophysiological test was used to determine any specific changes occurring while listening to certain sounds using electrodes placed on the head.

The results of the tests were very promising for both groups. Temporal auditory processing ability, dichotic listening ability, and phonemic awareness were all tested and the results showed significant improvement for both groups.

So, what does this mean for Little Listeners? We use a formal training method (Interactive Metronome) with some supplementary informal training (games and distractions), and our results have mimicked the results in this study. This study proves the effectiveness of our methods and can act as proof beyond testimonials and the extensive research done by Dr. Christa. We look forward to finding more studies related to our field of expertise, as well as contributing more of our own studies.

Resource: Oraky SM, Tawfik S, Salama M, Mohamed ES. Comparing outcome of formal and informal remediation programs in children with central auditory processing disorder. Egypt J Otolaryngol 2017;33:502-7

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Getting Familiar with the New Faces of Little Listeners!

Hello Little Listeners Families! As you may have noticed, there are some new faces and some familiar ones here at Little Listeners. We wanted to give you the opportunity to learn a little bit about each of our awesome interns and our newest Audiology Assistant.

Meet our new Audiology Assistant, Lindsey Wilson! Lindsey recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is still deciding whether she wants to pursue a Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology or a Doctorate in Audiology. Her interests are working with clients of all ages, especially friends with communication needs.  She has an extreme passion for helping children. Lindsey cannot wait to see what the future holds and is looking forward to working with the wonderful people at Little Listeners. Welcome our new “Megan,” Lindsey Wilson!

One of our new interns is a former Little Listener herself. Bret was diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder at the age of eighteen, so she understands what most of the kids are going through. She graduated from Oak Mountain Academy in 2017, and she recently completed her first year at the University of West Alabama as a student and volleyball athlete.  Her intended major is Elementary Education with the hopes of teaching the 4th grade. Bret has always loved children, and her goal is to help them become better at life while giving back to the community. Bret cannot wait to see what this summer holds for her and the kids at Little Listeners. Welcome Bret Luther!

Let us welcome back a former intern, Emma Phillips. Emma enjoyed our awesome staff and her time here last summer so much she decided to join us again for another exciting summer. Emma graduated from Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in 2017. She will be a sophomore in the fall at the University of Kentucky where she is studying Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is interested in both Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. As she continues to gain experience in both fields this summer, she will be volunteering at another remarkable organization, Jacobs Ladder Center. We are so excited to have her back this summer!

Nathan has been working at Little Listeners for a year now and looks forward to his remaining time here with all of our great clients and staff. Nathan Martin-Obst recently graduated from high school and will be attending the University of Georgia in the fall. Nathan’s passion for the medical field as a whole is demonstrated by his enthusiasm for Prosthetics, Bio printing, and Audiology. Nathan is grateful for the opportunity to continue his internship and to be a part of the team here at Little Listeners.

Last, but not least, an intern who has been a part of the family for about a year and a half. Lauren recently graduated from Alpharetta High School. She will be attending Clemson University this fall. Lauren plans to major in business with a concentration either in finance or accounting. She has loved being able to work with our above and beyond stuff, and she looks forwards to learning even more this summer while helping with all the fun summer activities we have planned.

We are clearly very lucky to have all these great people here at Little Listeners. We cannot wait to spend the summer together!

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Summer Learning Tips & HearBuilder Competition

Kids across the nation are closing their books on a long school year; these next couple months are all about sunshine, pool days, and freedom from school. Why then should parents urge their children to keep learning over the summer?

Many studies have shown that learning over the summer is critical for maintaining knowledge from the previous school year. A study from the RAND Corporation found that when children did not do any academic review over the summer, they lost a significant amount of knowledge from the math and reading categories. Another article numerically equates this lost knowledge to a 25% decrease from overall learning throughout the school year.

If you are a past or current client at Little Listeners, you have access to an incredible program called HearBuilder, which can be accessed online. This is a great resource during the summer months. HearBuilder helps to specifically reinforce primary auditory processing skills, specifically those of attending, listening, storing, and recalling.”

As an additional incentive to keep Hear Builder usage high over summer, Little Listeners is having a contest starting on Monday, June 4th and ending on Friday, August 3rd. The top three kids who use Hear Builder the most over the summer will each win an awesome prize. A white board in the office will be updated to include information about the contest prizes as well as who is in the lead.

In addition to HearBuilder, here are some activities to help maintain learning over the summer:

  1. For a fun outdoor activity, go to a pool and give directions to your child that involve multiple steps (move this toy there, swim to that side, etc.). If the pool is noisy, it allows your child to practice listening in noise processing skills.
  2. Find a few books that a group of friends can read over summer. Then, set a time for a group discussion of the book. If this is not an option, make or find a list of reading comprehension questions online that your child can discuss with you.  
  3. Work on math problems while throwing a ball outside. After a certain number of catches, solve a math problem. Or allow for a dance break or something similar after a certain number of math problems are completed.

So, remember summer learning is essential. Keep working on your HearBuilder program. Ready, set, summer learning!

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The Science of Sound

The process of sound traveling to the brain occurs almost instantaneously. It all starts with sound waves, which are compressing and expanding air molecules. Sound waves enter the ear and go through a process where they are converted to neural messages. Sound enters the ear through the outer ear. The sound waves are then sent to the ear drum, causing the ear drum to vibrate.

Next is the middle ear, in which the three smallest bones in the body (the hammer, anvil, and stirrup) send the vibrations to the cochlea. The cochlea is where transduction occurs, which is the shift of stimuli into neural impulses. These impulses are then sent to the brain to be interpreted.

Once the brain hears the sound, the most important part of the auditory process can begin: “listening.” This allows for you to make sense of the sounds you hear. 

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The Difference Between Hearing and Listening

Have you ever talked to someone and felt that they just weren’t getting what you were saying, even though they were nodding along and maintaining eye contact? They could be hearing what you’re saying, but they just aren’t listening. We typically use “hearing” and “listening” interchangeably, but it’s important to know the difference. According to Merriam-Webster, hearing is defined as “the process, function, or power of perceiving sound” and listening is defined as “to hear something with thoughtful attention”.

In other words, hearing is passive and involuntary, while listening is active and voluntary. We hear, whether we want to or not, but we need to choose to actively listen. Some people don’t have the choice, even when their hearing is excellent. We need to process what we hear in order to completely listen, otherwise the sound goes in one ear and out the other. Listening is a lifelong skill that is necessary for one to make sense of his or her surroundings.

At Little Listener’s, we work with patients to improve their listening skills with various therapy activities so that they can process, communicate, and interact more effectively with the world around them.

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Little Listeners LLC

Doctors can refer patients to us for all hearing/auditory-related problems, including advanced hearing testing and Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) diagnostics and treatment.

Based in Alpharetta, Georgia, Little Listeners is a full-service auditory clinic focused on the entire auditory development system—from birth through adulthood.

Our objective is to help doctors, parents and patients determine if a child is experiencing a hearing loss, or an auditory processing disorder, and then recommend an appropriate course of corrective action. We deliver our services in a caring, comprehensive and consultative environment so young minds learn to listen, while giving doctors and parents peace of mind that their patient or child is in the right hands.

Doctors can refer patients to us for all hearing/auditory-related problems, including advanced hearing testing and Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) diagnostics and treatment.