Auditory Processing Disorders and Sound Therapy

Auditory processing refers to the brain's ability to sort and make sense of auditory inputs (sounds). It is the link between hearing and understanding. Correct auditory processing requires a number of complex skills: listening, understanding, interpreting and expressing.

Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is a complex group of symptoms which describes a difficulty with integrating auditory information.

Symptoms of an auditory processing disorder may include:

Sound Therapy improves auditory processing

While the focus of this page is on children, adults with auditory processing problems can also benefit from sensory integration therapies such as Sound Therapy.

The information on this page was sourced from the book "Why Aren't I Learning?" by Rafaele Joudry.

It is a great handbook for parents and teachers alike with drug-free treatments you can use at home or in the classroom to overcome learning difficulties such as auditory processing disorders.

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Auditory Processing Disorder Treatment with Sound Therapy

The ear is the end organ through which the auditory parts of the brain can be stimulated. Ear specialist Dr Tomatis found a way to to improve brain function by stimulating the ear with sound. This stimulation can be provided by Sound Therapy

Sound Therapy is a home based program used during daily activities on a portable player. Children listen through earphones to specially filtered classical music, stories and poems which have been selected for their educational value.

The filtering process using a specialist device designed by Dr Tomatis (called the "Electronic Ear") adds tonal changes and extra high frequency sounds to stimulate the entire auditory system, from the eardrum to the auditory cortex.

The organised harmonic structure of classical music with its stimulating effect, further enhanced by the "Electronic Ear" has proved to be an effective way to increase neural efficiency in processing sound. Sound Therapy treats the cause of the problem, working on both the ear itself and the way sound is received by the brain.

Children can listen to the Sound Therapy International Programs at home, at school, or even while sleeping.

Learn more about what Sound Therapy is and .

If you suspect your child may have learning difficulties, get treatment as soon as possible. Every day that your child struggles on without help, s/he is getting further behind and missing out on crucial developmental stages of learning, brain mapping and social development.

It is not necessary to wait for a definite diagnosis before starting with non-invasive interventions such as Sound Therapy, movement programs, fitting of assistive devices such as eye glasses and removing toxins from the diet or environment.

Get started with Sound Therapy now!

Dr Teri James Bellis detailed 5 sub-categories of CAPD, according to which region of the brain is dysfunctional. Here is how Sound Therapy helps each of these auditory processing problems:

Auditory decoding deficit

Region affected: Primary (left) auditory cortex.

This is the classic type of CAPD. Information processing is slow and inaccurate, which means the child has to work much harder to interpret what they hear.

Associated problems include:

How Sound Therapy helps:

Auditory associative deficit

Region affected: Left (associative) cortex

These children have difficulty applying the rules of language to the sounds they hear. Background noise often reduces their ability to understand speech. They tend to perform less well with language demands in the classroom

Associated problems include:

How Sound Therapy helps:

I've always had bad concentration and memory. I also have what I call dyslexic hearing. People talk to me but I have no idea what they are saying most times. It makes no sense to me and I just shut off.
The first time I listened to Sound Therapy was just a quick listen of a friend's. I didn't even really know what it was. I'd just had a huge fight with my boyfriend and was extremely upset. Within seconds of listening to the music, it calmed me down a lot.
My concentration has improved enormously. I can read a book now without my mind wandering, and I only need to read it once because it makes sense the first time. My conversations have improved also because people's words make sense now and don't seem all jumbled.
Madonna Schoonder
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Integration deficit

Regions affected: Corpus callosum and cerebellum

These children have difficulty performing tasks that require different senses integrating (e.g. eye/hand coordination). They have particular trouble tying auditory and visual information together, and frequently exhibit long delays in responding.

Associated problems include:

How Sound Therapy helps:

Prosodic deficit

Regions affected: Nonprimary (right) auditory cortex and associated areas and cerebellum

These children have particular trouble with using and understanding intonation. They talk or read in a monotone, and have trouble picking up on intonational cues which indicate that a message is intended to be humourous, sarcastic or a question.

Prosodic deficit children often have trouble with "pragmatic communication" - the basic elements of social communications, such as greetings, introductions, keeping a conversation going etc.

Associated problems include:

How Sound Therapy helps:

For a great example of how much intonation matters in providing meaning, see Ladle Red Rotten Hut. This is how some adults with auditory processing problems say they hear.

Output organisational deficit

Regions affected: Temporal-to-frontal and/or efferent system and cerebellum

These children have trouble organising, sequencing, recalling or expressing an appropriate response. They have listened to, analysed, and correctly connected and pulled together all the necessary information, but have trouble articulating what they want to say.

Output organisational deficit children generally have difficulty with tasks which require planning or motor skills.

Associated problems include:

How Sound Therapy helps:

Sound Therapy Family Program

Which Sound Therapy International Program should I use?

Any level 1 Sound Therapy program is suitable for improving auditory processing, however the Family Program offers the most variety for children, with progams for all ages (including parents!), a comprehensive workbook, and copies of both the "Why Aren't I Learning?" and "Sound Therapy: Music to Recharge Your Brain" books.

If the program is only going to be used by teenagers or adults, the Listening Foundation Program. would be the most appropriate choice.

Hi Simone,
Adam is showing improvements already from the sound therapy. We have noticed at home and also his teacher has said at school he has been much better even coming home with gold stars! Hopefully we continue to see improvements as we continue.
Leona M
Perth, Western Australia
5 March 2014
After 2 weeks of Sound Therapy