Auditory processing

kenneth bodkin kbodkin at
Sat Dec 7 00:47:50 EST 1996

Shelly Bower wrote:
> I am hoping for some suggestions from you all
> I have a son (age 3.5) that has a severe expressive/receptive
> communication disorder.  As a brief history, when he turned two we
> took him to an audiologist because his speech was delayed and because
> he had very uneven reactions to sound.  For example, a new soft noise
> behind him would cause him to turn around but a fire alarm going off
> wouldn't produce even a startle reaction.    Anyway,  based on a
> hearing exam  the audiologist said he had at least a 40% hearing loss
> but given his age and the difficulties in doing the exam they sent us
> off to get a BAER test done.  The brainstem response test showed
> normal hearing.
> He is now 3.5 and his language has come a long way but its obvious at
> this point that auditory processing problems are hindering further
> gains.  He can't differentiate between sentences like "How are you?"
> and "How old are you?".  I know he knows his colors cold,  but if
> asked out of the blue "what color is it?,  he often can't answer , I
> don't think he can "decifer"  the question.  If I give the answer once
> and keep asking the same question about different objects in the room
> he'll get them all right...Is this making sense?  His pediatrician has
> ruled out auditory processing delays because he can echo words or
> answer questions he knows immediately.  However, I still feel there is
> a definitely something going on with the auditory process.
> Here are the questions I have, answers to any of them would be greatly
> appreciated?
> Can an auditory processing deficit be diagnosed from a test that
> doesn't rely on the patient having language or being able to respond
> to questions? Are there any other tests that I should consider having
> done?
> I've heard about a Doctor named Gerry Stefanatos (at Jefferson
> Hospital ?) that does something called an Evoked Potentials Test.
> Does anyone know what this is?  Supposedly the BAER measyres fom the
> ear to the brainstem and this test measures from the brainstenm to the
> brain?
> Has anyone heard the term "hearing dyslexic" and what is it? Are there
> treatments for it.
> Assuming I can get a diagnosis of auditory processing
> does it help?  Are there treatments (drug or otherwise)?   Other than
> speech therapy,  no one seems to have any ideas or even much of a
> prognosis.
> Has anyone researched the idea that smart drugs (like Piracetam) can
> improve auditory processing.  Are these drugs safe with kids?
> I'm dying to help my little guy and can't shake the feeling that if I
> could improve his auditory processing that his language learning
> diffculties would be reduced.  Any ideas?  Web sites?  New research?
> Shelly


Yes, there are evoked potential evaluations which can aid in the
assessment of central auditory processing disorders (CAPD).  The Middle
Latency Response (MLR) is currently receiving a great amount of
attention for diagnosing CAPD.  Another type of evoked potential which
may be used is the P300, which is a late potential.

kbodkin at

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