Learning difficulties and auditory processing problems
Learning difficulties is a general term meaning that a child (or adult) has difficulty learning in a typical manner because the brain has trouble processing information. A learning difficulty is not an indication of intelligence level, but it means the child will have trouble learning in the same way others do and may have trouble performing certain types of tasks.
Global learning difficulties
If a child has “global learning problems” then s/he will find all aspects of learning and understanding difficult regardless of what method of teaching is used. These children used to be called “slow learners”. Such a child will typically get a low score on IQ tests or other types of learning assessments.
Specific learning difficulties
Others may have “specific learning difficulties” meaning that only certain aspects of processing are problematic. These pupils are often quite bright, but are sometimes misunderstood and mistaken for being lazy or careless, when in fact they are compensating for some type of sensory processing problem. They may need a different type of instruction that suits their processing style. Specific therapeutic intervention may alleviate the difficulty considerably and enable these pupils to excel.
Can it be fixed?
While a learning difficulty cannot normally be fixed completely, the right stimulation and inputs to the nervous system can significantly improve a child’s processing ability, and this can go a long way towards reducing the effects of the learning difficulty.
Remedial instruction, tutoring, speech therapy etc can be very helpful. However this type of individual remedial help will have a greater chance of working if the processing problem is addressed first. Sound Therapy is an easy, affordable and effective way to improve sensory processing to address the cause of the problem.
Some of the terms for different types of learning difficulties include dyslexia, dyspraxia, apraxia, sensory integration disorder, auditory processing disorder or central auditory processing disorder.
Common to most learning difficulties is auditory processing disorder. Even if the primary functional problem is a visual or motor problem, this processing is highly interactive and involved with the auditory system. This is because the brain is a highly integrated structure where each sensory system interacts with others to help us make sense of our world.
The auditory sense is, in many ways, the sense with the most profound impact on our learning ability. Language is how we communicate about all topics, and hearing is more highly integrated into our nervous system than any other sense.
For this reason, any child with a learning difficulty is likely to benefit from Sound Therapy. Sound Therapy definitely assists auditory processing, but it has also been found to improve other types of sensory processing (visual, motor skills, balance) as well as integration between the senses.