If you or a loved one has trouble understanding speech sounds, but a hearing test reveals normal results, the issue may lie in the ability to process auditory information. Auditory processing disorder (APD) is a condition wherein there is a disruption in the way that a person’s brain understands what their ears are hearing. While their ears are effectively transmitting sound to the brain, the brain doesn’t quite know what to do with it.
APD is treated with auditory training exercises. Auditory training exercises aimed at developing a person’s auditory skills, including:
- Sound awareness
- Sound discrimination
- Sound identity
- Sound comprehension
Let’s look at a couple examples of training exercises and how audiobooks can be a powerful tool in developing your auditory skills.
Auditory Training Exercises
Exercises used in auditory training may include but are not limited to:
- Repetition. Your teacher or partner will read phrases to you, and you will repeat them back. Repetition will help you learn auditory comprehension.
- Word stress. Your teacher or partner will read sentences to you and stress certain words or phrases. Word stress will help you hone your listening skills and identify emphasis.
- Differentiation. Your teacher or partner will play sounds ranging from similar to entirely dissimilar. Differentiation will teach you to pull important information and prevent word mix-up, a common occurrence in APD.
How Do Audiobooks Develop Listening Skills?
If you’re new to audiobooks, you may notice that paying attention to what the speaker is saying can be difficult. It’s easy to get distracted by dogs running at Spurgin Park and suddenly realize you’ve missed the last paragraph. As you continue listening to audiobooks, you learn to focus on the story being read to you. Distractions become less distracting, and the story becomes clearer. This development of listening skills is a type of auditory training.
Audiobooks best tie to the speech differentiation and repetition exercises of auditory training but may also help you identify word stress. Listening to an interesting story can be a fun way of engaging and training your auditory center.
Audiobooks can also be a great addition to hearing aids. When you begin hearing aid treatment, you may find that understanding speech is more difficult than you remember. That is because our brains can forget how to hear when the auditory system lacks stimulation. Auditory training with audiobooks can be a great supplement to hearing aids and lead to a better overall understanding of speech.
For more information on auditory training, contact Nelson Hearing Clinics today to speak to one of our hearing specialists.