Auditory Deficiencies: 12 Auditory Processing Deficiencies to Recognize in Your Child Auditory Processing

Auditory Deficiencies: 12 Auditory Processing Deficiencies to Recognize in Your Child

This article provides helpful information about auditory deficiencies and how to recognize them in your child.

If you find yourself constantly repeating directions and instructions for your child, you may think they have a hearing issue. However, what they may experience is a breakdown in their auditory system or auditory deficiencies that affect approximately 5 percent of school-aged children. Your child may hear the instructions you give them, but because they can’t process the information, they won’t complete the tasks you’ve laid out for them.

Auditory Deficiencies: 12 Auditory Processing Deficiencies to Recognize in Your Child | ilslearningcorner.com

Children with auditory processing disorders or auditory deficiencies typically have a disconnection between their brain and their ears, making it difficult for them to process sounds, frequency of sounds and speech. Because your child hears sounds differently than other children, they may get words or directions mixed up and can’t tell the difference between words they hear.

If your child struggles with auditory deficiencies, they may experience trouble in the classroom because they don’t have the ability to filter out background noise. It makes homework and assignments difficult for them to complete because they can’t hear or process the information the teacher is giving at the front of the classroom. You may also notice they have trouble listening in noisy places, while playing sports or in social situations.

Auditory Deficiencies: 12 Auditory Processing Deficiencies to Recognize in Your Child | ilslearningcorner.com

8 Types of Auditory Processing Deficiencies

Because auditory deficiencies can be difficult to detect, it’s important to understand what signs to look for in your child and how to know if there are any issues. As you become familiar with the signs and how each component of auditory learning works, you can better help your child with the intervention they need to perform at higher levels in the classroom. Here is a list of auditory deficiencies that your child could struggle with in school and why they may have a difficult time following directions or completing assignments.

 Auditory 
Processing Deficiencies

What it is

How it affects your child

Amplitude Perception This is how your child perceives loudness or intensity of sounds. It is measured in decibels.
  • Struggles to determine the difference between sounds (vowels and consonants).
  • Can’t process sounds for speech and language.
Frequency Perception Frequency perception allows your child to split sounds into various frequency bands. It helps them determine how high or how low the pitch is of sounds within their environment.
  • Often struggles with speech because they can’t process frequencies of sounds and words, which affects their pronunciation.
Auditory Attention Provides your child with the ability to attend, focus or listen to sound.
  • Has trouble following directions and often says “huh?” or “what?”
  • Can’t stay focused on what the teacher is teaching.
  • Doesn’t complete tasks or assignments.
  • Appears to not listen when you are talking to them.
Sound Localization Provides your child with the ability to identify sounds within their surrounding environment.
  • Struggles to know where sounds are coming from (for example, a siren or where the teacher is when she gives instructions from across the room).
Auditory Discrimination Allows your child to distinguish between sounds or words that are similar or different in the way they sound.
  • Has difficulty with reading and often struggles with words like sixty and sixteen.
  • Has trouble understanding another person’s speech, accent or dialect.
  • Can’t pick up on social cues like sarcasm and tone of voice (for example, they don’t understand when you are mad that they haven’t picked up their toys or didn’t do their homework).
Auditory Closure How your child fills in the missing pieces of sounds or words.
  • Has trouble hearing and listening on the phone.
  • Has difficulty filtering out background noise.
Auditory Anticipation Provides your child with the ability to anticipate what sound is coming next.
  • Struggles to understand what sounds in words come next while reading.
  • Can’t anticipate what comes next in a step-by-step process.
Auditory Temporal Processing Helps your child analyze the timing and pattern of sounds.
  • Has trouble with expressive and spoken language.
  • Often misunderstands conversations.
  • Responds inappropriately.
  • Misinterprets incoming messages.
Auditory Memory Allows your child to sequence sounds, words or other auditory combinations. Gives your child the ability to receive, store, process and recall auditory information.
  •  Has difficulty remembering names.
  • Can’t memorize telephone numbers or addresses.
  • Struggles to follow a sequence of instructions because their short-term auditory memory can only retain one step at a time (for example, the teacher tells the child to read a short story, write a summary about it and bring and object to class that reminds them of the story. The child will only read the story, but forgets the other steps to complete the assignment).
  • Can’t remember the lyrics to songs, poems, or details of a story.
Auditory Cohesion Allows your child to understand the meaning, abstraction and intention of verbal communication and music.
  • Has trouble understanding more complex information such as jokes, riddles and verbal math problems.
  • Struggles with comprehension of details in stories.
  • Struggles with higher-level listening for tasks and assignments. Can also affect their executive functioning skills.
Auditory Figure Ground Helps your child perceive speech or other sounds when other competing sounds are present.
  • Has trouble understanding sounds in a place with a lot of background noise.
  • Can’t focus on verbal instructions; depends heavily on written instructions or pictures to learn.
Auditory Scene Analysis Allows your child to separate sounds when a large mixture of sounds is present.
  • Struggles to separate a primary source from background noise (for example, when their mother is calling for them).

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Auditory Deficiencies: 12 Auditory Processing Deficiencies to Recognize in Your Child | ilslearningcorner.com


Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs

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