Auditory Processing Assessment
An Auditory Processing Assessment incorporates the use of interview and assessment techniques:
Note: a “listening test” offered by some clinicians, is not a standardised auditory processing assessment.
1. Preliminary Questionnaires
The comprehensive Auditory Processing Assessment begins with the completion of comprehensive questionnaires to establish that the client is presenting with symptoms of auditory processing difficulties and to check if the presenting symptoms overlap with attention difficulties, learning difficulties or behaviour related issues. In the case the client is under the age of 18, the questionnaires are completed by parents with supporting information requested of teachers.
Where the client is a child under the age of 18, the interview is undertaken with a parent. The purpose is to go through the presenting symptoms and to
3. Audiology Assessment
An Audiological examination is undertaken to look at the hearing function of the ear. If the hearing mechanism is compromised, this inevitably affects auditory processing, so an Audiological assessment is essential to the testing process. The hearing test should include:
1) Pitch audiometry
3) Otoacoustic emissions testing (optional)
A test for auditory neuropathy is not normally required unless there are abnormal results in the pitch audiometry and the Otoacoustics emissions test.
4. Auditory Processing Assessment
Using a range of standardised tests, the following auditory processing skills should be assessed:
a) Auditory Closure: This is the ability to complete or fill in missing parts of auditory information when the auditory signal is degraded, such as when a speaker is speaking from another room.
b) Auditory Figure Ground Differentiation: This is the ability to listen to and understand specific auditory information in the presence of competing background noise.
c) Spatialized listening: Is ability to hear and understand spoken sentences both when background noise is coming from the same direction as the spoken sentences, as well as when background noise is coming from a different direction as the spoken sentences.
d) Dichotic listening is the ability to hear auditory information through both the left and right ears and to either integrate these bilateral auditory sources, synthesizing the two sources, or to differentiate them, ignoring one source while hearing and understanding the other source.
e) Temporal auditory processing skills assessment looks at an individual’s ability to hear and understand speech which is time altered by various methods. For example: assessing if an individual is able to understand rapid speech.
5. Language Prosody Assessment
The assessment of comprehension of language prosody (the melody of language) looks at an individual’s ability to hear and understand the prosodic elements of speech which give important contextual and social information. For instance, we know that in English, it is usual for questions to end with a rising intonation; also to perceive differences in pitch and tone which are essential skills for efficient auditory processing.
6. Short-term Auditory Memory and Auditory Attention Assessment
Auditory memory and auditory attention are also assessed as they are important components of auditory processing.
7. Auditory Attention Assessment
Selective auditory attention is a method by which the brain filters out non-essential auditory information and permits the individual to focus on the sounds to which attention is being paid. there are measures for both short term and sustained attention.