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Suffolk Center for Speech


Strategies for Auditory Processing

According to the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), Central Auditory Processing includes the auditory mechanisms that underlie the following abilities or skills:

  • sound localization and lateralization
  • auditory discrimination
  • auditory pattern recognition
  • temporal aspects of audition, including temporal integration, temporal discrimination (e.g., temporal gap detection), temporal ordering, and temporal masking
  • auditory performance in competing acoustic signals (including dichotic listening)
  • auditory performance with degraded acoustic signals.

Central Auditory Processing Disorder refers to difficulties in the perceptual processing of auditory information in the Central Nervous System as demonstrated by poor performance in one or more of the above skills.

What can we do to help individuals with deficits in auditory processing?

Strategies for Central Auditory Processing Disorder:

  1. Identify the KEY Information: Individuals with auditory processing deficits often struggle identifying the key information from ideas, instructions or other types of information presented to them.  Teaching individuals to gather the key or most important information out of longer materials such as stories or directions can help the individual better understand and process that information.
  2. Chunking: When using this strategy individuals learn how to break down information into smaller parts or chunks.  This strategy is great for remembering telephone numbers or locker combinations and allows the individual to better process and remember this information.
  3. Linking: When using this strategy individuals learn how to form connections between ideas presented to them.  The ability to categorize their thoughts is very helpful when processing information and can allow individuals with auditory processing deficits to better retain and understand information.
  4. Make a list: Making lists is an external memory strategy that can help individuals with auditory processing deficits better remember information.  Lists also provide additional modalities to process information.  The individual will hear the information verbally, write the information down which allows for a tactile and kinesthetic modality for processing and then refer back to this information which adds a visual modality for processing.
  5. Rehearsal: Repeating information over and over again can help the individual retain this information.  This is very helpful when given complex or multi-step directions and can help the individual remember these instructions.
  6. Paraphrase: When using this strategy individuals learn to better understand information by putting the information into their own words.  This can allow for the information to be simplified and allows the individual to better understand the information.
  7. Visualize: During this strategy individuals with auditory processing deficits can close their eyes and picture the information in their mind.  This adds an additional modality for processing the information as the individual can now interpret the information both visually as well as the auditory modality.
  8. Drawing: During this strategy individuals can trace, write or draw in order to connect information.  The individual is then able to process the information through multiple modalities: visual, auditory and tactile-kinesthetic modalities.

Sources: ASHA,

-Jenna Oldfield, MA, CF-SLP, TSSLD


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