During the winter months, it’s common for children to pick up common colds and complain of ear aches. What many people don’t realise is that these colds and ear aches can interfere with our children’s language and speech development, cause behavioural problems, and create learning difficulties at school.
Ear infections and glue ear
It is estimated that at any one time roughly 30% of Australian children under the age of 3 are suffering from an ear infection, and it is one of the most common reasons for a child to visit the GP. When fluid builds in the middle ear as a result of an ear infection (a condition commonly known as ‘glue ear’), the ear drum is prevented from vibrating normally, causing a reduction in hearing. This can have a profound impact on a child’s ability to hear sounds normally, which can mean the cognitive pathways for auditory information do not develop properly in a young child, as they cannot hear sounds clearly.
Auditory Processing Disorder
Children who do not hear well may develop an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). This means they may misunderstand what is said, ask you to repeat things, have slow or delayed responses, trouble following instructions, reluctance to engage in conversations, tune out in class, have difficulty with phonics, reading or spelling, or unexplained behavioural problems.
Auditory processing difficulties don’t resolve of their own accord over time unless a child receives targeted auditory training. Not without the appropriate training. It is important to invest in well researched, neuroscience based auditory processing training programs to help your child follow instructions and listen in the classroom. Fast ForWord is an ideal learning intervention for students because it systematically trains the skills they need to be good learners while adapting to their individual learning needs.