September 9, 2020
Signs and Symptoms May Be More Noticeable to Parents/Caregivers in Current “Virtual Learning” Environment
As education continues this fall with virtual learning environments for many students, there may be challenges for children who require additional learning support. One concern is identifying children who have difficulty with auditory processing, a disorder that affects the ability to understand speech. Auditory processing is the ability to interpret sounds and involves the brain identifying and analyzing incoming sounds to attach meaning to them.
Audiologists at Hackensack Meridian JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute are available to help to identify children who may have auditory processing difficulties. “Children learn in many different ways, and since virtual education is primarily an auditory learning model, it may not be the ideal learning environment for every child,” said Virginia Gural-Toth, a doctor of audiology at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. “Successful virtual learning is dependent on adequate language skills, good attention skills, and strong auditory skills. If a child has difficulty in any of these areas, he or she is more likely to quickly fall behind in school.”
Dr. Gural-Toth advised that parents and caregivers can identify certain behaviors present in children with auditory processing difficulties, get professional support, if needed, and make environmental changes to help children overcome these issues. “Symptoms include difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, not following directions and not being able to distinguish between similar sounds,” she said. According to the American Speech and Hearing Association, there is not a definite known cause of auditory processing disorder.
The primary goal of treatment for an auditory processing disorder is to increase the child’s ability to use information that is received through hearing. This can be accomplished three ways: Making changes to the environment to improve a child’s access to auditory information: for example, by reducing the noise in the room or using an assistive device that will amplify the teacher’s voice; teaching the child to become a more active listener by developing ways to determine and retain the content and meaning of each message he or she hears. And lastly, by getting help from a speech therapist, which will provide direct intervention for problems or areas where the child may need special attention.
Key Questions to Identify Children with Auditory Processing Problems
- Is the child having difficulties remembering information, directions, lists or study materials?
- Is the child mishearing words and misunderstanding what is said?
- Is the child distracted while attending to class information presented virtually?
If any of these issues are present, an evaluation may be indicated to rule out an auditory processing deficit. Audiologists at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute are scheduling in person patient visits with late afternoon and evening hours. Call (732) 321–7063 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Safe Care in the Era of COVID-19
JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute has implemented many new protocols with safety at the forefront. JFK has separate areas for non-COVID-19 patients, temperature checks for all patients, visitors, team members and physicians, rigorous cleaning and sanitization of our facilities, and much more. Click here to see more ways, JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute is keeping its patients and the community safe.
About Hackensack Meridian JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute
Offering New Jersey’s most comprehensive rehabilitation services, the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute is a 94-bed facility located in Edison, N.J. serving residents of the tristate area for more than 40 years. Its mission is simple: provide quality rehabilitation for adults and children living with disabilities to obtain optimal function and independence within an accepting community. JFK Johnson Rehabilitation has developed programs in specialties that include brain injury, stroke rehabilitation, orthopedics/musculoskeletal and sports injuries, fitness, cardiac rehabilitation, women’s health, pediatrics and a prosthetics and orthotics lab. It is the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department of the Hackensack Meridian Medical School at Seton Hall University and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. To learn more, visit JFKJohnson.org