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The Learning Success Blog

ADHD, Auditory Processing Disorder or Specific Language Impairment?

Posted by Devon Barnes on January 20, 2020 at 8:00 PM

Devon Barnes

Many of the children I work with in my speech pathology clinic who have dyslexia also have additional difficulties with processing information and sustaining their attention.

They often have some or many of these challenges: 

  • Difficulty following verbal instructions
  • Need instructions to be repeated
  • Slow to process information
  • Easily overloaded with auditory information
  • Difficulty sustaining attention for learning tasks
  • A tendency to daydream
  • Easily distracted
  • Academic difficulties

These symptoms could indicate that they have one or more of the conditions known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), auditory processing disorder (APD), or specific language impairment (SLI).

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Attention, Learning Difficulties

New Sound Scouts App Improves Access to Hearing Tests for Children

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 21, 2016 at 3:10 PM

Colin Klupiec

Carolyn Mee is an edtech entrepreneur who wants to change the way children get screened for hearing loss.

She has a background in media, and a strong desire to improve learning outcomes for children.

She’s developed an app called Sound Scouts. It has been developed in collaboration with National Acoustic Laboratories, a research division of Australian Hearing.

The app is a gamified test that invites children to take part in a story. Along the way, their hearing is tested.

Carolyn’s work with Sound Scouts has the potential to radically improve detection rates of hearing loss. This will help to provide intervention more quickly and lead to better learning.

It’s a serious undertaking, backed by scientific research and ongoing development.

Listen to Carloyn share her journey with Sound Scouts in this episode of the Learning Capacity podcast.

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Podcasts, Hearing

Fast ForWord Helped Mac with Auditory Processing, Writing & Spelling

Posted by Colin Klupiec on March 8, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Colin Klupiec

Sally Wilcox noticed that her son Mac was becoming increasingly frustrated with writing and spelling when he was in grade 5. 

In Mac’s words, it was very simple - he hated writing.

Thinking back, Sally recalled that the early markers were already appearing in grade 1 when Mac had difficulty following instructions.

On deeper investigation, Mac was diagnosed with auditory processing disorder. At first Sally was told that this was developmental and that Mac would grow out of it, and to some extent this was true. Yet the problems persisted and Sally knew that something else needed to happen.

Eventually she found the Fast ForWord programs, and that’s when things started to change for the better. Fortunately Mac was very receptive to resolving his issue, and his teacher was also familiar with auditory processing disorder.

This combination helped Mac make significant gains at school with his academic results. He also increased his self confidence and became more willing to try.

In this episode of Learning Capacity Podcast Sally shares Mac’s story.


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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Fast ForWord, Spelling, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Podcasts

Poor Listening Skills - Could it be Auditory Processing Disorder?

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 24, 2015 at 5:04 PM

Peter Barnes

Do you have a child or student with poor listening skills?

At home you might ask your child to do something like, "go and put on your school clothes, get your jacket and put your library book in your school bag". He or she may look confused or just say "huh", or actually go and just get one or two of the three things done.

In the classroom, the student with poor listening skills will have trouble keeping up with classroom discussions, following instructions and learning information when it is presented to them by the teacher's voice.

Parents and teachers often assume that children like this are deliberately ignoring them, have something wrong with their hearing, or are just not paying attention.  They could be right, but if the child's hearing is fine, their poor listening skills may be due to an auditory processing disorder (APD).

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia, Fast ForWord

Brain Wave Research: Fast ForWord Aids Language-Based Learning Problems

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 18, 2015 at 9:46 AM

Peter Barnes

Do you know what this means?:

"Brain wave oscillation bands appear to be a major mechanism co-ordinating billions of nerves across different brain regions to perform even basic cognitive tasks such as paying attention to someone who is talking and understanding what they are saying."

It's about brain science, langauge learning and reading, and it may help your children or students.

For most of us brain science is mysterious, a field of knowledge open only to neuroscientists. Much of what we read about how our brains work, how brains learn and what can go wrong with them is written by people who have no special knowledge of brain science. They are generally reporting summarised conclusions of scientific research.

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Brain Science, Dyslexia, Fast ForWord

Ruben Struggled to Read & Pay Attention – How Did Fast ForWord Help?

Posted by Peter Barnes on August 3, 2015 at 3:49 PM

Peter Barnes

Rubin was in his first year at school (kindergarten in NSW). His teachers told his mum, Lani, that he was not concentrating, he fidgeted a lot, and he could not complete his work.

He was also having great difficulty with his early reading, struggling to sound out simple sentences like "I am Tim. Tim sits."

Because his older brother Kito* had benefited from the Fast ForWord brain training exercises a few years ago following an audiologist's recommendation for his auditory processing disorder, Lani decided to have Ruben do the exercises as well.

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Attention, Fast ForWord

Can We Predict if a Baby or Preschool Child Will Struggle to Read?

Posted by Peter Barnes on July 27, 2015 at 5:45 PM

Peter Barnes

Imagine if we could test a newborn baby’s brain to screen for possible later reading difficulties when they go to school.

If this sounds fanciful to you, you are right. At the moment this is not possible, and it’s unlikely to be in the near future.

But USA neuroscientists are now working on tests to predict the ability of preschool children to learn to read, and this may one day lead to routine screening of newborns for later reading problems.

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Reading

Learning Capacity Podcast: Conversations About Learning & Neuroscience

Posted by Peter Barnes on July 15, 2015 at 1:41 PM

Peter Barnes

How do you like to get your information and learn new things? By reading?  Watching videos? Attending classes? Listening to audio? 

Probably some combination of these. They all have their benefits and drawbacks depending on your preferred learning style (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic) what you're trying to learn, and where you are at the time.

Listening to audio, for example the radio or podcasts, has the advantage of allowing you to do something else at the same time. I don't read when I'm driving, of course, or while getting breakfast. But I do listen to the news and current affairs programs and also to podcasts that interest me.

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Following Instructions, Brain Science, Dyslexia, Learning Capacity, Podcasts

How Elaine Finally Found a Solution to Her Son's Learning Difficulties

Posted by Peter Barnes on July 6, 2015 at 11:50 AM

Peter Barnes

Elliot’s mum, Elaine had been concerned about his learning ever since he started school. Elliott is now aged 10 and in Year 5 at school.

He did not seem to be making progress with learning to read in Year 1, and by Year 3 he was having trouble with literacy concepts, particularly with comprehension. He also struggled to understand maths concepts. He found it difficult to make sense of the relationships between mathematical symbols and what he was meant to do with them.

As a primary school teacher, Elaine saw a discrepancy between her very energetic, able, motivated, and clever-in-many-different-areas little boy, and his lack of learning progress at school. He needed a lot of help to grasp simple concepts in reading and maths.

Listen to Elaine tell the story in her own words:

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Attention, Learning Difficulties, Comprehension, Maths, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Podcasts

Hugh's Psychologist Proposed Fast ForWord for his APD - What Happened?

Posted by Peter Barnes on May 6, 2015 at 10:24 AM

Peter Barnes

It was clear to Melissa Bowman that her son Hugh was struggling in his first year of school. So she got help from the school psychologist who diagnosed Hugh with Auditory Processing Disorder.

The psychologist suggested that Melissa consider the Fast ForWord program and after researching it, Melissa had Hugh do the online exercises at home for about 6 months. Melissa was delighted with the improvements that Hugh made, including:

  • His listening improved
  • He is now better organised
  • His reading improved from below his age level to about a year above 

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Learning Capacity Success Stories

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