Welcome to our first newsletter, read on to find out about APD,
Government Review of APD, Staff Updates, a Case Study.
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SoundSkills — Hearing Skills for Sound Learning
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SOUNDBITES

The Latest APD News Delivered To Your Inbox

Welcome

to our first newsletter — SoundBites.

Periodically we will be keeping you up to date with the very latest news in APD. Read on to keep abreast of developments in APD both here, and overseas.

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APD — What is it?

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a hearing disorder in which the ears have normal sensitivity to sounds (in most cases) but the hearing centres and circuits of the brain don’t process that incoming information correctly. This can affect understanding, especially in challenging listening situations such as in the presence of other distracting sound, or when listening to complex information or instructions.

APD is often referred to as a hearing problem where “the brain can’t hear”. It is a well-recognised disorder, and can be effectively treated with appropriate interventions.

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Click here to listen to an APD simulation

Government Review of APD

Thanks to the advocacy of people working in the hearing field, and of parents, the government has conducted a review of APD. The reviewers are investigating many aspects of APD diagnosis and treatment including prevalence, standards, availability of services, workforce issues and funding streams for assessment and treatment. Sound Skills has made extensive submissions to the reviewers which have been well-received.

The first draft of the review has recently been submitted, and we will keep you up to date on this, as information comes to hand.

Staff Update

We have had some changes to our staff over the last few months. It was with sadness that we said goodbye to Annie Bélanger, who has returned to her homeland of Canada. Emma Russell (Audiologist) has joined us, and brings many years of experience to the organisation. Chloe Cheung (Speech and Language Therapist) is now employed by SoundSkills full-time, with some of this time being involved in research we are undertaking. For more information about our staff click here.

Case Study
Amblyaudia

We recently saw Matthew* who we assessed for APD. Matthew is a bright young man, and a highly accomplished gymnast (we may see him in the Olympics one day!). His mother (a Speech Language Therapist) was convinced he had a hearing problem, in particular that Matthew was struggling to process auditory information.

Of the six APD subtests, Matthew passed five easily, and in one test passed only marginally. The marginal result was obtained on the Double Dichotic Digits Test (DDT), which is a binaural assessment.

Image of Matthew's TreatmentA significant difference in the findings between the ears on the DDT can be an indicator of Amblyaudia (a weak ear). SoundSkills recommends further assessment when the difference between the ears is 10%.

Matthew obtained scores of 95.0% on the right, and 87.5% on the left ear, a difference of 7.5%. Matthew’s parents requested that we carry out further investigation of this asymmetry, and once we did, Amblyaudia was confirmed.

Matthew undertook ARIA rehabilitation with us (four appointments of one hour, a week apart), at the end of which the asymmetry was successfully treated (see graph). His mother reports that Matthew now LOVES going to school, and his teacher has noted that he now contributes more in the classroom. His reading comprehension is improving, along with his mathematics. Mum reports that Matthew is “shining more”, doesn’t say “WHAT?” anymore, and that he is MUCH better.

*this name has been changed

If you have a personal success story you would like to share, please email Emma on [email protected]

Maintenance of Remote Microphone Hearing Aids

Like any electronic device, careful maintenance of Remote Microphone Hearing Aids (RMHA’s) will ensure they are working optimally, reduce repairs, and extend their life. We recommend that the RMHA’s be kept dry at all times, and kept away from hot places (eg windowsills!). Regular attention should be paid to the following areas:

  • DOMES: Should be changed each term, or earlier if any deterioration is noted in the rubber.
  • WAX FILTERS: Should be checked each term, or at any time that the hearing aid does not seem to be working well.
  • BATTERIES: Should be changed each week. Battery doors should be left open whenever the RMHA’s are not in use, to avoid corrosion to the battery contacts.
  • RECEIVERS: Are reasonably fragile, and shouldn’t be twisted. They will probably need replacing every two years, due to their delicate nature.

We are able to supply each of these parts. 

Should you need consumables, please call Sam on 524 7074. Sam is happy to courier these items out to you.


A Young Patient's Drawing at Soundskills

Upcoming Newsletter

In our next newsletter we will share with you the findings of a local longitudinal research study, provide you with an update on the Government APD review, outline the international protocols for diagnosing APD and give you some information on the research that we are carrying out here at SoundSkills..

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