Welcome to Autism Fundraising Guide. I focus on therapies, treatment, advice, trends and personal anecdotes based upon my experience as a parent of a sixteen year old with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have seen this disorder go from relatively obscure when my child was diagnosed thirteen years ago, to a very maintream epidemic today.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Auditory Challenges in Children With Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder presents many difficulties. Some of the most mysterious are auditory challenges in children with autism. Children with autism are often seen covering their ears, but other than that many are unaware of auditory challenges in children with autism. The following strategies should only be implemented with the assistance of a speech language pathologist as not all suggestions are appropriate for all children. Following are some suggestions to help counter the auditory challenges in children with autism:
1. Obtain an assistive listening device. An assistive listening device is designed to help the user hear better in busy or disruptive environments. This may help the child better hear the teacher's voice. However, the child should not use the device in all environments or they could become too used to it and dependent upon it.
2. The child should take notes in class and be seated in a position to be able to clearly see the teacher's face. Ideally, the teacher is using repetition and visual strategies in the classroom. The chalkboard is good but there should also be a variety of visuals throughout the class.
3. Request preteaching materials. This is when the student with special needs obtains access to all or part of the lessons in advance of when the lesson is actually taught to the class. This gives the student with special needs a head start on learning the work. They can do it with tutors or behavioral therapists at home.
4. Use Fast ForWord. This program is conducted at home on the computer with headphones. The program generally slows down speech sounds and then gradually increases them again as the student gains competency. The company uses data based upon individual student performance in order to know when the student is ready to progress to harder levels.
5. Use Earobics. Earobics is also a computer based program and helps a variety of challenges. It is beneficial for the student to do it one hour a day, five days a week for six weeks.
6. Do Auditory Integration Training (AIT.) AIT is based upon the idea that the child has hypersensitivities to some sounds. The child listens to music through headphones that filter selected frequencies. This therapy purports to strengthen muscles in the inner ear and is considered an experimental therapy.
The above strategies may remedy some auditory challenges in children with autism. If their symptoms are improved, children may experience great relief and improved learning.
Berris, T. (2002) When the Brain Can't Hear New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
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