Personal experiences of two adults with autism with low-gain hearing aids for auditory processing problems

Many people with autism experience auditory processing difficulties and research confirms that they benefit from the same treatments which help other people with auditory processing disorders. This personal testimony provides an illuminating insight into the experiences and benefits of hearing aid use to alleviate auditory processing difficulties.

Note: SoundSkills adheres to international protocols which require hearing aids to be fitted by an audiologist using “real ear” acoustic measurement methods to determine the actual sound levels in the user’s ears (that is, not remote hearing aid fitting by estimation and postal delivery). SoundSkills also follows research evidence in recommending accessory remote microphones with low-gain hearing aid fittings to provide enhanced audibility in situations where the background noise level or distance from the speaker are such that it is difficult for hearing aids alone to provide sufficient assistance.

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APD features in Māori TV News item

Follow the story of seven year old Poi, whose learning difficulties were attributed by her school to her being bilingual in Te Reo and English, before she was found to have auditory processing disorder (APD). The news item discusses the prevalence of APD in Māori and Pasifika children and the lack of financial support for most children with APD. Following diagnosis, auditory and phonics training has resulted in a dramatic jump in Poi’s reading skills.

The news item can be viewed on Māori Television On Demand at the link below. It is the first item in the programme – Te Ao with Moana, Series 3, Episode 19.

A captioned version of this video is available on Facebook at this link. Go to the Settings wheel at bottom right to turn the captions on.

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Another Award for APD expert Professor Suzanne Purdy

Professor Suzanne Purdy was awarded the honour of Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. The award was for “services to audiology and communication science”. This comes shortly after receiving the International Award for Hearing from the American Academy of Audiology. Dr Purdy is an internationally recognised expert on auditory processing disorder (APD) and collaborates with SoundSkills on APD research. The press release accompanying the award read as follows.

Professor Suzanne Purdy, current Head of the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland, has had a distinguished career in the field of Audiology and Communication Science.

Professor Purdy’s four decades of research have impacted diagnostic and treatment practices in the areas of cochlear implants; hearing, auditory processing and language disorders in children and adults; and communication disorders in autism. She has helped instigate novel approaches to stroke and aphasia rehabilitation including Māori-led community initiatives, choral and public speaking therapies for neurological conditions, and sensory training for mild cognitive impairment. Her electrophysiology research at the National Acoustic Laboratories in Australia resulted in the development and routine adoption of a new objective hearing test for infants with hearing loss throughout Australia and New Zealand. She has contributed substantially to the development of the Audiology and Speech-language professions nationally through two professional degree programmes at the University of Auckland. She has been involved with the governance and management of numerous community organisations relating to speech and hearing disorders, including the National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Gavel Club, and the Stuttering Treatment and Research Trust. She is Deputy Co-director of the Eisdell Moore Centre for Hearing and Balance Research. Professor Purdy has chaired the International Evoked Response Audiometry Study Group since 2015.

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