I’m often asked whether and how Auditory Processing Disorder is addressed in adults? The good news is, adults can work on better auditory processing through the same scientific technology that we use with younger brains. We slow the sound stimuli, and then as they are able to “hear” the sound differences with 80% accuracy, we speed it up until they are brought to a faster speed of processing sounds.
Once the brain grows to a better speed of discriminating sounds, it never returns to the old ways of hearing the world. It’s like riding a bicycle – even if you don’t ride for years, you can still get on and not fall off like you did when the brain had no idea how to ride! Your brain has grown to know this task, and we know from neurological research “what fires together wires together.” That bicycle knowledge is hard-wired in your brain forever.
What fires together, wires together!
In the same way, once your brain is hard-wired to a new level of knowing how to process sounds, just opening your eyes every morning allows you to process incoming stimuli with greater accuracy and speed.
How do adults get better at processing? By training their brains to speed up. It is easy to do? No. It takes a lot of convincing to change how the brain is wired.
The brain really likes how it is working, and so to disrupt that complacency, you have to challenge it often enough to establish you mean for it to go faster, not just a novel one-time event.
Training must be done often, 3 to 5 times a week for at least an hour, to change the “set point” of the speed of processing. It takes about 60 hours on average to achieve this, but once the brain arrives at the new set point, it never goes back to its old ways of processing.
It is a revelation to realize how much you have been missing all this time! People in their 50s have exclaimed how they never heard the sprinklers come on in the morning or were aware of their wife’s breathing sounds . . . not to mention finally being able to carry on a conversation at a party. These sounds were unheard of before doing this life-changing training.
I always get excited when I explain how this therapy works and a person then decides to do the training, because I know how different their lives will be and soon! It really doesn’t take that long to begin to see a difference. Some will experience it in as little as a couple of weeks. Inwardly, I smile because I know they will have opportunities open up for them.
I once worked with a woman who was attending college later in life, but was having a difficult time taking notes in class. As we worked together, she trusted me enough to admit she had stopped dating because she was unable to follow the conversation. She felt dates were always a disaster. Most revealing, she angrily shared that her father never told her about a huge family secret, which she felt had left her with psychological scars. I simply asked her to consider whether her father may have tried to speak to her, but she was unable to process his words? She realized this was the case, and after being angry with her Dad all these years, she simply dissolved into tears with that revelation. Today, this woman is now a teacher!
This training has been my quest in life, because it is vitally important to allowing people to live their best lives. Yes, it does take time and commitment, but it is life-changing, not just for educational or career opportunities, but also for social and family connections.
Auditory processing affects every aspect of our development, so if you are experiencing any of the above challenges, get tested right away, your brain will thank you! For more than 20 years, Encinitas Learning Center has helped hundreds of adults and children by providing pivotal programs that have been the turning point in their life and academic careers. Call today for a free 15-minute consultation with one of our expert staff.