Central Auditory Processing Disorder Treatment

Software that targets APD at its source

Auditory processing is a cognitive skill that can be exercised and improved at any age. Our auditory processing disorder treatment taps into this opportunity. Our software helps by presenting a ladder of increasingly challenging exercises to pull up auditory and cognitive function, at your child’s own pace.

Our treatment targets auditory processing and other skills impacted by auditory processing disorder such as attention, working memory, phonological awareness and reading comprehension. Our goals are to reduce APD symptoms, to build a sound foundation for learning and then to accelerate reading and learning efficiency and confidence.

Gemm Learning is an online treatment protocol with passionate remote coaching and support.


How Our Online Programs Work

Our program is centered around the Fast ForWord software series, which was designed specifically to boost reading by boosting auditory processing. The first exercises strengthen language processing and the so-called learning MAPS. These are working memory, attention, auditory processing and sequencing, the skills most often delayed when the central auditory nervous system does not develop normally.

From there, depending on your child’s needs and goals, our program provides exercise that developBrain Activity After Auditory Processing Disorder Treatment reading fluency and comprehension, syntax, vocabulary and spelling.

As you would expect, the exercises are not only highly adaptive, they are also intense. Students are presented with hundreds of sequencing and processing decisions in quick succession. Working towards auditory processing proficiency at natural language speed, the software adapts, adding speed and complexity at the student’s own pace. It pushes the student to ever higher levels in tiny incremental steps.

Activating Language Regions In The Brain

Four world-renowned neuroscientists developed Fast ForWord using 30+ years of science about the brain and particularly on neuroplasticity, namely the ability for the brain to change and respond to stimuli.

The individual exercises have been designed and optimized to promote creation of new neural connections that are visible on fMRI imaging (Temple, Stanford University). The new connections activate language regions of the brain when the subject is reading. These key auditory regions are typically inactive in individuals with auditory processing disorder, which makes for inefficient reading.

Fast ForWord exercises target all aspects of auditory development.  This includes auditory pattern recognition, temporal discrimination (recognizing sounds in sequence), auditory working memory and sustained attention. The ability to interact with and improve these deep-seated and fundamental skills is central to what makes our auditory processing disorder treatment unique.

Lasting Gains

Once the brain learns how to improve function, it will integrate these changes. And therefore the gains endure.

It is hard to prove longer-term continued acceleration due to the many influences on learning over a longer period.  However, anecdotal evidence from clients and a couple of outside studies indicate that Fast ForWord can be like a fresh start. By strengthening key foundational skills, higher level skills, held back by auditory processing disorder, can now develop and mature more fully. This process occurs over a period of years and is the reason many clients report continued acceleration after our program has ended.

It’s an approach that has worked for Gemm Learning clients for 10+ years. The efficacy of Fast ForWord as an intervention to help auditory processing disorder is widely documented, including these studies in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology (2013), Brain Topography (2015) and Neuropsychoelogia (2013).

Home-Based Treatment

The Fast ForWord software we provide to families at home is also provided by some audiologists, speech-language pathologists and neuropsychologists in their offices. However, a new online version of the software has made home use of this popular auditory processing disorder treatment much more convenient.

Because every case requires different guidance and because the exercises are intensive and sometimes challenging, Fast ForWord is only available to families with remote professional oversight. Gemm Learning professionals use an online assessment and a behavioral survey to develop an individualized program plan. During the treatment, we call frequently and intervene with virtual sessions as needed.  In addition:

  • Monitor progress daily, report weekly
  • Student incentive programs — online prizes and mailed certificates
  • Online resources and parent support groups

Disclaimer. Gemm Learning is an educational program, not a medical intervention. It is not effective in every case. While we can generally set client expectations appropriately in our consultation prior to signing on, there are instances where we accept a student because he fits our profile, he follows the protocols, but there are no perceptible changes. Every student is unique. It is disappointing that we cannot help in every case, but it is not unexpected.

Auditory Processing Disorder Treatment Goals

Gemm Learning develops individualized protocols based on your child’s needs and schedule. Our goals depend on your child, but include the following:

Build Phonological Awareness For Reading Efficiency

Reading is a language skill — text is language in a symbol format.  Because auditory processing impacts language, it almost always impacts reading also. The key to reading is decoding automaticity.  This requires sound phonological awareness, the ability to hear the sounds inside words. Auditory processing disorder impacts phonological awareness because it interferes with auditory pattern recognition and auditory discrimination.

Our software directly targets phonological awareness and therefore reading automaticity.  This helps build fluency in younger readers and decoding efficiency and therefore reading comprehension in older children.

Improve Focus

auditory processing treatment in childrenAuditory processing disorder can make learning exhausting. For example, students with APD have to work hard just to take in what the teacher is saying in class.  Many also labor mightily when sounding out words when reading.  Consequently, they tire easily in class or while reading, sometimes leading to an ADHD or ADD diagnosis.

While ADD medicines manage symptoms, our program targets the cause of inattentiveness, the inefficient processing. Because we tackle the language processing delays that make listening in class exhausting and reading a challenge, many clients report improvements in focus.

Improve Ability To Follow Directions

Children with central auditory system delays do not process fast enough to listen accurately. Consequently, for them, language is always coming at them too quickly and it can sound a little muddy.  Background noise can also be troublesome. Improved processing efficiency from our program effectively slows the world down for your child.  As a result, he will be more able to hear and follow directions at natural language speed.

Build Listening and Language Skills

Auditory processing disorder reduces the capacity to learn by listening. Therefore it limits vocabulary, grammar, semantics (attaching meaning),  articulation and/or conversational skills.  Furthermore, inefficient listening impacts reading and writing.

Our software engages with the student to build listening skills.  In addition, it teaches vocabulary, language syntax and other language skills that are almost always lagging as a result of the processing deficit.

If any of this sounds like your child, contact us.  We should be able to help.