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What Is Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder?

Jun 01st, 2024 | by Nicole Romei

Nicole Romei

June 01st, 2024

What Is Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder?

Auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder is a condition that affects the auditory nerve, distorting the sounds heard. This means when a message is heard, it travels through the middle ear and cochlear; however, the message is distorted or imprecise once it travels through the auditory nerve to the brain.

What Causes Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder?

  • History of family members with hearing loss
  • Premature birth
  • Severe jaundice at birth
  • Low oxygen before or after birth
  • Head injury
  • Some genetic or neurologic conditions

What Are Some Characteristics in Children With Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder?

Most children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder are born with it. Some children can also pass their newborn hearing screening but be diagnosed with a hearing loss later in their life. This is why it is important to monitor your child’s hearing milestones. These milestones can include:

  • Newborns – startled by sudden loud noises
  • By 3 months – recognising familiar voices such as parents and close family members
  • By 6 months – repeating and playing with; turning head to new sounds
  • By 12 months – beginning to babble, imitating sounds and responding to their name

It is important to remember, milestones are a guide of when these skills are typically developed.

What Are Some Treatment Options for Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder?

Children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder are usually monitored by a multi-disciplinary team that can (but not exclusively) include audiologists and/or audiological professionals, paediatricians, neurologists, teachers of the deaf and speech pathologists. Like all children with a hearing loss or condition, the most crucial team members are their parents and carers, making their involvement vital. There is no set treatment approach for hearing loss. However, some interventions can include wearing hearing devices, soundfield systems in the classroom environment and introducing sign language as a form of communication.

About the Author

Nicole is a Speech Pathologist at NAPA Centre Sydney who has immersed herself in the area of hearing loss at Aurora School, a school for the Deaf and Deaf-Blind. At this school, she worked in Early Intervention, visiting families throughout Victoria in their homes. She is also a retired Nurse, bringing a wealth of experience in various medical fields, offering a unique perspective to her Speech Pathology practice. Outside work, Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, crafts, and exercising.

About NAPA Centre

At NAPA, we are committed to helping children lead their happiest, healthiest lives by providing the best and most innovative paediatric therapy methods from around the world all under one roof. Let your child’s journey begin today by contacting us to learn more.

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