“I heard what you had to say about auditory processing. I had never understood why my husband never listened to a word I said. So I took your advice. I caught his attention. I spoke slowly. I ‘chunked’ the information and I waited for compliance. Do you know what he said? “That is the first time in 36 years of marriage that I have ever understood a word you have said”. And do you now what? It has done wonders for our marriage!!”

A listener from National Radio program about teaching and learning.


“ You could see it on their faces, the look of bewilderment. There were always children who seemed just lost in the classroom. I’ve had great success with it. When you teach in this way, it’s like a light comes on. The children know what you are talking about.”

Teacher at Woodlands Primary School, Langwarrin, Victoria

“ I didn’t realise that I talked too much. It is no wonder the children didn’t understand. I overloaded them. They all knew what they had to do once I slowed down and gave them time to take it in.”

Grade 3 teacher

“ There was one girl that I thought must have auditory processing difficulties as she wasn’t paying any attention. After assessing, it was obvious that she was very competent. She was distracted as she had major problems at home. It was a very quick screen that enabled us to help the family appropriately rather than assuming it was a learning difficulty or ADHD.”

School entry teacher

“ I thought that I couldn’t slow down because we have so much to get through in the syllabus. When I thought about it, I realised that I was repeating everything several times very fast, and they still did not understand. When I caught their attention, slowed down and allowed them time to take in each segment we actually got through it quicker. I was hardly repeating myself at all. I was spending less time on ‘crowd control’ as well.”

Year 9 teacher

“ I didn’t realise how impolite I had been to children where English was not their first language until I thought about auditory processing in the light of my experience in Europe. I really appreciated people slowing down, allowing me time to process what they said by giving me only a few words at a time. Otherwise I had no idea what they were trying to say. It must be exhausting for children trying to guess what we want when they are unfamiliar with the language.”

Grade 2 teacher

“ This information has changed my teaching practice and I know I am a much better teacher. I actually enjoy teaching now as I can see the students learning.”

Grade 5 teacher

“ It was the most useful screening instrument we used at school entry. It helped identify children at risk but it also helped me understand the range of auditory capacity in the children in the class. Very few children didn’t respond enough to the simple strategies and I knew they needed extra assessment. They had more complex difficulties. For the first time I was understanding how I could make a difference.”

Teacher of school entry children

“ It is not ‘rocket science’. It is just good teaching practice that somehow people forgot to teach us. Good actors and communicators have been doing it for years.”

Grade 1 and year 7 teachers

Teacher: “ I can’t believe how much better children are concentrating.” From a student in that class: “ It is the first time that I know what I am meant to be doing. I don’t have to keep asking my mates. It is actually worth coming to school now – we can learn something.”

Grade 5 teacher and student

“ I hadn’t realised that the same principles apply to teaching new work using unfamiliar words. You have slow down and give them time to process it.”

Grade 4 teacher

“ I assumed that by the age of 8 all children could recall normal ‘adult-length’ sentences of 12-15 words. After testing, I realised very few managed it easily. No wonder we had so many children who were not coping. It was very different when we were aware.”

Primary School Literacy Co-ordinator


“ Because teachers mostly teach verbally, I can’t believe that we haven’t understood this aspect of child development and taken it into account.”

Primary School Principal


“ The APAK is a very useful instrument for screening auditory processing difficulties.”

“ Having large sample norms with identification of high risk groups is very helpful.”

“ We previously assumed from our smaller samples that children had much better skills than they actually do.”

“ The APAK explains why we have an increase in clinical presentations for assessment of children with hearing and listening concerns occurring at school entry, and transition from the infant grades to the upper years of primary school and during transition to secondary school. These are times when so much more is expected of them and it is assumed that they have well developed auditory processing skills. In recent years very few teachers are taught about this aspect of child development and do not adjust their language. They do not realize how much they talk and how fast they talk. Children tell us school is just “Blah, blah blah…we mostly have no idea what the teachers are saying.”

Speech Pathologists

“ I cannot think of a single child with a speech and language difficulty who did not have difficulty with auditory processing.”

“ The norms are very helpful.”


“ We are so often asked to assess children who are struggling at school. Whatever else may be the problem, the majority will have difficulty in this area and will not progress unless this is taken into account. This is an easy assessment to do.”

“ Parents are often relieved to find that their child is not actually ‘oppositional’ in not obeying instructions, they were just overwhelmed and didn’t know or recall what they were meant to do. There are many fewer dramas at home when the instructions are clear and simple.”

“ It has helped us in communicating and getting the cooperation of our patients.”

“ It has highlighted how we should communicate with parents who may not be familiar with language that we use. It is just good communication skills.”

“ If a child is reported as not concentrating but has no difficulty with this assessment, we often find that exploring emotional and social aspects can be more productive and provide a clue to the underlying problem.”