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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4058
Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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I have two questions related to auditory processing: 1) Are

Customer Question

I have two questions related to auditory processing:
1) Are more left-handed people than right-handed people diagnosed with audio processing disorder?
2) Do any studies show that music lessons improve auditory processing?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  attyo replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for contacting Based upon the information which you have provided I can offer to you the following suggestions:

People hear what they hear and/or process what they wish/or chose to hear. If your son is not hearing impaired then may I suggest to you that it would be irrelevant (based upon the information which you have provided) if he were right handed or left handed.

This could account for the reason why the evaluator is avoiding your questions.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Sorry, this question was intended for someone with expertise in auditory processing disorder and/or handedness research. Let's try again?
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 7 years ago.


I worked on a long term research project where auditory processing was one of the elements looked at in one of the studies. I may have access to sources that are unavailable to you. In other words I should be able to find pertinent research information for you, if it has been done..

I would like if possible for you to clarify your question, since there seemd to be other questions specified beside just the two in the title. But if would just like me to find research results on auditory processing and related to handedness and auditory processing and music therapy, I will be pleased to look for this.

I do know of research that shows neurological pathway changes (and improvements) are possible due to neuroplasticity (the younger the individual the better) so I think it likely that music as well as any other activities where the pathways are used will bring improvement. For example, music therapy will likely help with auditory processing of music, but for auditory processing of speech, activities involving speech would be helpful.

The ability of your son's brain to change may depend somewhat on the nature of your son's disability. For example, was there ever any trauma to his brain? Has he ever had any studies of his brain? If so, what were the general results?

If you do not mind, Please answer the above as well as specify exactly if answering the two questions as I mentioned above are what you are requiring to be satisfied with your answer.

Additionally, I will be at work away from a computer this afternoon, but after getting a reply from you I can start to work on your answer this evening.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks much. Here's some more information. The little guy is 5 and showed strong left hand dominance by age 2 (my husband's family is almost entirely left-handed people). He's never had any trauma or injury to his brain. He talked early for a boy, has a large vocabulary, and is very expressive. He is good with people, emotionally senstive, and very funny. He has a tendency to anxiety which we are treating with sound and light therapy (no drugs).

His aural difficulties revolve around remembering and and following long stories or complex oral instructions. He does well remembering 4 digit sequences of numbers, but gets confused with 5 digits.

He presents some other difficulties in school as well. He is a mirror writer, meaning that he naturally tries to write and read from right to left (the printing of "mirror writers" reads normally if you look at it in a mirror). He also has poor fine motor skills and trouble with physical sequencing tasks (swimming and skipping). All this sounded alarming. But his pediatric optometrist and his physical skills assessor were able to tell us that it is absolutely typical of left-handed kids of his age. Just to check, I poked around in the research on left-handed kids, and sure enough, these tendencies are common and in the long run, not disabling. This helped us figure out how to design some exercises to help him keep up with his peers without totally bankrupting ourselves and taking up all his free play time.

Unfortunately, when I tried to figure out if the auditory processing problems were also naturally related to being left-handed/right brain dominant, I couldn't find any good sources. The closest I got was an article by a music teacher, Linda Minasian, about teaching piano to left-handed kids. She found that the methods she used to teach right-handed kids simply did not work with lefties. She notes that she needs to use colors and shapes, not numbers, to teach them note values; she finds that oral instructions longer than three simple steps were not helpful to them; she notes that they can not follow long stories and explanations, and that she has to show them how she wants a piece played rather than telling them. Over time, by adapting her teaching methods to suit right-brain dominant kids, she was able to overcome these auditory problems as the kids developed new connections in their brains.

Based on this, it sounds to me as if 1) my son's auditory problems are not unusual in a left-handed child. 2) music lessons would be a reasonable way to improve his skills. He'd still have lots of time for free play and sports, which reduce his anxiety levels and help with his eyesight.

On the other hand, if the little guy is weak in auditory processing even when compared to other left-handed kids, well, we might opt for--groan--more intensive therapy.

All for now,Customer
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
There's another angle that popped into my head just now:

Sometimes, left-handed kids who are forced to use their right hands are known to develop problems like stuttering.

So a third question I should have asked is.... Is it possible that something that we are doing with our son has *caused him to develop* auditory problems? We know that no one is forcing him to switch hands. But maybe we are giving him tasks that have a similar effect on the brain of a left-handed child. For example, is there any research showing that trying to reverse a "mirror writer" can result in problems with aural or verbal skills?

These would make great research projects for someone's graduate thesis. : )
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 7 years ago.
I am sorry for delay, will get back to you tonight with information.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you very much
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 7 years ago.
It may be the weekend, so sorry busier than thought I'd be and want to spend adequate time. look for something this weekend, hope that is okay.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
That's fine, thank you.