Auditory Speech Discrimination

This is the ability to discriminate between similar sounding speech sounds (e.g., fear - hear, doom - tomb). A problem in this area results in the following difficulties.

The person mishears words in a conversation, discussion, lecture, TV program or series of instructions and therefore misinterprets some of the information he hears. He also has to use active attention in order to discriminate some of the words he hears which can result in his becoming fatigued due to extra effort required to listen and this can lead to his tuning out the conversation. It can also lead to serious misunderstandings if the person interprets what he hears as an insult.

While taking notes the person mishears some words and writes down the wrong words. When he tries to study from these notes he is unable to because the notes do not make sense.

There is difficulty discriminating foreign language speech sounds which makes learning a foreign language through hearing difficult.
A person with this problem has more trouble understanding someone who speaks with an accent. One girl with a severe auditory speech discrimination problem dropped out of grade 13 because she became embarrassed with having to ask the teacher to repeat himself so frequently.

A person with this problem tires in speech listening situations because he has to use extra attention and energy to interpret the words that he cannot clearly hear, even though his hearing for loudness and pitch is normal.

Arrowsmith has changed the way I learn to a whole different level. It has taught me to be patient, and it has allowed me to mature in different ways. I am glad that I was placed in this program because if I had not participated, I would probably be stressing out in high school with my learning difficulties instead of feeling like a regular student.

- Faye, Student

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