Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD) is a complex auditory disorder that poses a significant developmental risk to long-term spoken language outcomes. Due to the heterogeneity of this disorder, diagnosis - but especially management – is a significant challenge since developmental consequences and progress are difficult to anticipate.
Since ANSD is as much a speech-language and communication issue as it is an audiological and otological issue, a team of audiologists and speech-language therapists at the Department Of Communication Pathology took up the challenge to provide early intervention services for this distinctive population. Infants and young children, diagnosed with ANSD at the Department’s diagnostic electrophysiology clinic or referred from elsewhere, are now scheduled for evaluation by the Clinic for High Risk Infants and Babies (CHRIB) where combined audiology and speech-language therapy assessment protocols are applied to comprehensively evaluate these young children’s communication and auditory abilities. Depending on the outcomes of the communication assessment, recommendations are made which include regular early intervention and parent guidance sessions, where progress is carefully monitored and documented.
In view of the fact that this disorder is distinct from those of sensory hearing loss, new approaches to early communication intervention are needed. It remains the imperative objective of the Department of Communication Pathology to take up the responsibility to provide accountable early intervention services to affected young children and their parents to ensure they reach their full potential. Research studies to describe the spectrum of these disorders and to evaluate and inform current practice are under way.
For general information on Auditory Neuropathy click here.
For appointments contact Ansie van Niekerk at 012 4202816
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