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Phonak Know-How Address Auditory Processing Disorders

New device, EduLink, helps the brain to understand.

Stfa, October 2003 - The latest innovation from Phonak, EduLink, is set to make a key contribution to the successful treatment of children with Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). This new device is not a conventional hearing instrument or a standard headphone set, but rather an ingenious "ear set". It transmits the teacher's voice, using FM technology, directly to the child's ear and effectively reduces ambient and back-ground noise for improved speech discrimination. EduLink is designed to complement existing therapies in the treatment of APD.

Auditory Processing Disorders - not to be confused with hearing impairments - are often behind the emergence of speech and learning disorders. These are occurring increasingly frequently in children, to varying degrees. Experts call these "a phenomena of our times" and believe that a lot of learning difficulties in school could be attributed at least partially to APD. Often, APD is detected in the context of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Hyperactivity (ADSD). It also could be a significant contributory factor in the emergence of the common reading and writing disorder, dyslexia.

Children with Auditory Processing Disorders have normal intelligence and normal hearing ability. Nevertheless they have problems understanding. The cause is not to be found in the ear but in the brain where the processing and evaluation of signals (nerve impulses) that leave the ear in an unadulterated form are impaired. Auditory processing is the basis for various, extremely important functions such as understanding speech, recognizing meaning or the emotional registration of acoustic information. In short: Auditory Processing is the key to learning and communication.

The classroom in particular poses a major challenge to the treatment of APD. Here children with Auditory Processing Disorders have extreme difficulties in understanding the teacher's voice. EduLink ensures that this important information reaches the ear as a priority. The findings of numerous studies as well as ongoing field tests in Europe and the USA clearly indicate the enormous potential of systems which improve the signal-to-noise ratio, to help children with APD.

With EduLink Phonak wants to support existing therapeutic approaches and give children a good start in learning vital communication skills.

Three decades of experience in developing and producing effective hearing systems for people with a hearing loss together with a pioneering role in pediatric audiology, qualify Phonak to enable EduLink to benefit the many children with APD.

For more details on the full range of Phonak products visit www.phonak.com.

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