The Auditory Processing – Emotional/Social Connection

12Last month at Stowell Learning Center Chino, 25 students participated in our SLC Science Lab – AKA Big Fun Mess and Parents’ Night Out. 

Only one of four experiments worked exactly as planned, but the night was a big success.

The students had a good time working together to make a liquid kaleidoscope, and homemade Silly Putty, Play Doh, and lip balm.  While some of our students are social butterflies, others are not so skilled.  Parents and staff loved seeing all the students getting a chance to laugh and be social.

People are social creatures.  Listening skills have a huge impact on our success or failure socially.  Listening is different than hearing.  Hearing is what our ears do, but listening is intentional.  It involves intentional attention.

Our brain looks for patterns.  The emotional part of the brain helps us pick out the important patterns in the sound around us and send it to several places in the brain so it can be processed.  In order to do this quickly, our brains must filter out the unimportant information.

Students who struggle socially, may actually be experiencing a failure of the brain’s inhibitory response – or filtering of unimportant sound.  As a result, they “hear” everything and cannot quickly focus on what’s important in order to give the expected response.  They may become overloaded and shutdown.   They may learn not to participate because they can’t keep up in conversations or discussions, causing them to say the wrong thing or get laughed at.  With extreme overload, they may respond by running away, screaming, making loud noises, or covering their ears.  These survival responses don’t endear them to their peers and make friendships difficult.

We know, through the brain research and our experience with thousands of students that auditory processing and listening skills can be developed.  The brain can be retrained to process sound more effectively so that students can learn and function in both the social and academic environments more comfortably, appropriately, and independently.

One of the key ways that we develop these critical auditory processing skills is through sound therapy, or auditory training programs (The Listening Program, inTime, iLs, or Samonas Sound Therapy).  We use a combination of passive and active auditory stimulation that involves daily home listening and specific lessons in the clinic that stimulate the auditory system to get a clear, accurate, and complete message when listening, while targeting the specific reading, spelling, comprehension, or language skills that the student also needs.

These are real and permanent solutions to struggles with listening, learning, or social skills.

If you or your child are experiencing auditory or other learning challenges and you’re ready for real and permanent changes…

JOIN US for a FREE Information Night.

For details and RSVP go to

“Helping smart but struggling students dramatically improve or completely correct their learning and attention challenges by developing the underlying learning skills that are not supporting the learner well enough.”
We serve children and adults with diagnosed or undiagnosed learning and attention challenges including learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.
Jill Stowell, M.S.
Author:  At Wit’s End A Parent’s Guide to Ending the Struggle Teas, and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities
Founder and Executive Director – Stowell Learning Centers

Recent Posts



Ready to take the next step?

Speak to a Learning Specialist to learn more about the results from students and parents at Stowell Learning Centers.