Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
APD refers to how the central nervous system uses auditory information
Affects about 5% of school-aged children
Kids can not process what they hear
The brain does not fully coordinate
Something interferes with the way the brain recognizes and interprets sounds, especially speech.
Not all learning, language, and communication deficits are due to APD.
What to watch for
Children that struggle with spelling, reading, or understanding speech
Children that have difficulty following simple verbal directions
Ranges from mild to severe
There are many different forms
Child has difficulty understanding speech in a noisy environment
Some behave as if they lost their hearing
Childern have a hard time with spelling, reading, and understanding speech
The cause of APD is often unknown. Evidence suggest head trauma, lead poising, and chronic ear infections can be the cause, but there could be multiple causes. No one knows the cause.
Audiologist (hearing specialist) Exam - In a sound treated room
5 main problems: Auditory Figure ground problem, Auditory memory problem, Auditory discrimination problems, Auditory attention problems, and Auditory cohesion problems.
Most of the test require the child to be at least 7-8 years old
There is no for sure method to cure APD
Treatment will be specific per child
Therapy is an option but not guaranteed
Treatment generally focuses on 3 areas: Changing the learning environment, recruiting hider-order skills to help compensate, and remediation of the auditory deficit itself
The degree of APD that the child has will effect the treatment
James Bellis, T. (n.d.). Understanding Auditory Processing Disorders in Children
Lucker, D. (2015, January 1). National Coalition of Auditory Processing Disorders.