Welcome to Auditory Processing Disorder
“Auditory Processing Disorders” was first published in January 2005 by The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). In its very broadest sense, Auditory Processing Disorder refers to how the central nervous system uses auditory information. It is a disorder that delays or disrupts the processing of auditory information. Affecting around five percent of young children, this condition prevents their young ears and brain to fully coordinate because of interference so they cannot process what they hear adequately.
It can be either neurologically based, or the result of head injury or ear infections. It is sometimes mixed up and can be misdiagnosed as autism as it shares some of the symptoms. Confusion and following instructions can be the first indication. Some signs show up in the early grades when children are expected to become listeners. But because not all children develop all their skills at the same time, most audiologists advise waiting until the child is 7 or 8 years old. List of common signifiers of Auditory Progressing Disorder can present in teenagers and adults, it isn’t hard to see how it could so easily apply to almost anyone:
- Speaking louder than necessary;
- Inability to distinguish between similar sounds;
- Mispronouncing some words;
- Difficulty remembering lists and sequences;
- Often needs words or sentences repeated;
- Poor ability to understand oral instructions;
- Frustration that comes out as anger;
- Interpretation of words too literally;
- Difficulty hearing clearly in noisy environments;
- Some inability to concentrate and focus;
- Have some trouble with reading;
- Issues with short-term memory.
There are other conditions that can affect a person’s ability to understand auditory information. People with cognitive impairments, ADHD, emotional or anxiety issues, and self-regulation inconsistencies may well have inadequate listening skills. However, in these cases, and unlike APD, the neural processors for auditory input are completely intact.
Early diagnosis is key. Some pediatricians catch these signs on child’s the first few visits. Then tests are performed when the child is able to comprehend instructions. It’s also often referred to as APD or the more commonly known CAPD: Central Auditory Processing Disorder. And because these children have trouble interpreting sounds, they can also have some difficulty with some similar speech sounds. Noisy places can be tricky and even the smallest inflection between sounds in words can be problematic.It is imperative to rule out other conditions first, to be completely sure.
It’s important to know that there is no single, cure-all for successfully treating APD. With its range of complexities and symptoms, the approach must be highly individualistic and deficit-specific. What is fundamentally agreed upon is that correct and accurate diagnostic analysis is the exclusive domain of a certified audiologist. But even children already tested at 7 or 8 are advised to get tested again to confirm the diagnosis as a lot of other factors can lead to the earlier diagnosis.
To find more info on APD / CAPD check out:
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Auditory Processing affects more than 7% of the population of all ages. “I hear them but I don’t understand them” is a common statement mentioned by children or adults who have learning and communication difficulties.
A 61 year old man who just completed the first module of our Home Based Program and to my question “how was it?”, he replied “excellent! I just loved it!” Also later on during the consultation he said “i am not as possessed by anger any more, I am more aware of the anger and can control it better” and this only after 13 days of the program.
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A Mum came to drop our home-based set and reported she was so proud of her son: he won the award for “the most advanced student of the year” at his Occupational Therapy group out of 48 children. The work of OT combined with the our method has helped this young boy to move forward immensely.
While our clinic is based in Sydney, we make regular visits to Perth and Melbourne – and have a Brisbane/Queensland associate we can refer you to. To find out more, call us on (02) 9327 4285.
I was wondering for a long time why my son was not doing well at school, I kept being told he was always distracted and didn’t seem to be paying attention. For a while I was so upset with him, why couldn’t he try harder? After talking with him I began to suspect something was up and booked him in to see the folks at www.auditoryprocessingdisorder.com.au. I was not surprised to see he was having trouble hearing and that it was not his fault he was having trouble at school. After only a short amount of therapy surrounding his APD he was able to focus much more easily at school and is now achieving far better grades. I’m so proud of him!
– Daniel Nader