Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a neurological problem. In essence, APD refers to difficulty processing what we hear.
Children referred for APD assessment typically have a normal audiogram but present with characteristics that may include:
There may also be reports of impaired speech, language, phonological awareness, literacy, attention and academic performance.
In some cases, children are referred when they do not progress as expected after receiving other types of support, such as speech and language therapy or dyslexia/learning support.
Auditory processing disorder is a neurological problem that cannot be treated by medication. Since auditory processing difficulties vary based on surroundings and development, its therapies vary by setting and age as well.
Current intervention strategies can be divided into 4 main areas:
The complete Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) assessment comprises two parts: The full audiological assessment and the Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) test batteries. The overall testing is 2-3 hours, depending on the age of the patient. Considering the length of the assessment time, the assessment can be divided into two separate appointments. If the weakness(es) in auditory experience is identified, auditory therapy/training and assistive listening devices (e.g. FM system, soundfield system, etc) can be advised.
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) can often, but not always, co-occur with other diagnoses (e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, ASD, language disorder etc). It is vital that APD is distinguished from other diagnoses that can also impact auditory memory and attention (e.g. ADHD, working memory difficulties). If children have learning difficulties or low IQ, it is likely that they present with overall processing difficulties. Therefore, prior to the diagnosis of APD, any available diagnostic reports (e.g. Speech and Language Therapist, Educational Psychologist, etc) should be provided to an audiologist, to ensure an accurate diagnosis of APD.