What is auditory processing?
• term used to describe what happens when your
brain recognizes and interprets the sounds
Auditory Processing Disorder
• The "disorder" part of auditory processing
disorder means that something is adversely
affecting the processing or interpretation of
• central auditory processing disorder (CAPD).
• auditory perception problem,
• auditory comprehension deficit,
• central auditory dysfunction,
• central deafness,
• "word deafness."
• We are not sure!
• The many possible causes of APD include head trauma,
lead poisoning, and chronic ear infections. Sometimes
the cause is unknown. Because there are many different
possibilities — even combinations of causes — each
child must be assessed individually.
What causes auditory
What are the symptoms of possible
auditory processing difficulty?
• Have trouble paying attention to and remembering
information presented orally
• Have problems carrying out multistep directions
• Have poor listening skills
• Need more time to process information
• Have low academic performance
• Have behavior problems
• Have language difficulty (e.g., they confuse syllable
sequences and have problems developing vocabulary and
• Have difficulty with reading, comprehension, spelling,
How is suspected auditory processing
difficulty diagnosed in children?
• Teacher: may be the first person to notice symptoms of
auditory processing difficulty. There may need to be ongoing
• Initially it is important to rule out other problems.
• An audiologic evaluation is necessary.
• A speech-language pathologist can find out how well a person
understands and uses language.
• A mental health professional can give you information about
cognitive and behavioral challenges that may contribute to
• Because the audiologist can help with the functional problems
of hearing and processing, and the speech-language
pathologist is focused on language, they may work as a team
• Children with APD are thought to hear normally.
• Most kids with APD do not have a loss of hearing
sensitivity, but have a hearing problem in the sense
that they do not process auditory information
• If the auditory deficits aren't identified and managed
early, many of these kids will have speech and
language delays and academic problems.
• Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can take many
different forms. If you think a child might have a problem
with how he or she processes sounds, consider these questions:
~ Is the child easily distracted or unusually bothered by loud or
~ Are noisy environments upsetting to the child?
~Does the child's behavior and performance improve in quieter
~Does the child have difficulty following directions, whether
simple or complicated?
~Does the child have reading, spelling, writing, or other speech-
~Is abstract information difficult for the child to comprehend?
~ Are verbal (word) math problems difficult for the child?
~Is the child disorganized and forgetful?
~Are conversations hard for the child to follow?
• APD is an often misunderstood problem because
many of the behaviors can also appear in other
conditions such as:
• learning disabilities,
• attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
• and even depression.
• Although APD is often confused with ADHD, it is
possible to have both.
• It is also possible to have APD and specific language
impairment or learning disabilities.
What treatments are available for
auditory processing difficulty?
• Several strategies are available to help children with auditory processing
difficulties. Strategies you may hear about include:
• Auditory trainers
• Environmental modifications : ways to improve the listening environment
~ classroom acoustics,
Exercises to improve language-building skills can increase the ability to learn
new words and increase a child's language base.
• Auditory memory enhancement
• informal auditory training techniques can be used by teachers and
therapists to address specific difficulties.
• Auditory integration training may be promoted by practitioners as a way to
retrain the auditory system and decrease hearing distortion. However,
current research has not proven the benefits of this treatment.
• APD is an auditory disorder that is not the result of higher-
order, more global deficit such as autism, mental retardation,
attention deficits, or similar impairments.
• Not all learning, language, and communication deficits are due
• No matter how many symptoms of APD a child has, only
careful and accurate diagnosis can determine if APD is,
• Although a multidisciplinary team approach is important in
fully understanding the cluster of problems associated with
APD, the diagnosis of APD can only be made by an
• Treatment of APD is highly individualized. There is no one
treatment approach that is appropriate for all children with