Auditory Processing Disorder Symptoms: A distortion in how a person’s brain interprets what they hear is caused by auditory processing disorder (APD), a condition of the auditory (hearing) system. Despite having trouble with hearing-related tasks, it is not a type of hearing loss.
A condition known as auditory processing dysfunction affects the auditory system in the auditory cortex area of the brain. Both toddlers and adults can experience auditory processing disorder, often known as central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). Only an audiologist is qualified to test for it and make a diagnosis.
What are the Signs and Auditory Processing Disorder Symptoms?
Auditory processing disorder symptoms and signs differ from person to person. Many of these symptoms are frequently linked to other well-known diseases, including ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, speech and/or language problems, and ADD/ADHD. A child with APD frequently presents with a variety of symptoms.
APD symptoms that are widely mentioned include:
- Speech is quite difficult to understand, especially when there is background noise.
- Difficulty executing multi-step instructions that are spoken without any visual cues
- Distracted easily by strong or unexpected sounds
- Having trouble listening for extended periods of time, such as during lectures
- Having trouble recalling verbally delivered material and/or successfully summarising it.
- Having trouble reading, spelling, and/or writing in comparison to their classmates (performs consistently below grade level)
- Having trouble understanding complex concepts or ideas
- Jokes, idioms, and figurative language that are delayed or misunderstood
What is the Treatment?
Only approximately 3–4% of the population actually has auditory processing disorder, a condition that is not often well recognized. APD is currently acknowledged by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as a “specific learning disability” (IDEA).
If an audiologist has diagnosed a student with APD, they are eligible for reasonable treatments and accommodations at school.
The child’s family and school are given an individually tailored list of suggestions by the audiologist after receiving a diagnosis of APD in order to assist the youngster to succeed. As each kid and diagnosis are unique, great care is taken to ensure that the child’s specific needs are satisfied.
Several suggestions are as follows:
- Specific and purposeful classroom seating arrangements
- An FM system is a tool that aids in amplifying the teacher’s voice above classroom noise.
- To support vocally provided instructions, provide written or visual instructions.
- A particular emphasis on auditory processing abilities in a therapeutic environment
Can it be Cured?
Up until about age 13, when the auditory system is thought to be more developed and adult-like, the parts of the brain involved in auditory processing abilities continue to grow and develop.
It is possible that a child who was diagnosed with APD before the age of 13 may essentially “grow out” of APD because of this slow maturation. Additionally, if a youngster is receiving treatment for APD, his or her auditory processing abilities might also advance.
For these reasons, it is advised that adolescents with APD who are diagnosed before the age of 13 undergo follow-up testing every 1-2 years until they turn 13 in order to track any alterations or advancements in their auditory processing abilities.
How is it Tested?
A referral to audiology can be made by the child’s pediatrician to start the evaluation process when a parent or teacher suspects that a youngster may have problems with auditory processing.
A group of audiologists carefully gathers and reviews information about the kid after receiving the referral to ascertain whether the youngster is eligible for testing. Due to the complexity of APD, a kid must meet a number of requirements in order to be qualified for testing.
A kid needs to:
- 7 years of age or older
- Possess normal hearing, speech, and language abilities
- Possess average or about average intelligence
Additionally, some co-occurring disorders prevent a kid from being eligible for testing. Typical exclusion criteria for children from APD testing include:
- Spectrum Disorder in Autism
- Dwarf Syndrome
- Developmental problems or delay
- IQ levels that are too low or intellectual impairment
- Significant speech/language impairments, including stuttering, apraxia of speech, etc.
- Loss of hearing in whatever form or degree
Some signs of Auditory Processing Disorder:
– difficulty hearing speech in noisy environments
– difficulty maintaining attention
– problems locating the source of a sound
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Due to the similarities between APD and other disorders, it is necessary to conduct a very thorough evaluation of the child’s prior developmental, educational, and medical history in order to determine whether they are eligible for testing.
A youngster who is being tested for APD must take part in a number of listening tests that gauge various aspects of the auditory system. The child must devote a lot of time and effort to this testing, which can run up to two hours. Each test’s data are collated and evaluated to see if an APD diagnosis is warranted.