Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is trouble interpreting and processing sounds. This does not mean a hearing issue (children with APD can pass hearing tests), but an issue with how the brain interprets sounds.
APD deficits can affect spelling, reading, and following directions. Think about a noisy classroom setting. Background noise can affect children with auditory processing disorder. It can affect their ability to compare and distinguish different sounds. If they have difficulty distinguishing different sounds imagine how it affects phonics and spelling.
If your child is struggling with any of the following an evaluation that includes auditory processing testing may be helpful:
Following multistep directions
Getting distracted in a noisy classroom setting
Struggling with rhyming
Being below level in reading and/or writing
Being able to complete tasks that are written but not when only given orally
How is it diagnosed?
Auditory Processing Deficits are different than Auditory Processing Disorder. With Auditory Processing Deficits a licensed school psychologist can assess this type of processing within part of an evaluation for a learning disability. Auditory Processing Disorder is something that can be diagnosed by an Audiologist.
Many school districts do not accept APD as a stand alone diagnosis and often children can be diagnosed with ADHD because of concerns with paying attention.
If you're noticing that your child has a hard time understanding what is being said, responding to what others say, or responding in a way that does not make sense, APD may be a concern. There are several interventions and accommodations that are successful in helping children with APD once diagnosed. -
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