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                               Auditory Processing Disorders


Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), sometimes referred to as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), have recently come to the forefront of many educational and professional debate in recent years.  Because of this, there has been a lot of confusion as to what qualifies as APD and what does not.  Some people believe a child has APD because they have trouble processing language when in reality, they may just have difficulty with receptive language skills and not auditory processing.  

APD refers to how the central nervous system uses auditory information. It is an auditory disorder and not caused by other cognitive or language disorders.  

One of the first steps to rule out APD is to have a hearing test.  An licensed audiologist will perform this measure, usually before the auditory processing evaluation.  It is important to know that other disorders may mimic APD.  These include hearing loss, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and even Autism.  Individuals with ADHD will typically have poor listening skills and have difficulty with memory, but their central nervous system is not affected.  In other words, the attention deficit is affecting their ability to process the auditory information.  

APD is diagnosed by an audiologist after a detailed case history and hearing evaluation.  The audiologist will administer a series of tests in a sound-proof room Many audiologists will wait until the child is 7 or 8 years of age as some of the assessments require a minimum age due to the variability in brain function of young children.  

If you child is diagnosed with APD, the audiologist will typically refer you to a speech-language pathologist for treatmentThe audiologist will make recommendations for therapy based on the type of APD revealed by the evaluation.  

If you have concerns about auditory processing in your child, please use this link to find an audiologist in your area:  Find Audiologist

If you have already received a diagnosis of APD or CAPD and need to have a language evaluation completed or treatment initiated, please contact us here.