APD can be defined as difficulties in the perceptual processing of auditory information by the Central Nervous System. Put simply APD is a deficit in the neural processing of auditory information. The child has normal hearing but experiences difficulty in discriminating, processing and understanding sound signals.
Difficulties discriminating between speech and noise /sounds is a common experience for the child with APD. The disorder can often go undetected but can significantly impact a child’s ability to cope with the language requirements of a classroom and to develop essential reading and writing skills. Typically a child with APD copes well in a one to one context but experiences difficulty in large classroom environments.
Signs of APD
APD can even impact the child’s ability to socialize and follow conversations. Typically a person may experience difficulties in the following:
Children with CAPD may exhibit:
Short attention span
Difficulty following instructions
May be noise sensitive or reactive to loud noises eg.
Vacuum cleaner May be overwhelmed by very noisy environments
School-aged children with CAPD may exhibit:
Difficulty following complex verbal directions
Spelling and reading difficulties
Language delay / disorder
Poor sound / phonological awareness needed for literacy skills (reading and writing)
Difficulty maintaining attention to auditory information
Frustration and distractibility
Difficulty with sound localization
Difficulty following the flow of discussions
Difficulty listening / comprehending when there is background noise
Difficulties with short term auditory memory
Facts about APD
Boys are 3 times more likely to have auditory processing disorder than girls
Almost 75% of children with APD have had a speech or language difficulties
Children with APD often have a history of middle ear infections (otitis media)
A child with Auditory Processing Disorder does NOT have an intellectual or cognitive problem
What to do?
Consult an audiologist or speech pathologist in your area. An Audiologist can only conclusively diagnose APD however Speech Pathologists do have an important role in supporting diagnosis and some forms on intervention particularly relating to language processing and literacy.
For more information on Auditory Processing Disorder visit AusBusiness Review Children’s Health pages.
Author: Guennadi Moukine (AusBusiness Review, Editor) http://www.ausbusiness.net