What is auditory processing disorder?Auditory processing disorders (APD) in children and adults Both children and adults can auditory processing disorder, which affects how well the brain can process sound and put meaning to it. 2021 1082 What is auditory processing disorder? https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/50491-Auditory-processing-disorders-in-children
Auditory processing disorder (APD) is a condition where the brain doesn’t properly translate the meaning of sounds.
“Most people think you hear with your ears, and they are certainly the input point for hearing,” says Leah Light, AuD, the founder and director of the Brainchild Institute in Hollywood, FL. “Auditory processing disorder occurs when your brain doesn’t process information correctly,” she says.
Auditory processing disorder is a hearing impairment—not a hearing loss, notes Dr. Light. You’ll also sometimes hear the condition referred to as central auditory processing disorder.
Affects all ages
The Nemours Foundation estimates that 5 percent of school-aged children have this condition. And while it’s often associated with childhood, APD affects people of all ages. “There are many adults suffering from auditory processing disorder,” says Dr. Light.
What are symptoms of auditory processing disorder?
According to diagnostic guidelines from the American Academy of Audiology, some of the common symptoms of auditory processing disorder include:
Many of these symptoms are also often present with other disorders, notes the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). “As audiologists, we say auditory processing disorder can coexist with other types of problems like ADHD or language processing [disorders],” says Dr. Light.
What causes auditory processing disorder?
The cause of auditory processing disorder is not always known, says Dr. Light. The disorder may be linked to some of the following factors:
A person with APD can perform perfectly on a hearing test that just involves listening to beeps in an otherwise silent environment. To diagnosis APD, audiologists will:
While the diagnosis is made by an audiologist, often a team of specialists—including speech-language pathologists and psychologists—also play a role in assessing symptoms and developing a treatment strategy, per the American Academy of Audiology. One of the diagnostic challenges of APD is that young children may not possess the verbal and communication skills to complete the full battery of tests that audiologists perform, says Dr. Light.
Treatment for APD
There’s no pill or quick fix available when it comes to APD, says Dr. Light. However, there are frequently used treatment strategies, including tools:
No cure for this condition exists. Instead, treatment options will be determined by the specific form of APD occurring.
Hidden hearing loss
Some people do not have auditory processing disorder, but have many of the same symptoms. This problem originates in a different part of the brain and is known as hidden hearing loss.
Subtypes of auditory processing disorders
There are different types of auditory processing problems, such as a decoding deficit, an auditory integration deficit, or an output organization deficit, that all sit under the umbrella of auditory processing disorder, Dr. Light explains.
“Each of these problems points to a different area of the brain that might be underdeveloped. We try to do deficit-specific interventions to target and stimulate that area,” she says.