The term auditory processing often is used loosely by individuals in many different settings to mean many different things, and the label APD (also referred to as Central Auditory Processing Disorders – CAPD) has been applied (often incorrectly) to a wide variety of difficulties and disorders. Generally speaking, APD manifests as poor listening skills or an inability to process auditory information, pay attention to, remember, discriminate, or use auditory information for academic and social purposes. Children who have APD have hearing that is within normal limits. APD can only be diagnosed by an Audiologist, however, is treated by a speech-language pathologist as it impacts language and social development; and is only typically diagnosed around 7-8 years old. Children are sometimes misdiagnosed as having ADHD when they have a APD. Children with APD have difficulty following directions, inconsistent response patterns to speech related tasks, frequently ask for repetitions of information that is presented verbally, have increased difficulty in noisy surroundings, misunderstand what is being said, and cannot remember information presented verbally. We put a list together of 3 tips to help parents manage APD.
3 Tips for Helping Manage Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
- Change the learning or communication environment
– Use of electronic devices to assist listening like an FM system in the classroom. This is worn by the teacher to amplify his/her voice amongst other background noises.
– Collaboration with teachers to improve delivery of information being taught so it’s best received by your child.
– Other methods of altering the learning environment, like preferential seating, to help assist with attending to information being communicated.
- Build Compensatory Skills
– Consists of suggestions for assisting your child to strengthen other skills like language, problem-solving, memory, attention, and cognitive skills, so they can be used to help overcome the disorder.
– These are strategies that are directly taught, and vary given the needs of your child given the impact the disorder is having on learning and development.
– Compensatory strategies encourage children to advocate for themselves and to be active participants in their own learning by applying such listening and problem-solving strategies.
- Remediate the Auditory Deficit
– Audiologists are the primary professionals who confirm an auditory processing disorder, so your journey toward remediation will begin there after receiving a diagnosis of APD following their evaluation and assessment.
– Receive direct treatment to address the specific auditory deficits through computer programs and 1:1 therapy, primarily provided by a licensed therapist, like a Speech-Pathologist and/or Occupational Therapist.
– There is no one treatment approach that is appropriate for all children with Auditory Processing Disorder, however, the type, frequency and intensity of therapy will be individualized based upon the particular needs of your child and the specific type of auditory disorder present.
If you have undiagnosed concerns that your child may have APD, please contact us and we can help you find an Audiologist. We have more information on our website about APD here or you can visit asha.org for more information on CAPD. If you have a child that has been diagnosed with CAPD and you are in need of a licensed Speech-Pathologist and/or Occupational Therapist, please contact us.