Auditory Processing Disorders
Auditory processing is a term used to describe what happens when your brain recognizes and interprets the sounds around you. The "disorder" part of auditory processing disorder means that something is adversely affecting the processing or interpretation of the information. This problem may be exacerbated in unfavorable listening environments. The program at ACH provides a comprehensive test battery for children exhibiting characteristics of auditory processing disorders (APD). Recommendations and guidelines for schools and families are individualized and referrals for further academic assessment are made, as needed.
Language, learning, literacy and listening are intricately tied together. School-aged children with normal hearing, who are experiencing difficulties in an academic setting relative to listening, understanding, following instructions, etc., may be candidates for evaluation of their auditory processing abilities.
Possible Behavioral Characteristics Associated with APD:
- Difficulty listening in presence of background noise
- Difficulty following complex oral directions: inconsistent response to auditory stimuli
- Easily distracted; impulsive; frustrated
- Short auditory attention span; fatigues easily during listening activities
- Academic difficulties associated with reading and spelling skills
- Difficulty concentrating; may give the impression of not listening or daydreaming
- Frequent requests for verbal repetition or often saying “huh”
The APD Team at ACH uses the following criteria to assist in determining if a child is an appropriate candidate for APD testing. The child should meet or exceed the following criteria before an APD evaluation can be scheduled.
8 years of age or older
Normal hearing sensitivity/normal middle ear function
Cognitive skills within the average range of functioning (IQ scores should be greater than 80)
Normal language abilities to only mildly delayed language skills.
Normal articulation skills or only mild deficits in articulation skills.
No other primary diagnosis that is judged to be the primary cause of processing difficulties (i.e, autism, moderate/severe language disorder, significant cognitive deficits, etc.)
An attention deficit disorder should be ruled out or confirmed before an APD evaluation can be scheduled. If the child has diagnosed ADD, he/she should be on his/her prescribed medication at the time of the evaluation.