Auditory Processing Disorder

Some children have trouble hearing but do not have a hearing loss. They may have an auditory processing disorder, or APD. Audiologists can test for APD.

Does your child seem to have trouble hearing? Do they understand what others say to them? You should first have your child’s hearing tested. If they do not have a hearing loss, it could be APD.

Children with APD may act like they have a hearing loss. They may not follow directions, or they may give the wrong answers to questions. It can be hard to know if your child has APD. It is often confused with attention, language, or learning problems. Children with APD can have trouble in school and at home.

To find out if your child has APD, your child may see a team that includes a:

  • speech-language pathologist, or SLP
  • psychologist
  • teacher
  • doctor
  • audiologist

An audiologist will choose tests based on your child’s age and the types of problems they have. An SLP can test your child’s speech and language. Your child may need treatment if they have APD. Treatment may include:

  • Direct therapy. Your child may have to learn to hear sounds and focus on what others say.
  • Finding ways to help your child hear speech. This may include changing their classroom so they can hear better, called classroom acoustics. Or, your child may use a listening device or FM system.
  • Teaching your child ways to listen better. This may include using active listening and writing down what they hear.

Learn more by reading the article Understanding Auditory Processing Disorders in Children by Teri James Bellis, PhD, CCC-A.

To find an audiologist near you, visit ProFind.

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