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? Does he understand what others say to him? You should first have your child’s hearing tested. If he does 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 he has. An SLP can test your child’s speech and language. Your child may need treatment if he has 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 his classroom so he 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 he hears.

Learn more by reading the book 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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