Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) Assessment
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) Assessments
WHAT IS AUDITORY PROCESSING DISORDER?
APD is a problem with the way the ears and brain work together to understand sound. Children with APD have normal peripheral hearing, but difficulty recognising and interpreting the sounds they hear.
These difficulties make it hard for children to work out what a sound is, where the sound came from and when the sound happened. And this means it’s hard for children to listen properly when there’s background noise or the sound is muffled.
APD can look like a hearing loss, an intellectual disorder, a language problem, a learning difficulty or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and although it isn’t any of these disorders it can co-exist with them. APD is sometimes referred to as central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) however APD is the currently accepted term and refers to the same diagnosis. APD is known to affect around 3-5% of school-age children.
Audiologists are the only professionals qualified to diagnose APD. Audiologists diagnosing APD should have been educated and trained in the area of APD, including the administration and interpretation of APD tests. Throughout assessment a child should be observed for the presence of undiagnosed additional difficulties that may manifest difficulties similar to APD; in addition to APD; or impede a differential diagnosis.
Some of the difficulties associated with APD are:
- Difficulty following multiple or lengthy oral instructions
- Difficulty understanding speech in competition, for example, in the presence of background noise
- Difficulty hearing when a signal is not clear or is ‘degraded’ (for example, soft, quick or distorted speech, different accents, phone conversation)
- Mishearing auditory information
- Slowness in processing and responding to auditory information
- Inconsistent or inappropriate responses to spoken requests for information
- Frequent requests for repetition and/or rephrasing of information, saying “what” or “huh” often
- Listening fatigue
- Difficulty or inability to interpret speech cues that underlie emotion, humour and shades of meaning in speech
- Difficulty maintaining attention, poor listening skills, easily distracted
- Poor auditory memory
- Reduced tolerance for noise and sensitivity to noise
Secondary difficulties associated with APD may include:
- Academic difficulties, including reading, spelling and/or learning problems
- Social difficulties
- Exhaustion after school from listening effort
An APD assessment will take approximately 2 hours to complete and is normally completed over 2 sessions. The first appointment will include a fully Diagnostic Hearing assessment and the second appointment will include the results and recommendations. The assessment is delivered in a fun and engaging way for the comfort of your child. Our Audiologist, Sharon Price, specialises in the diagnosis of APD and utilises her dual qualifications in Speech Pathology and Audiology to ensure the best outcomes for your child.
If you are concerned that your child may have APD please contact Adelaide Paediatrics for a full comprehensive assessment for APD.
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