Auditory Processing: Understanding the signs and symptoms

Auditory Processing Disorder is a difficulty that affects about 3–5% of school-aged children, making it hard for them to know what people are saying. Children with this condition can’t process what they hear in the same way other children do and have a more difficult time registering and remembering what they hear.

There is nothing wrong with their hearing, however there is an interference with the way the brain interprets sound and speech, directly. Therefore, children with Auditory Processing Disorder will often ask people to repeat what they’ve said or may struggle to follow directions as a result.

Auditory Processing Disorder is often misunderstood

Signs and symptoms to look out for

Although the signs and symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder vary from child to child, below are the most frequently reported symptoms:

  • Difficulty understanding speech, especially in the presence of background noise
  • Difficulty following multi-step directions that are presented verbally, without visual cues
  • Easily distracted by sounds
  • Difficulty paying attention and listening
  • Difficulty remembering what has been said
  • Difficulty reading, spelling, and/or writing when compared to their peers
  • Misunderstanding of jokes, idioms, and figurative language
  • Being fatigued at the end of a school day

How can you help?

Many children diagnosed with an Auditory Processing Disorder can develop better listening and comprehending skills over time as their auditory system matures.

There’s no known cure for Auditory Processing Disorder, but there are ways and strategies with listening that can assist to improve the development of the auditory pathway over time, especially when started at younger ages.

These can include things like:

  • Physical changes to your environment that allow for improved listening
  • Speech Pathology
  • Equipment that gives clear access to the speaker’s voice

As our Clinical Lead Audiologist at Adelaide Paediatrics, Sharon Price specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of Auditory Processing Disorder and utilises her dual qualifications as an Audiologist and Speech Pathologist to ensure best practice.

Auditory Processing Disorder is diagnosed over 2 appointments and is presented as ‘listening games’ to ensure your child is comfortable. If your child is diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder Sharon will support and guide you to gain optimum outcomes for your child.

If you are concerned that your child may have Auditory Processing Disorder, or would simply like to rule it out, please call our friendly team at Mile End on 7123 6147 and they will be happy to assist you.

For a little more information you can directly reach out to us here.

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Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

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