Over the past few years there has been an increase in public awareness of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). This increase in awareness has brought about many misconceptions as well as confusion about what exactly APD is. Auditory processing disorder refers to a breakdown of auditory information beyond the physical ability to hear, at the level of the central nervous system. Children who suffer from APD often have difficulties recognizing subtle differences between sounds as well as processing large pieces of information (I.e. multi step directions).
Children with other disorders such as Autism, pervasive development disorder, and other such global deficits may experience the same processing difficulties as those with APD, however that does not mean they have APD. These disorders happen to all affect the same areas of the central nervous system and have an impact on a child’s ability to pay attention and interpret auditory information, Since the cause of APD is still unknown, and because other disorders may have similar symptoms, it is important that an audiologist test children to correctly diagnose APD.
Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that not all children with APD are the same. Therapy techniques and strategies used by speech pathologists are individualized and meet the specific needs of each child.
Spivey, B.L., & Loraine, S.S. (2009). Auditory Processing Disorder in Children-Symptoms and Treatment. Super Duper Publications