Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) or Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is a disorder that affects the way sounds are processed and interpreted by the brain. A child with an Auditory Processing Disorder may have perfect hearing, but will become confused when trying to process information that is heard. This results in the child not understanding the message being given, or in the incorrect interpretation of the sounds heard. There are a number of types of Auditory Processing Disorders and each affect the processing and interpretation of sounds differently.

What causes Ausitory Processing Disorder?

Auditory Processing Disorder is believed to be a neurological disorder of the central auditory nervous system. Brain functions associated with sound processing, and short-term memory, do not work effectively in children with APD. This can be due to a neurological developmental issue or a head trauma. Auditory Processing Disorders are not believed to have a bearing on IQ.

How does Auditory Processing Disorder affect learning?

The most common learning issues include;

  • Difficulty distinguishing between letter sounds
  • Reading difficulties
  • Poor spelling
  • Poor recognition of sight words
  • Difficulty comprehending meaning
  • Difficulty distinguishing between statements, questions and jokes
  • Difficulty understanding or remembering and following instructions
  • Difficulty paying attention to a speaker

How is Auditory Processing Disorder diagnosed?

You or your child’s teacher or childcare provider will probably be the first to identify the possibility of Auditory Processing Disorder. Initially, you may mistake auditory processing difficulties as a hearing or behaviour problem. If you have concerns talk to your child’s teacher or childcare provider about their observations and then visit your doctor to discuss your observations.

How is Auditory Processing Disorder treated?

There are a number of methods used to treat Auditory Processing Disorders. Although the disorder cannot be cured, teachers and other professionals, focus on developing sound recognition and short-term memory skills that will help the child to use and understand language more effectively. Learning activities specific to each individual child’s needs are used to develop these skills.

What now?

  • Download our Auditory Processing Disorder mini e-book to read about APD in more detail
  • Download our Auditory Processing Disorder Checklist
  • Make an appointment with your childs teacher or doctor to discuss your concerns
  • Read our tips on communicating effectivly with children who have APD
  • Use our Letter Names and Sounds program to practise sound recognition