Auditory processing disorder (APD) is a condition related to the auditory system that is often mistaken for hearing loss. Rather than being caused by a problem with the ear, like with hearing loss, it is caused by a problem within the auditory cortex within your brain. This condition can affect both children and adults. We review more about auditory processing disorder below.
How Common Is Auditory Processing Disorder?
One 2021 study reports, “The prevalence of APD was calculated to be 1.94 per 1,000 children by a recent retrospective study based on referrals and diagnoses made in a national audiology clinic. Hind et al. estimated a prevalence of APD as 0.5–1% in the general population, based on a prevalence of normal audiometric findings. APD was prevalent in 5% of children and 0.9% of adults of all ages who were referred to a general audiology clinic. However, these estimates may be affected by ascertainment bias and the prevalence of APD is yet to be determined.”
What Are the Symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder?
Although the symptoms of auditory processing disorder vary from person to person, common symptoms include:
- Trouble understanding speech, especially when background noise is present, such while gathering with friends Pour Haus Patio Bar on West San Antonio Street.
- Difficulty following verbal multi-step directions and abstract ideas.
- Being easily distracted by loud or sudden sounds.
- Problems with long periods of listening.
- Inability to summarize information presented verbally.
- Delayed understanding of jokes, idioms and figurative language.
- Performing below grade level.
How Is Auditory Processing Disorder Diagnosed?
An audiologist can test for auditory processing disorder. Before being evaluated, a comprehensive review of your or your child’s medical, educational and developmental history may be conducted.
Children being tested for APD must be at least seven years old, have normal hearing, have normal speech and language skills and not have a developmental delay or disorder that may mimic symptoms of APD.
Testing involves several listening tests that assess different areas of the auditory system, which can take up to two hours. The results of each test are compiled and reviewed in order to determine whether a diagnosis is appropriate.
How Is Auditory Processing Disorder Treated?
Because APD is recognized as a learning disability, a student with this disorder qualifies for services and accommodations at school. Some examples include:
- Strategic seating arrangement within the classroom.
- Use of an FM system to stream the teacher’s voice to the wearer’s ears.
- Written instructions to accompany verbal ones.
- Therapy focused on auditory processing skills.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, call The ENT Center of New Braunfels today.