Auditory processing disorder refers to the condition associated with inability of a child to process and/or interpret the sound signals. It makes it difficult for the child to recognize and differentiate the sounds in words. For example; the child has problem in identification of words “eighteen and eighty”. These words sound similar to the children affected with auditory processing disorder.
The condition is also referred to as "central auditory processing disorder (CAPD)" is not hearing loss or a learning disorder.
Children with impairment of understanding specific language, delayed and/or impaired development due to other disorder and autism are at higher risk of developing the auditory processing disorder.
The exact causes of auditory processing disorder are still not clear. However, some specific conditions such as premature birth or lower birth weight, genetic predispositions, meningitis, lead poisoning and any severe head injury are likely to be associated with this disorder.
- Problem to follow the multistep instructions.
- Impaired hearing skills
- Compromised intelligence and academic performance
- Impaired vocabulary development and problem in understanding language
- Difficulty in learning the syllable sequences.
- Difficulty paying attention and easily distracted
- Poor musical and signing skill
- Follow what people say, especially in a loud place or if more than one person is talking
Diagnosis And Treatment
Doctor may perform a hearing test to see if child’s issues are caused by hearing loss, but only a hearing specialist, called an audiologist, can diagnose APD.
Auditory trainers and speech therapist use electronic devices to improve the concentration of the affected children. These devices improve the hearing process by reducing the background noises. Various therapies such as speech therapy and reading instructions are found to be useful to improving the condition of the children.