What is an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)?
According to the National Coalition of Auditory Processing Disorders, (http://www.ncapd.org/), auditory processing disorder refers to a neurological defect that affects how the brain processes spoken language. This makes it difficult for the child to process verbal instructions or even to filter out background noise in the classroom.
According the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), a multidisciplinary team approach is critical to fully assess and understand the cluster of challenges exhibited by a child with APD.
A teacher can provide insight on how your child is doing academically as compared to aged-match peers; a psychologist can test your child's cognitive abilities; a speech-language pathologist can address any receptive/expressive language challenges your child may have; a audiologist can conduct an evaluation to determine how the auditory centers of the brain are functioning.
What are the common signs of an auditory processing disorder?
Although every child is different, the most common signs are:
- Difficulty following instructions given aloud
- Delayed speech/language skills
- Difficulty discriminating between similar sounds
- Diminished ability to localize sound
- Poor short-term memory
- Reduced ability to comprehend speech- especially in a multi-sensory environment
- Weakness in reading, writing, and spelling