What is auditory processing disorder (APD), you may ask.
The ears receive communication, and they send this raw information to the brain where it needs to be analysed and interpreted by the hearing centres within the brain. Auditory processing affects the child’s understanding of what he/she processes.
So, your next question would be, how do I know if my child has auditory processing disorder. Your child may:
- be easily distracted,
- have academic difficulties – with reading, spelling and/or learning problems, for example,
- find it difficult to identify where a sound is coming from,
- find it challenging to following directions,
- find it difficult to analyse speech or follow a conversation when there is a noisy background,
- frequently request for information to be repeated,
- have different or out-of-place responses to questions.
Now you would need to know what to do if your child has auditory processing disorder. The best time for a child to be tested by a speech-and-language therapist is when he/she is at least seven or eight years old and speech-language therapy would probably be recommended. You could also phone us at Capulum College where a professional consultant would be willing to advise you.
A few ways that you could help your child include:
- following a home programme provided by the therapist,
- helping your child become more organised by working on planning skills,
- using visual skills that will hold his/her attention,
- considering whether your child may/may not prefer being in a noisy environment while at work or play,
- talking to your child’s teacher,
- keeping calm.
The following are a few facts about auditory processing disorder.
- It is common in people with autism.
- It is recognised as a specific learning disability.
- It often starts in childhood but can also develop later in life.
- Auditory processing issues and IQ are not connected – many people with this disorder are bright, creative, and successful.
- The disorder can lead to learning delays – extra help at school may be needed.
- It is not the same as being hard of hearing.
- The condition is real and not ‘just a new name for ADHD’