Auditory Processing Disorders
When talking about hearing problems, our first thoughts often go to hearing loss in older adults. However, hearing issues don’t always concern just physical hearing difficulties or seniors. Auditory Processing Disorder (sometimes called central auditory processing disorder or CAPD) is a condition that makes it hard for people to recognize subtle differences between sounds in words. Both adults and children can suffer from this disorder, and it often goes untreated because most individuals can pass a hearing test. It isn’t so much that someone with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) can’t hear, rather it’s that their brain struggles to process what they hear.
At inTouch Hearing we have the ability to diagnose Auditory Processing Disorder and offer various treatments and therapies that fit your specific needs. Other conditions like ADHD and Autism can affect a person’s ability to listen and learn, but, in contrast, APD specifically makes it difficult for people to understand the sounds of spoken language, not what’s actually being said. Proper diagnose can help pinpoint what is causing your hearing problem so it can be properly addressed.
Children and Auditory Processing Disorder
When it comes to children and APD, roughly 5% of school-aged children are affected by this hearing issue. A child typically has normal hearing and is able to pass a basic hearing test, but will have trouble processing and digesting the sounds they hear. Add to that the kind of background noises in the classroom and schoolyard a child deals with from day to day, and it can make it very difficult for children with APD to understand what they are hearing.
Given the similarities between APD and ADHD, both of which cause attention issues, some researchers believe that children are often misdiagnosed. Children with APD may show a range of listening and related complaints, including:
Adults and Auditory Processing Disorder
Where children are misdiagnosed with ADHD or Autism when they really have APD, adults with the disorder, on the other hand, are often mistaken for having a physical hearing difficulty. Many may have had this disorder all their lives, having trouble with reading, keeping up in class, or listening in noisy scenarios. But nothing was too severe that they thought to take action. Once we age, we all start to present some hearing loss, and so APD is often overlooked or remains undiagnosed.
Treatment for Auditory Processing Disorder
There are many methods of treatment and therapy available to help you. This can include environmental modifications, like using an FM listening system at school or special accommodations that minimize the effect of the APD. In addition, there are corrective treatments that take advantage of the ability of the brain to improve at any age. Certain exercises and therapies can help address APD, making tiny incremental improvements each day.
Once diagnosed, our audiologist can set up a customized treatment routine for you or your child. To learn more about auditory processing disorder or APD, please contact inTouch Hearing. We can schedule you for an appointment at your earliest convenience.