What is an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)?
A person with an Auditory Processing Disorder has difficulty processing or interpreting auditory information. In other words, it refers to “what we do with what we hear”. People with APD may have difficulty with the following: understanding speech in the presence of background noise, identifying the difference between similar speech sounds and/or following spoken multistep directions. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, APD is an auditory deficit that can only be diagnosed by an audiologist.
Symptoms of APD
Children with APD may also have low academic performance, behavior problems and/or language difficulties.
Who Should Have an Auditory Processing Evaluation?
Some children with learning or language problems, Attention Deficit Disorder or other disabilities cannot be accurately tested for APD. Attention Deficient can cause a child to have difficulty interpreting information (including auditory information). Therefore, if the Attention Deficit is not controlled, a true APD cannot be diagnosed. APD can only be diagnosed if these other problems are ruled out as contributing to the person’s difficulties. Children with Attention Deficit may be tested if they are able to attend long enough for the testing to be completed and/or are currently taking medications to control the disorder.
The Auditory Processing Evaluation
Our center performs a comprehensive APD evaluation. Our audiologists will administer a series of tests in a sound treated room. First, a standard hearing test is performed to confirm that the child’s hearing and middle ear function are normal. Following that, several tests will be performed that require the child to respond to what they hear. These can be words, numbers, sentences, or tones presented in complex listening environments (such as with background noise). All that is required from the child is to pay attention and give their best effort. Several different categories of auditory processing are evaluated. These include:
Other tests that measure the auditory system’s physiologic responses to sound will also be administered. These tests do not require responses from the child, and are not uncomfortable in any way.
The evaluation for children requires 2 separate visits (90 minutes the first visit and 60 minutes the second). Adults can usually be tested in one visit. A written report (within 2-3 weeks of the appointment) will be completed, including recommendations for both home and school situations.
How Appointments are Made
Will the insurance company pay for the testing?