Auditory Processing Disorders

Does your child have trouble hearing in noisy places? Say ‘huh’ or ‘what’ frequently? Have trouble with multi-step directions? Is your child struggling in school? If you answered yes, an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) may be the cause. An Auditory Processing Disorder is characterized as an inability to recognize, discriminate, and understand a spoken message especially in noisy environments.

How Does the Brain Process Sound?

The primary function of the ears is to transmit sound up to the brain. Different parts of the brain further refine these sound signals by filtering out background noise, decoding specific sounds, and encoding the timing aspects of speech. Each one of these processes must work quickly and efficiently for the brain to properly use incoming information. When one of these functions is compromised, the result may be difficulty with listening tasks despite no hearing loss.

What is an Auditory Processing Disorder?

Auditory Processing Disorders may arise from genetic predisposition, aging of the central auditory system, neurologic disorders, traumatic brain injuries/concussions, and/or a history of ear-related issues. Auditory Processing Disorders may coincide with other conditions including but not limited to speech and language delay, sensory-integration issues, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

What Treatments are Available for Auditory Processing Disorders?

Good news – the brain is plastic. There are a variety of viable therapies to strengthen the identified auditory weakness. Think of it as taking your ears to the gym! Once a diagnosis has been made, our Doctors of Audiology will recommend formal and informal training, environmental modifications, and compensatory techniques to develop stronger auditory skills and learn how to optimize listening in noisy places.