Auditory Processing Disorder, APD (or Central Auditory Processing Disorder, CAPD) is a condition that is thought to affect approximately 5% of children. It is a “processing” problem and not a “hearing” problem like some people suspect.
Children with Auditory Processing Disorder have difficulty processing what they hear and words or sentences can become scrambled or processed by the brain in a manner that is not consistent with the actual message.
We still don’t know what causes APD. We do know that symptoms can include:
- Difficulty with language
- Trouble following too many directions or instructions given at a time
- Problems remembering verbal information
- Becoming distracted in noisy or busy environments
- Poor academic performance related to spelling, reading, and comprehension
- Difficulty understanding idioms or abstract language
- Can’t discern between similar sounds like “Mike” and “Bike”
An audiologist can test a child to determine if Auditory Processing Disorder is present.
For children with APD, the following may help in school and at home:
- Study and work in a quiet environment
- Sit near the front of the classroom
- Make sure the child understands instructions by speaking slowly
- Do not give complex instructions or directions
- Ask them to repeat instructions or directions