Auditory processing disorder and learning difficulties

Auditory processing disorder and learning difficulties

Neurosensory tests hearing of children at all ages. If you are concerned about learning difficulties, in particular, auditory processing, we can provide a comprehensive assessment which focuses on accurate diagnosis and practical solutions to help parents and teachers. Our auditory processing tests are performed at our Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Gold Coast hearing clinics.

Assessment with a hearing health professional

A full Auditory Processing assessment will take up to 2 hours. Several tests are completed to test your child on a range of listening skills. Each skill helps us to successfully make sense of sound. The test results will tell us which skills your child has trouble with.

Managing the condition

While there is no cure for APD, changes to learning styles can ease your child’s difficulties. Your Audiologist may also suggest some of the following options:

 Learning strategies in the classroom

 Compensatory strategies for daily life

 Assistive listening devices to assist in the classroom

 Listening exercises or computer software programs to improve the child’s auditory processing skills 

Further assessment and/or therapy with other professionals, where required. This may include a speech-language pathologist, educational psychologist, occupational therapist or paediatrician.

If you think your child has APD or is showing some symptoms of APD, call Neurosensory on 1300 965 513 to schedule an auditory processing assessment. Don’t let APD hinder your child’s growth and development. Seek assistance from our hearing experts today.

Signs and symptoms of APD

Your child might be suffering from APD if you notice any of the following signs: 

 Poor listening skills in noisy places

 Difficulties following directions.

 Reading or spelling problems 

 Not understanding what they are meant to do. 

 Being forgetful and disorganized

 Not performing well in the classroom

 Easily distracted or fatigued at school.

What causes APD?

Ideally, the brain should easily make sense of sounds we hear. As words are spoken, a child with normal auditory processing skills can effectively separate the speech from the noise, fill in any bits that they miss, and make sense what the sentences mean. A child with APD struggles with these tasks. This can make it more difficult to learn in a normal class setting. 

The causes of APD are difficult to pinpoint. It is most likely due to various areas in the brain’s sound processing system not developing correctly. Children with ear infections throughout their early years can often be at a greater risk of having APD. The first step in testing a child for APD is a hearing test. We need to rule out any hearing loss. After the child’s hearing levels are established, the more complex Auditory Processing skills can be tested.

What is Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)?

An Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is when the brain doesn’t correctly make sense of the sounds it hears. A child with APD can usually understand directions when said in a quiet room, but will often have trouble hearing in noisier places.

About 3% of Australian children suffer from APD. Boys are twice likely to suffer from ADP than girls. 

While the signs of APD can be noticed from early on, it isn’t until 7 years of age that accurately diagnosing APD becomes possible. 

If your child I showing some signs of APD, managing the condition gives your child a better chance to learn and experience childhood to the fullest.