Auditory Processing Disorders: An Introduction

Auditory Processing Disorders:

An Introduction

What is an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)? Auditory processing is defined as ‘what we do with what we hear.’ We hear with our brains as well as our ears. When the ears hear sounds correctly, but the brain does not, that is an Auditory Processing Disorder.

There are several different types or forms of APD, and it is often found in people who have other learning or language problems. Those with APD can be mistaken for someone with ADD/ADHD, a language processing problem, or a learning disability. An APD cannot be diagnosed by observation alone. Specialized testing must be performed by an Audiologist to determine if there is an auditory processing problem, the type of APD, and how severe it is.

Before any APD testing begins, the Audiologist will check to be sure hearing at the ear level is normal and that the ear drums are functioning correctly.  If this is normal, several tests are chosen from a testing assessment battery to determine if the auditory pathways utilized in processing sounds, words and sentences are functioning appropriately. These tests involve such skills as understanding distorted speech, understanding speech in different kinds of background noise, listening to different sentences or words in each ear presented at the same time, or listening to different tones in specific patterns. Results can give valuable information about auditory memory, auditory attention, listening-in-noise skills, and how clear speech sounds are processed in the brain.

Delaware Speech and Hearing Center offers Auditory Processing  Evaluations to children ages seven and older.  Please contact our office for more information via phone (740-369-3650)  or email (

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Written by Donna Ramey, MA, CCC-A, Audiologist, Delaware Speech and Hearing Center

By |2018-03-27T19:40:51+00:00March 27th, 2018|Audiology, Education|1 Comment

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