Unlike people with hearing loss, those with auditory processing disorders can hear sounds, but their brains have trouble determining the meaning of those sounds. Being familiar with the signs of this condition can ensure your child gets the right help when they need it most.
Understanding Auditory Processing Disorder
The cause is not always clear, but experts believe age, family history, prenatal issues, traumatic brain injury or other medical conditions can play a role.
Those with this condition often report difficulty:
- Listening in an area with a lot of background noise.
- Figuring out where sounds are coming from.
- Following directions with multiple steps.
- Participating in conversations.
- Concentrating on a task.
- Appreciating music.
Like most medical conditions, auditory processing disorder does not exist in a vacuum. Those with this disorder may also have ADHD or a language processing disorder, which can make identifying the signs even more challenging.
Diagnosing Auditory Processing Disorder
If you think your child may have be exhibiting signs of an auditory processing disorder, now is the time to have them tested. In order to make a diagnosis, your audiologist will first complete a thorough case history. This includes discussing problems that happened in utero as well as specific instances your child has had trouble hearing. Teachers, coaches and other experts from Shaw University’s Center for Early Childhood Education, Development and Research may be able to offer additional information on this subject.
A hearing exam will then be performed to assess your child’s auditory processing function.
Treatment for Auditory Processing Disorder
While there is no cure for ADP, there are numerous ways to make the symptoms less noticeable. Determining the right treatment for your child may require some trial and error to see what option works best. Frequently used treatment strategies include:
- Assistive listening technology.
- Auditory training.
- Compensatory strategies.
Environmental changes such as requesting others to speak slower, opting for written instructions instead of verbal ones and moving their seat to the front of the classroom may be helpful.
To learn more about auditory processing disorder or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, contact Carolina Ear, Nose, Throat, Sinus & Allergy today.