Each of us processes the sounds we hear around us. When sound moves into our ear as energy, our brain changes it (or processes it) into electrical information it can understand.
When something is interfering with this translation, it can cause many different problems for the listener. This translation difficulty is called “Auditory Processing Disorder” or APD. One thing to understand about APD is that the brain is having trouble processing the sounds it hears, even though it hears the sounds. The lack of clarity is usually a problem.
Some common symptoms of an auditory processing disorder are:
- Difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments
- Inability to tell the difference between similar sounding speech sounds (for example confusing the words boat and goat)
- Trouble with spelling, reading, or vocabulary in the classroom.
- Poor listening skills.
- Behavior disorders.
- Difficulty following directions.
The thing that makes diagnosing a child with APD tricky is that a large number of mental and physical conditions can lead to the symptoms listed above. That is why an audiologist is the only professional who can definitively decide if a child is experiencing APD. Once APD has been identified the treatment plan looks different for each individual child because it depends on the specific reasons the child is having trouble processing sound.
Sometimes changes in the learning environment are needed. An audiologist can also help a child learn skills that will help them compensate for their APD including memory, attention and problem solving skills.
An audiologist can diagnosis an auditory processing disorder, identify its root causes, and help a child begin the journey of overcoming this challenge.
Appointments for evaluations are available for scheduling at 828-670-8056. Please contact your child’s physician for a referral. Click here, for more information on Carolina Pediatric Therapy’s Audiology program.