Auditory processing relates to what the brain does with what the ear hears, think of it as the ear being the hardware and the brain is the software.
Once sound is detected by the ear many many signals and processes must occur within the brain in order for us to make sense of what we hear.
Our auditory processing skills develop as we get older and are usually fully developed by the early teen years.
Think you or your child may have some auditory processing issues? Book a free phone consult with the audiologist to discuss your concerns.
Did you know....APD evaluations can be performed via telehealth! You just need a laptop or computer, decent internet and a pair of wired headphones.
Why are auditory processing skills important?
Auditory processing skills help us to learn language, read and communicate in tricky situations like a classroom or background noise.
Auditory processing skills help us to distinguish between sounds in the alphabet like 'm' and 'n' .
What does it look like when auditory processing skills develop incorrectly?
The following attributes may be signs of an auditory processing disorder:
- difficulty following instructions with multiple steps
- difficulty hearing in background noise
- difficulty understanding speech when it is fast
- slow responses to sound
- otherwise unexplained poor school progress
- difficulty reading/spelling
A child is in a better position to learn once APD is diagnosed and managed.
What other conditions can also involve auditory processing issues?
Auditory processing disorder (APD) commonly occurs with people who also have:
- language disorder
- history of Middle ear infections or grommets
- autism spectrum disorder
- reading difficulty
- ADD/ADHD, especially when current management strategies aren't working
What happens during an auditory processing assessment?
Detailed patient history and sometimes questionnaires are performed to get a good understanding of the patient's lived experience.
A traditional hearing test is needed to rule out hearing loss or problems with the middle ear such as ear infections before we can proceed
During the APD assessment you may be asked to play some special games on an iPad and then usually you will repeat different kinds of words while wearing headphones. This part usually takes around 1 hour.
The audiologist will need to assess the results and write a comprehensive report before explaining them to you at a seperate appointment.