Auditory Processing Disorder: Diagnosis and Treatment Options

If you have a problem recognising the sounds in speech, you might be having auditory processing disorder (APD). With this condition, you can hear the sounds that others make when speaking; however, you have trouble processing and making sense of these sounds in your brain. The reason is that your brain and ears don’t fully coordinate. There is something that interferes with how your brain recognizes and interprets sound, particularly speech. Having your condition diagnosed early is important for a successful treatment. APD in children, when not caught and treated early, can lead to speech and language delays or issues learning in school. 

Diagnosing APD

To identify APD, healthcare professionals will rule out hearing loss. However, testing for APD is carried by audiologists who perform a series of advanced listening tests where you listen and respond to various sounds. Audiologists will recommend ear protection if you will be diagnosed with APD. Audiologie Centre Ouest protection auditive is also ideal for other hearing issues such as tinnitus and vertigo. It is also ideal for musicians and other people who are constantly exposed to loud noises. 

Usually, APD shows in childhood; however, children are only tested at the age of 7 to ensure their auditory skills have developed. Also, adults can be tested and identified with APD. The audiologist will perform a series of advanced listening tests in which you will listen to different sounds and respond when you hear them. Also, the doctor may attach painless electrodes to your ears and head to measure how your brain reacts to sound. 

Treating APD

Treatments for APD may including changing the environment to minimise or specific some sounds, teaching skills to compensate for the condition, and working with an audiologist. Some sufferers may use an electronic device to aid in listening. Treatment options include:

  • Speech therapy. This therapy can improve reading and language comprehension. Those who have APD may mishear the word “that” for “cat” or “couch” for “cow.” A trained therapist can help improve their ability to make and understand such sounds. 
  • lifestyle changes. Because auditory processing challenges vary according to surroundings and development, the therapies also vary by age and setting. Lifestyle changes can include the use of visual aids, hearing aids, improved classroom acoustics. 
  • Support groups. These can help parents and adults connect with those who are experiencing similar challenges. They can provide you with ideas of treatment or accommodations that have helped them.