Signs of a Potential Auditory Processing Disorder

A child homeschooling.
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We have all faced new challenges during the past few months. Parents, especially, have had to take on new roles to an extend which they never anticipated, including the role of homeschool teacher.

While the new school format was an adjustment for all families, it posed more challenges for some, especially if your child has an Auditory Processing Disorder.

What is an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)?

An auditory processing disorder occurs when the “ears are hearing fine” but the brain is not processing the information either fast enough or accurately. It can be diagnosed as early as age 7. It is often not noticed until the adolescent years due to higher academic demands of the middle school and high school grades. It is diagnosed via testing from an audiologist. A speech pathologist is able to evaluate the functional impact APD has on language and academic skills.

What does APD look like?

While APD can look different in each person, below are the general signs/symptoms:

  • Unable to follow more than one direction at a time (ie “go to your room and put on your shoes and get your backpack,” child goes to his/her room and then has no idea what do to next)
  • Requires explanations to be repeated, often more than once, or broken down into smaller chunks
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Difficulty answering inferential questions (i.e. “There are leaves on the ground, what time of year is it?” or “Here is a science experiment—use the steps of the scientific method to label the parts of the experiment”)
  • Difficulty understanding nonliteral language, idioms and sarcasm (takes everything literally)
  • They appear to “zone out” when listening to a lecture, trouble attending for long periods of time
  • Often ask “what?” or “Can you say that again?”
  • Difficulty telling a story/putting their thoughts into words (speaking and writing)
  • Seem to have a poor memory/forgetful
  • Disorganized, poor planning/time management
  • Difficulty hearing in noise, easily distracted by noise

Can APD be fixed?

While there isn’t a “quick fix” or medication for APD, speech therapy is able to help improve processing abilities and teach compensatory strategies in order to minimize the impact APD has on daily life.

This sounds like my child. What do I do?

Talk to your pediatrician about your concerns. Request Auditory Processing Testing via audiology and an APD/Language evaluation from a speech language pathologist.

For more information, contact Michelle Young, M.A., CCC/SLP at [email protected] or to schedule an appointment, call Call407-303-8080.

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