AUDITORY PROCESSING DISORDER TESTING
One of the most important functions of an audiologist is to perform tests that assess a patient’s ability to process sound. In the simplest terms, Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) may be defined as a listening problem, not a hearing loss problem. People with APD hear words and sounds just fine; however, the brain is not able to process the information it receives accurately or quickly enough.
APD can occur on its own, or may be related to autism spectrum disorder, non-verbal learning disabilities, dyslexia, delayed language problems, and other health challenges. School age children through adults have processing issues, and we are able to evaluate and treat all ages.
Signs of APD
People who are experiencing APD may:
- Behave as if they have a hearing loss even when their abilities are normal
- Have poor reading and spelling skills despite high intelligence
- Be easily distracted by background and ambient noise
- Have trouble following directions, whether they are simple or complex
- Ask people to repeat themselves frequently
- Seem confused by what is expected of them, or
- React negatively to loud sounds.
Diagnosis of APD
Your audiologist will conduct a series of tests to determine the cause of your APD and to identify an appropriate course of treatment. These hearing tests evaluate:
- Peripheral auditory system
- Binaural integration and separation
- Temporal patterning
- Auditory closure
- Auditory figure-ground discrimination
- Binaural interaction, and
- Language processing assessment.
In some instances, particularly with school-age children, a speech and language assessment by a speech language pathologist and a psycho-educational assessment by an educational psychologist/consultant may be indicated.
There is no single treatment of APD. A treatment program must be tailored to meet the specific needs and types of the patient’s disorder so that the audiologist may:
- Improve access and interpretation of incoming auditory and verbal information
- Address deficit areas directly
- Learn how to maximize the use of auditory information
- Design Deficit-specific, formal and informal auditory training
- Recommend Frequency Modulated (FM) Systems
- Recommend Computer-assisted therapies that include CAPDOTS and Acoustic Pioneer programs.
- Recommend Environmental modification
- Discuss Training of compensatory skills
Evaluation of auditory processing skills by competent audiologists is a painless procedure and provides critical information that can be used to help patients function at their highest potential at work, school, and play.