In the past, a listening test was simply a series of beeps and hums. If the child acknowledged that they heard the sounds, the test was a success. Science has come a long way since then, and we now know that there is a difference between hearing and listening. Though a child may be able to hear sound, their brain may have difficulty processing what they heard. This is called Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). APD is characterized by the inability to process and analyze the sounds that one hears. The sounds are heard, but the communication between the ears and the brain is out of sync. APD affects about 5% of school-aged children. Also, some children who have been diagnosed with autism or ADHD may actually be suffering from APD.
APD can easily go undetected, especially if the child has successfully passed a hearing test. For example, while they may be able to hear the lessons in class, they may not be able to fully understand what the lesson is about. Children who have APD will have problems in the following areas:
Auditory Memory: The ability to retain the knowledge of what was said (this can be short term or long term).
Auditory Figure-Ground Discrimination: The ability to focus on specific sounds in a noisy setting.
Auditory Sequencing: The ability to understand the order of words or sounds.
Auditory Discrimination: The ability to tell sounds apart from one another.
Proper diagnosis should be left to trained doctors and specialists, but if you suspect your child is has APD than look for these symptoms:
- Difficulty following conversations
- Difficulty remembering details of what they heard
- Constantly asking speakers to repeat themselves
- Problems following spoken directions
- Easily distracted by background noise
- Difficulty learning songs
Are you concerned that your child may suffer from Auditory Processing Disorder? Find out for sure by visiting HearSay Speech and Hearing Centre, the premier speech therapy clinic in Milton. Our team of certified Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists can determine whether or not your child has APD. From there, we will provide the tools they need to better communicate with the world around them. HearSay also provides hearing tests, hearing aids, and more. Contact us today for more information.