What is Auditory Processing (APD)?
APD is difficulty in understanding conversational speech despite having normal hearing. The problem is caused by the brain having trouble interpreting the information the ear receives.
While people with APD may hear reasonably well under optimal listening conditions, they may have difficulty when there is background noise, reverberation, or rapid speech. They may also have a problem separating one sound from another, especially in speech, or recalling information that they have heard.
What is Involved in APD Testing?
Our first step is to evaluate all aspects of an individual's daily life - school, work, and home - to determine the overall effects of the problem. We can then conduct a thorough hearing evaluation to determine the extent of the problem and the best way to treat the problem.
In the evaluation, we will determine the level of auditory perception, phonemic awareness, sound blending, work recognition, verbal memory and ability to distinguish one sound from another. In addition, we will seek to determine the child's ability to listen in different degrees of "noise".
What happens after the APD evaluation?
All of our recommendations are tailored specifically for each individual. For many children, a simple modification in their environment may be sufficient to help them hear and process information better in a classroom. An example of this would be to have the child sit closer to the front of the room or take orally given tests away from the normal distractions found in a typical classroom or by making sure the classroom door is closed to cut down on noise from the hallway. For some children, assistive equipment may help to improve hearing in noisy environments. There may also be help available through school based programs or speech and language intervention by a speech and language pathologist.
For Adults, assistive equipment may help to improve their hearing and listening environments. There may also be help available through a work place program or through auditory listening programs that aid in concentration skills and phonemic identification.