Auditory Processing Disorder Testing for North Texas
APD can affect people of all ages, but it is most common in school-aged children. According to the Hearing Health Foundation, approximately 5% (2.5 million) of school-aged children in the US experience APD, while researchers estimate the real number could be up to 12% of the population.
Early detection and intervention by a doctor of audiology allows children to establish a strong foundation of phonemic detection abilities, speech discrimination, word identification, and comprehension upon which to build in order to limit the effects of APD on their capacity to learn.
APD in children is often missed because the child’s hearing assessments show normal or near normal hearing, which is why Denton Hearing Health Care makes the extra effort to test for and treat auditory processing disorder in both children and adults whenever it is suspected.
What Is Auditory Processing Disorder?
APD, sometimes called central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), involves how the brain processes speech. The ears and the auditory system function properly, but these systems do not fully coordinate with the brain in order to derive meaning from speech.
The disorder is usually most noticeable when there is a lot of background noise, multiple conversations taking place at the same time, or the individual is not facing the speaker.
When struggling with APD, it is difficult to pick up on the subtle differences between words like cat, bat, and that or seventy and seventeen. In some cases, words in a sentence can become scrambled so that “How are the chair and couch alike?” could be interpreted as “Hour the hair and cow are like?”
There have been four categories of processing skills affected by those struggling with auditory processing disorder, including:
What to Expect during Auditory Processing Tests
#1 – A Review of Your Case History
#2 – Comprehensive Hearing Assessment
A standard hearing test, which helps us identify or rule out peripheral auditory disorders that affect an individual’s ability to hear and understand when there is background noise is a necessary step toward diagnosing APD.
#3 – Evaluating the Central Auditory System
Treatment Options for Auditory Processing Disorder at Denton Hearing Health Care
Treatment options for auditory processing disorder involve various therapeutic approaches designed to help the patient differentiate between sounds and manage their language processing systems.
Auditory training similar to what is used when those with a severe to profound hearing loss are going through cochlear implant evaluation and treatment is well received in the treatment of auditory processing disorder. In some cases, a hearing device might also help address some specific concerns.
In addition to auditory training, various forms of language therapy include:
These therapeutic approaches provide individuals with APD the compensatory strategies and building blocks necessary to overcome the limitations of the disorder in order to improve school and workplace communication.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Auditory Processing Disorder
Who is affected by APD?
Auditory processing disorder is typically associated with developmental issues, so the condition is most prominent among school-aged children. APD is often misdiagnosed as ADHD or vice versa, can occur along with dyslexia, and is a common secondary diagnosis in individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) or autism.
Those with a hearing loss and those experiencing cognitive decline can also experience APD and estimates indicate that nearly 15% of military veterans develop the disorder due to blast exposure and neurological disorders from brain injuries (e.g., stroke, traumatic brain injury, tumors, epilepsy).
What Are the Symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder?
Symptoms are similar to those associated with hearing loss, such as difficulty understanding conversations in background noise or often asking people to repeat themselves, but there are additional signs present when an individual is experiencing APD, including:
- Being easily distracted or confused
- Struggling to follow multi-step verbal directions
- Taking longer than normal to respond to verbal questions
- Difficulty understanding sarcasm or jokes
- Learning deficiencies (e.g., reading delays, dyslexia, difficulty spelling, lower than normal writing skills, difficulty sequencing information)
How Is Auditory Processing Disorder Diagnosed?
The first step in diagnosing APD is a comprehensive hearing assessment, which is usually followed by a Hearing Handicap Inventory to determine the ways in which a person is struggling as well as in which environments. Parents, teachers, and other adults often provide a great deal of input when attempting to diagnose APD in younger children.
Additional tests included for detecting APD include:
- Auditory Figure-Ground Testing (speech understanding with background noise)
- Auditory Closure Testing (the capacity to “fill in the gaps” of speech)
- Dichotic Listening Testing (ability to understand meaningful speech that happens simultaneously)
- Temporal Processing Testing (capacity to distinguish between similar speech sounds like “mat” and “pat”)
- Binaural Interaction Testing (ability to identify the direction of sounds and localizing them in a room)
These tests can be conducted on children as young as three, although most test subjects are at least seven years old or older. Innovative electrophysiology tests, which involve the use of non-invasive electrodes to check the body’s response to speech, also provide auditory processing disorder specialists with information about the central auditory processing system.
Schedule an Assessment
Because the symptoms of APD are so similar to those associated with hearing loss, the starting point for addressing either a hearing challenge or APD is a comprehensive hearing assessment with a doctor of audiology at Denton Hearing Health Care.
To contact a professional audiologist able to diagnose and treat APD, just submit the adjacent form and a member of our team will assist you with scheduling an assessment for you or your child.
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