About Auditory Processing Disorders

Path of Sound from Ear to Brain

Cochlea to the auditory nerve to the right and left brainstem to the various auditory centers of the brain and the communication between the right and left hemispheres of the brain

Requisite Auditory Processing Skills

  • Discrimination
  • Performance with competing acoustic signals
  • Localization/lateralization of sound
  • Temporal (timing) aspects of audition
  • Performance with degraded acoustic signals

Those who seek (C)APD evaluations

  • Normal-hearing individuals who feel they have hearing loss or are at a significant disadvantage listening in particular situations (e.g. background noise, groups, lecture, etc.)
  • Struggling academically, particularly with reading or listening in the classroom
  • ADHD
  • High-functioning autism
  • Language or learning delays
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke or other neurologic involvement
  • Multiple sclerosis

(C)APD can co-exist with other disorders or may masquerade as other disorders, particularly Attention Deficit Disorder.  Other disorders that affect hearing, language, thinking, and reasoning such as Hearing Loss, Specific Language Impairment or Autism can create deficits in the way the brain captures and uses sound, which can be documented through a (C)APD evaluation, but will not necessarily not result in the diagnosis of (C)APD.  A (C)APD evaluation in these cases may be useful in discovers ways to support a person’s listening at home, in therapy, at school, or at work.

(C)APD can have various symptoms, but some typical symptoms include inattention, daydreaming, fatigue, inability to tolerate background noise, frequent mis-hearing, or mis-understanding.  According the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), audiologists are the professionals who diagnose auditory processing disorder.