Your child passes a hearing test but is diagnosed with auditory processing disorder (APD). How is it possible to have an auditory disorder when you don’t have a hearing impairment?
Children with APD typically have normal hearing. But they struggle to process and make meaning of sounds, explains Dr. Dana L. Day, AuD., with Arizona Balance & Hearing. This is especially true when there are background noises. Day says that researchers don’t fully understand where things break down between what the ear hears and what the brain processes. But the result is clear: Kids with APD can have trouble making sense of what other people say.
Typically, the brain processes sounds seamlessly and almost instantly. Most people can quickly interpret what they hear. But with APD, some kind of glitch delays or “scrambles” that process. To a child with APD, “Tell me how the chair and the couch are alike” might sound like “Tell me how a cow and hair are like.”
Children with APD usually have at least some of the following symptoms: Struggle with oral (word) math problems; find it hard to follow conversations; find it hard to learn songs or nursery rhymes; and have trouble remembering details of what was read or heard.
To have your child evaluated for APD, call Arizona Balance & Hearing, 4004 N. 7th St., at 602-265-9000.