Auditory Processing Disorder Evaluation
Auditory processing is not how well a person hears, but instead what the brain does with what a person hears. An individual can get a perfect score on a hearing test yet still have extreme difficulty with auditory processing. Many term this a listening disorder, joking “He hears what he wants to hear.” But in reality, auditory processing disorders can cause reading and spelling problems, in addition to difficulty following multi-step directions and remembering details from a story.
Individuals with auditory processing difficulties will present with specific symptoms. Often they will act as if they have a hearing issue even when they pass every hearing test that is given. There are specific indicators that help you determine if auditory processing issues are present.
Of all the processing disorders, this one is most often missed or misdiagnosed. Many times children are misdiagnosed with ADD or ADHD when they actually suffer from an auditory processing disorder. That’s why patience and experience matter when evaluating auditory issues.
While children can be identified and treated early for auditory problems, a full auditory processing evaluation rarely occurs before age seven. This involves an audiologist to diagnose the disorder and a speech-language pathologist to provide treatment. By knowing the type of auditory processing disorder faced, we can identify the right therapy for you.
A series of tests are performed to diagnose auditory processing disorder. Assessments to diagnose APD evaluate:
- Peripheral auditory system
- Binaural integration and separation
- Temporal patterning
- Auditory closure
- Auditory figure-ground discrimination
- Binaural interaction
- Language processing assessment
It is common for a child with APD to have other difficulties that are beyond the scope of an audiology assessment. In those cases we will work with other professionals to obtain additional evaluations. This may include:
- Speech language pathologies for speech and language assessment
- Educational psychologist for psycho-educational assessment
- Occupational therapist for proprioceptive, vestibular and sensory assessments
- Developmental optometrist for visual processing assessment
There are therapies and technologies that help APD, and in some cases improve it significantly. A proper assessment can indicate which therapies would be a good approach.
Audiology & Hearing Services of Charlotte, North Carolina, will help you take a proactive approach to living with auditory processing disorder. We have the training and experience to find the solutions that work for you.