Image of students taking notes in class.

Determining why a child is struggling with reading and learning in school can be complicated. Students with dyslexia and learning disabilities are increasingly being referred to an audiologist for a hearing and auditory processing evaluation.

Twenty-five percent of children taking learning disability tests are found to have both APD and dyslexia. Although the two conditions have similar symptoms, they are different.

What is Dyslexia?

The International Dyslexia Association states that dyslexia is neurobiological in origin and is characterized by difficulties with word recognition. Dyslexia – typically diagnosed around third grade – often features poor spelling and decoding abilities that negatively impact reading comprehension.

What is Auditory Processing Disorder?

The National Institutes of Health reported that more than 40 percent of children with learning disabilities have auditory processing disorder (APD). This disorder occurs when something is amiss in the brain’s interpretation or processing of recognized sounds. A child with APD may not recognize subtle differences in sounds of words verbalized to them. Thus, they may incorrectly verbalize or write the words as they sound to them.

An audiologist uses a series of tests using both simple (clicks, tones) and complex (speech) stimuli to assess the auditory issues a child may be experiencing. Typical problems with dyslexia include being easily distracted, the inability to sound out words and poor listening skills.

Speech therapy methods can assist with reading and language comprehension by helping children make sounds more clearly.

For more information on how Audiology & Hearing Services of Charlotte can help your child, contact us or schedule an APD evaluation.

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