What is APD?
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is also commonly known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder and is a term used for people who have listening difficulties. In other words, people who have this, have normal hearing ability but they cannot understand the information they hear as others could. As such, they cannot differentiate or recognize sounds they hear such as speech. As such, in auditory processing disorder, there is something wrong with the processing and interpretation of the information.
According to a website, an example of APD disorder is when a request says’ Tell me how a couch and a chair are alike’ may be understood by a child with APD as ‘Tell me how a chair and a couch are alike’. He can also interpret it as ‘Tell me how a cow and a hair are alike.’ There are about 10% of children are affected and about 17-20% in adults. Both children and adults could suffer from this listening disorder. It is more prevalent in males than in females.
There are not sure-fire answers as to why this listening disorder exists in some children and adults. Studies show that this kind of disorder is related to certain illnesses such as dyslexia, autism, attention deficit disorder, to name a few. Still, scientists cannot explain how this malfunction in information processing occurs in affected children and adults.
How do you recognize the presence of APD in children? Although these children suffer listening disorder, they have normal intelligence and hearing ability. However, according to a website, there are certain symptoms that must be observed in APD-affected children such as:
- have difficulty in remembering and listening to information that are given orally
- Have poor academic performance
- Listening skill is poor
- Experience poor listening skill
- Slow in information processing
- Experience difficulty in language skills like reading and comprehension, vocabulary, and spelling
- Have a hard time in understanding language and forming vocabulary words
Today, studies and research are more focused on APD since the cause is still unknown. One of the researches is called Imaging. It is a way of monitoring how the human brain
works without having to undergo operation or surgery. It also helps scientists to acquire new ideas about auditory processing and its disorders. Imaging also provides objective and ‘measurable’ ideas on a process. At one point, imaging could also help in discovering how to identify symptoms. Some of studies are devoted to the process in the central auditory nervous system. Rehabilitation of children who have this kind of listening disorder is also a continual process and how treatments could benefit those who have APD.
There are techniques available to help in treating APD. One of them is auditory trainers. These are devices, which help an individual to stay focused on the speaker and they reduce noise barriers at the background. They are usually used in classrooms where a teacher speaks on a microphone and the listener wears a headset in order to receive the information. Another strategy is called setting modifications wherein classrooms are equipped with acoustics, a different seating plan, to promote better listening environment.