Auditory Processing Disorders

What we know and what we can do to help
“Dr. Goyne is one of those people you can easily build a relationship with. Unlike going to my primary care doc, he actually remembers who I am, what my challenges are, and where I am in your progress. I feel really comfortable talking with him and sharing my concerns and challenges. He listens, shares his thoughts, and provides advice that is meaningful and helpful.”

– Geoff I.

“5 stars- Very positive experience and highly recommend. Everyone was very professional and just great to work with! Therapist worked very well with my son and we saw great results for APD. Office/billing staff very friendly and helpful. Great experience all around!”

– Gina F.

What is an Auditory Processing Disorder?

Despite having normal hearing sensitivity, people with auditory processing disorders (APD) have difficulty processing and interpreting auditory information. The ear detects and transmits sound to the brain normally, but when the orally presented information goes to the brain, the child or adult has problems interpreting or understanding it accurately or efficiently.

Signs of an Auditory Processing Disorder

Difficulty understanding speech in the presence of background noise

Difficulty remembering auditory information

Difficulty organizing sounds in a proper sequence

Problems successfully combining auditory and visual information

Difficulty with localization of sound

Problems attending to different information presented to opposite ears

A consistent delay in response to a question or instructions

Difficulty with reading, spelling, reading comprehension

Difficulty following a string of directions delivered orally

Is It APD or Dyslexia?

Research indicates up to 70% of individuals with dyslexia have an underlying auditory processing disorder. According to the National Institutes of Health, in children referred for learning difficulties, around 43% have Auditory Processing Disorder (APD).  In addition, 25% of all children tested for learning disabilities were found to have coexisting APD and dyslexia. Dyslexia and Auditory Processing Disorder share many of the same symptoms, but they are different disorders.

Is It APD or ADHD?

Did you know that a problem accurately processing sound is often mistaken for an attention problem? Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are two distinct clinical conditions with different diagnostic criteria. However, both of these disorders share common characteristics such as distractibility and inattentiveness. It is crucial that the correct diagnosis is made so that the individual can receive appropriate intervention.

How is an Auditory Processing Disorder Diagnosed?

At Aberdeen Audiology, we primarily use the Buffalo Model for diagnosing and treating auditory processing issues, which was developed by Jack Katz, Ph.D. while at the University of Buffalo We assess patients (ages 7 years and older) on the degree to which they deviate from the norms on several listening tests. The tests measure a person’s performance in four categories:

1. Decoding

The ability to quickly and accurately process phonemes, or, the sounds of speech.

2. Tolerance-Fading Memory

The ability to understand speech while in competing noise and the necessary short-term memory capacity to do so.

3. Organization

The ability to store orally presented information in the brain.

4. Integration

The ability for the left and right hemispheres of the brain to communicate.

Treating Auditory Processing Disorders

Most commercially available programs provide practice related to general auditory processing skills, whereas the Buffalo Model’s treatment targets the specific areas of weakness identified in the APD testing. This program relies on the anatomy and physiology of the central auditory nervous system regions. We identify the child’s specific deficits which are associated with specific academic and communication difficulties.

For a trained doctor of audiology (Au.D.) an Auditory Processing Disorder is not very difficult to identify, classify, or even to remediate. It is estimated that 20 percent of the school age population has APD. The therapy associated with this model works directly on those areas found to be related to the diagnosed APD categories. Therefore, it is a deficit specific therapy, which allows extensive training in the child’s weak areas. Most commercially available programs only provide practice related to general auditory processing skills. Working one-to-one with a professional on auditory training can develop the skills and strategies specific to the child’s deficit.

APD THERAPY SCHEDULE

  • Once a week for 50 minutes.
  • 10-15 sessions
  • About 10% will require a second round of therapy
  • 2-3% will require a third round
  • Follow-up by retest.

WHAT IF I SUSPECT APD?

If you suspect that you or your child has an auditory processing disorder, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. We look forward to working with you.