Dr. Janie Morales
Doctor of Audiology
The ability to hear and process sound is fundamental for speech and language development and learning. A significant and often misunderstood auditory challenge is auditory processing disorder (APD). Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is not a form of hearing loss, despite showing difficulty with hearing related tasks. In patients with APD, hearing thresholds are often normal, but the central nervous system has trouble correctly interpreting the auditory information it receives. This breakdown can be seen in several different areas and may result in a reduced ability for the individual to learn through hearing.
Since they appear to hear normally the difficulties these individuals experience are often presumed to be the result of an attention deficit, a behavior problem, a lack of motivation, or some other cause. It can be frustrating and the person with the disorder has no control over their ability or inability to process auditory signals in certain situations. When an individual has difficulty processing auditory information efficiently, it can impact their ability to concentrate which can in turn negatively affect academic performance and quality of work.
Standard hearing tests assess hearing sensitivity and are not able to determine if an individual has an auditory processing deficit. APD can only be diagnosed by an audiologist following administration of comprehensive test battery designed to assess a variety of auditory processes. For individuals who present particular hearing problems despite having good audibility there may be an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) present and further testing may be warranted.