Today's guest blogger is Yell Inverso, Au.D., PhD., CCC-A a pediatric audiologist at Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children.
As parents, we’ve all dealt with a situation where we feel like our kids are hearing us—but they are just not listening. But as a pediatric audiologist I have learned that as our understanding of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)—also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorders—grows, there are times that we can’t always discount listening concerns.
Auditory Processing Disorders are broadly defined as neurological disorders or weaknesses that affect how the brain processes spoken language and other auditory information. At its core, Auditory Processing Disorders are just that—auditory. The result is that a child’s ability to listen and process is impaired. Children with APDs have normal hearing, but they have difficulty receiving verbal instructions or filtering out background noise. In essence, there is a breakdown in receiving, remembering, understanding, and using auditory information. Symptoms of APD can range from mild to severe and can take many different forms, such as:
- A child that is easily distracted or unusually bothered by loud or sudden noises
- Behavior and performance improve in quieter settings
- There’s difficulty following a conversation or directions, whether simple or complicated
- The child is disorganized and forgetful
- A child asks for information to be repeated or clarified, as if hearing loss is present
Because outward signs and behaviors resulting from APD can appear in a wide variety of other conditions, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), it often gets misdiagnosed. Children can also be improperly thought to have learning disabilities and behavioral problems.