Making sense of language and sounds

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a condition where children, and sometimes adults, have trouble making sense of the sounds in their world, especially speech.

  • Auditory relates to hearing, not to the act of listening
  • Processing in this case is how the brain interprets sounds, and
  • Disorder here means a biological disconnect between what the brain interprets what it hears.

Imagine that a child cannot easily identify where a sound comes from, distinguish between similar sounds, or the sounds all merge, or they cannot filter out background noise. Think of all the nuances in a single word and imagine that they cannot apportion the beginning, middle and end of that one word.

Imagine the social isolation and crush of self-esteem if your child has one or any combination of those symptoms, as they struggle to process a word’s meaning, assemble the information and store it in memory. In the classroom, how are they to learn if the only cues are verbal? How are they to understand their world if they cannot understand the language?

That is a very general description of APD. It is a complex issue but it can be diagnosed and treated.

Each case is unique, as APD can manifest in different ways. Behavioral and learning issues often result in confusion for children and parents alike, and can lead to misinterpretations that seem to indicate other disorders when that is usually not the case.

How we can help with APD

Hearing loss is rarely involved, and processing language and processing hearing are not the same thing, but the brain’s neuroplasticity responds to exercise and training, especially in the young.

The first step is an assessment by a qualified Audiologist. Not all audiologists specialise in this field.
Call us on 1800 432 748 for an appointment with Lauren. She is our APD specialist, and she can help.