Auditory Processing Evaluations
Auditory processing is the term used to describe how your brain recognizes and interprets sounds. It is when this process is somehow disrupted that a disorder is present. Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) affects the brain's ability to process or interpret auditory information correctly.
After other issues, such as hearing loss or behavioral disorders, have been ruled out, an auditory processing evaluation can be done to determine if a person has an auditory processing disorder. This comprehensive testing is used to evaluate if the brain is having difficulty processing auditory signals.
What It's Like to Have Auditory Processing Disorder
To get an idea of what it is like to have Auditory Processing Disorder, imagine that you are in a noisy room, such as a restaurant. Friends are speaking, but you find it very hard to follow because of the background noise.
This is just one example of what it may be like to have auditory processing disorder. 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.
Symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder
Auditory processing disorder can look different in each individual. Symptoms of the disorder are almost always worsened by noisy or highly stimulating environments.
Here are some possible symptoms of APD:
- Difficulty listening in background noise
- Difficulty following complex oral instructions
- Varied response to auditory stimuli
- Easily distracted, impulsive, and frustrated when too much noise is present
- Short auditory attention span; easily tired or bored during required listening activities
- Appearance of day dreaming or not listening
- Verbal requests are often met with “huh?”, even after several repetitions
Requirements for Auditory Processing Evaluation
Auditory processing disorder can be difficult to live with, both for the person with the disorder and the people in their lives. An auditory processing evaluation will not solve the problem, but it can give insight as to why the individual may be having problems at school, home, or work. The evaluation can provide guidance for us to help develop strategies and recommendations to lessen the impact of the disorder and help the individual succeed at school, at work and in other situations.