(Central Auditory Processing Disorder)


(Central Auditory Processing Disorder)

What is Auditory Processing (AP)?

Auditory processing refers to how well we detect, discriminate and process auditory (verbal) information. It is often thought of as the brainwork of hearing, or in other terms “what we do with what we hear”. It follows that an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) refers to an inability to make optimal use of what we hear. Children diagnosed with an APD typically have normal hearing and normal intelligence, however, have difficulties listening, particularly in the presence of background noise.

What behaviours are typical for that of a child with an Auditory Processing Disorder?

Behaviours typical for that of a child with an auditory processing disorder include:

·       frequent misunderstandings

·       difficulties remembering and following instructions

·       difficulties listening in the presence of background noise (e.g. the classroom).

·       poor organisational skills and rarely complete tasks

·       respond slowly or inappropriately to questions

·       generally perform well 1:1

·       easily distracted

·       unable to maintain their attention for appropriate amounts of time

·       often exhausted and emotional at the end of a school day

A child with an auditory processing disorder (APD) is unable to take advantage of incidental learning and often requires information to be repeated. They may confuse similar sounding speech sounds, have difficulties with spelling and reading, and show slow progress at school.

As a result of the above behaviours some, but not all, children will have difficulties progressing academically. For example, a child with an APD may not have heard the complete instructions for a task and rather than spending time practising the specific skill in the classroom they spend most of their time trying to work out what they are required to do.

How will my child’s auditory processing skills be assessed?

This service is available for children aged seven and above who do not have a hearing loss, are suspected of having CAPD and have difficulty understanding speech in noisy situations, such as in the classroom.

The assessment of your child’s auditory processing abilities is carried out over two appointments. The primary reason for this is to ensure it is appropriate to assess your child’s auditory processing abilities. Secondly, by splitting your child’s assessment into two appointments we aim to minimise the effects that poor attention and poor motivation may have on your child’s results.

Prior to your child’s first appointment, you will be sent a Parent Questionnaire and Teacher Questionnaire to complete. These questionnaires provide valuable information regarding your child’s listening and other behaviours, assist in determining whether an auditory processing assessment is appropriate for your child, and if so what tests would be the most appropriate to administer. Occasionally it may be recommended that your child is assessed by another medical/allied health professional prior to continuing.

The assessment involves a number of auditory tests (listening games) that target different auditory processing skills. Your child may find some of the listening games challenging and small breaks may be required. There is no invasive testing involved in an auditory processing assessment. In fact, some children find the listening games fun!

The initial appointment takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour.

The second appointment takes between 1.5 hours to 2 hours depending on whether your child requires any breaks. Your child’s results are discussed in detail at this appointment. Following you will be provided with a comprehensive written report highlighting your child’s auditory strengths and weaknesses, along with management advice and recommendations.

What if my child is found to have an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)?

An AP assessment will highlight your child’s auditory strengths and weaknesses. Management advice and recommendations made are highly dependent on your child’s results. Cluasa Hearing Services offers a number of management options in house, and will also refer to other allied health professionals for opinion and/or management as required. For example, for children found to have poor spatial processing skills (one of the auditory skills often assessed) listening training using a computer based cd may be recommended along with the trial of a listening device for use in the classroom.

Does my child need a written referral to have their auditory processing skills assessed?

Parents, medical professionals, allied health professionals and teachers may all refer a child for an Auditory Processing assessment where the child is

·       at least 7 years of age (comprehensive testing is available once a child turns 7 years of age)

·       there are no known/suspected concerns regarding the child’s intelligence

By using a two-stage appointment process any child found to be inappropriate to assess for an Auditory Processing disorder will be identified at their first appointment. Formal written referral is not necessary.

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Gateway Profesional Business Suites

Room 6

The Reeks Gateway

Rock Road

Killarney, Co. Kerry

Tel : (083)855 2745

MON - FRI  9.00am - 6.00pm

SAT 9.00am - 1.00pm