The Auditory Processing Disorder is a term that refers to how CNS or the Central Nervous System is using information from the ears. Simply put, the brain and ears of the people affected by APD do not fully coordinate.
Children with APD find it more difficult to understand speech in a noisy environment. Sometimes they behave as if they lost hearing. Often when they understand what is expected of them they are able to complete a task independently. Also their performance is much better in classes where they don’t have to rely heavily on listening. Children with APD don’t have difficulty hearing and in most cases their hearing is pretty good. The problem is the brain that perceives the sound incorrectly.
Over the last few years, there has been an upsurge in public and professional awareness in APD that lead misinformation, misconceptions and confusions regarding APD and how is diagnosed and treated. And things are more complicated if we add the fact that APD is not included in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).
The American Academy of Audiology has released practice guidelines for the disorder. In January 2005, ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) published “Auditory Processing Disorders” as an update to the “Central Auditory Processing: Current Status of Research and Implications for Clinical Practice”. There has been some criticisms of some popular tests for diagnosis of APD in recent years.
The Symptoms of APD symptoms can appear in other conditions like ADHD, learning disorders, even autism and depression. Also it’s possible to have a multiple diagnosis. For example a kid might have APD and specific learning disabilities or language impairment. This makes things confusing and sometimes a child might end up with a wrong diagnostic. This is why the diagnosis for the APD to be made by an audiologist.
The symptoms of APD take many forms and range from mild to severe. And as there are many other disorders that affect people’s ability to understand spoken words it is easy to mistake APD for other disorders like ADHD for example. The symptoms of these two disorders could overlap. But in the case of the people with ADHD it’s the attention deficit that is impeding them from understanding auditory information and not a specific auditory dysfunction. But the two disorders often can co-exist. Also APD is often a secondary diagnosis for many children with autism.
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Often children are diagnosed with ADHD and it leads to a medication that includes Ritalin, Dexedrine, Adderall, Strattera, Concerta and so on. Then the treatment is not working and the parents are frustrated because the problem is somewhere else. The diagnostic was wrong. To understand the ADP more research is needed, although the first research began with Helmer Myklebust’s study, in 1954, “Auditory Disorder in Children”.
Diagnosing someone with APD is very complicated and a list of symptoms is useless. You need an actual audiologist or a Speech-Language Pathologistfor a careful and accurate diagnostic. And the tests should be conducted only under well controlled acoustic conditions and with calibrated equipment. Also if you have a child diagnosed with this disorder you should have a specialist assistance of a neurologist in aventura florida for treatment and deeper understanding of the disorder.