Treatment for Auditory Processing Disorder

processing disorders

Auditory Processing Disorders

Auditory processing disorders (APDs) affect how the brain processes auditory information. People with APDs may have difficulty understanding spoken language, even when there is no problem with their hearing. APDs can impact people of all ages but are most commonly diagnosed in children.

APD is often comorbid with other conditions such as ADHD, dyslexia, and specific language impairment. It is essential to seek a qualified professional for an accurate assessment of the symptoms as APD can be easily confused with other conditions.

APD is not a single disorder but a group of disorders that share similar symptoms. APD can be caused by many different factors, including hearing loss, head injuries, and neurodevelopmental conditions. APD can also run in families.

There is no single test used to diagnose APD. Instead, diagnosis is based on a comprehensive evaluation that includes a hearing test, language, and cognitive testing, and sometimes specialized auditory processing tests.

APD cannot be cured, but some treatments can help people with the condition improve their listening and communication skills. Treatment for APD typically includes a combination of speech and language therapy, educational support, and assistive technology. In some cases, medication may also be prescribed.

Common symptoms of APD

Symptoms of APD vary from person to person. Some people have mild problems, while others have more severe difficulties. Symptoms may also change over time. Common symptoms include:
  • Trouble understanding spoken language
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Struggling to remember information that was heard
  • Poor listening skills
  • Frequently asking for things to be repeated
  • Avoids background noise whenever possible
  • Difficulty recognizing different sounds in words (e.g., can’t tell the difference between “b” and “p”)
  • Trouble with rhyming words
  • Difficulty understanding jokes or sarcasm
  • Poor reading comprehension

APD can also impact a person’s social skills. People with APD may have trouble making friends or participating in group activities.

Visual Processing Disorders

Visual processing disorder (VPD) can cause issues with the way the brain processes visual information. There are many different types of processing visual disorders and many different symptoms, which can include the inability to detect differences in letters or shapes, trouble copying or drawing, and letter reversals.

Visual processing disorder can impact individuals of all ages, and to varying degrees. There are eight recognized types of visual processing difficulties, each with specific symptoms. An individual may have difficulty with one or more than one kind of visual processing disorder.

Types & Symptoms of Visual Processing Disorders
  • Visual Discrimination: Difficulty recognizing the differences between similar shapes, objects, or letters.
  • Visual Figure/Ground Discrimination: Difficulty distinguishing a letter or shape from its background.
  • Visual Sequencing: Difficulty recognizing letters, shapes, or words in the correct order. They may read the same line over and over, or skip lines completely.
  • Visual Motor Processing: Trouble practicing what they see to coordinate with the way they move. For example, they may bump into objects while walking or struggle to write within the lines.
  • Long/Short Term Visual Memory – Difficulty remembering shapes, symbols, or objects they’ve seen, which can cause difficulty with reading, writing, and spelling.
  • Visual Spatial Awareness – May struggle to understand how close objects are to one another or to understand where objects are in space.
  • Visual Closure – Trouble recognizing an object when only specific sections of the object are visible.
  • Letter and Symbol Reversal – Switches letters or numbers when writing, or mistakes similar letters (i.e. “b” for “d” or “w” for “m”).

Language Processing Disorders

If your child has difficulty with communication, it could be due to a language processing disorder. Language processing disorders (LPDs) can make it hard for children to understand what they hear and see and to use words correctly.

There are two types of language processing disorders:

  • Receptive language disorders: This type of LPD makes it hard for children to understand language.
  • Expressive language disorders: This type of LPD makes it hard for children to put their thoughts into words.
Most children with a language processing disorder struggle with receptive and expressive language. However, some children may have problems with only one or the other.

Language processing disorders can affect children of any age, but they are most common in preschool-aged children.

There are many possible causes of language processing disorders, including hearing loss, brain injury, and developmental delays. However, in many cases, the cause is unknown.

Language processing disorders can make it hard for children to succeed in school. They may have difficulty following directions, participating in class, and keeping up with their peers.

Common Symptoms of Language Processing Disorders

Language processing disorders can vary in severity; not all children with these disorders will experience all symptoms. However, common symptoms of language processing disorders include:

  • Difficulty understanding what others are saying
  • Trouble following directions
  • Repeating or echoing what others say
  • Difficulty speaking in complete sentences
  • Inability to produce certain sounds correctly
  • Slow or hesitant speech
  • Difficulty reading or decoding words
  • Trouble with spelling
  • Difficulty writing in complete sentences