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Frequently Asked Questions About Auditory Processing (APD)

How is auditory processing diagnosed?

What does John focus on when helping with APD?

At what age can APD be diagnosed? 

Can my child 'grow out' of APD?

Helping Children with Auditory Processing

Auditory processing issues are complex and can influence your child’s learning & communication as well as their
reading, spelling and writing skills.

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) can also be referred to as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). It influences the ability to do the following:

  • Listen for the direction of sound
  • Listening to the difference between sounds
  • Listening with background sounds

APD often looks like a hearing issue and this can confuse parents because the issue is not related to hearing, it is how children perceive and process sound. There is no deficit with the ear itself so children can hear perfectly well.

In the classroom teachers will often raise concerns in relation to:

  • Concentration and distractibility
  • Not listening
  • Not trying hard enough
  • Seems to be a hearing problem, especially in noisy situations
  • Can’t remember and learn sounds for reading and spelling
  • Difficulty following instructions

There can be many issues that underlie or contribute to auditory processing issues:

  • Concentration
  • Sound discrimination and perception, which support reading and spelling
  • Memory for recent events
  • Language difficulties

Process for Assessment and Treatment for Auditory Processing Disorder

Step 1: You will be asked to complete a history form. This form will ask you as a parent to share your observations related to your child’s auditory processing and there will be a checklist which will include numerous questions about your child’s abilities in the following areas:

  • Following Instructions.
  • Sequencing & Ordering their ideas when speaking.
  • Reading & Spelling Skills.
  • Remembering Information.
  • Understanding Conversation.
  • Ordering thoughts in writing and linking their ideas.

Step 2: During the assessment John will review your child’s history form to discuss what assessment he is proposing. Your child can be a part of this process if appropriate, or younger children can relax in the waiting room.

Step 3: After this, John will carry out the assessment with your child where he will consider the following areas:

  • Observation of recent memory for events and ability to follow instructions and comprehend conversation.
  • Where literacy weaknesses are reported, all sound areas will be checked to ensure your child knows their sounds. This includes consonants, basic vowels (a e i o u), digraphs (sh, ch, th) and more complex vowels such as er, ar, ou, oa. Can these sounds be read and spelt in words?
  • Where literacy weaknesses are reported your child's ability to perceive/listen for sounds when spelling words eg. the /L/ sound in belt or the /P? sound in spot.
  • General ability to listen for sounds and hear the difference between sounds.
  • Observation and Concentration skills.

Step 4: All results will be discussed and explained with parents and your child where appropriate.

Step 5: A support and treatment plan will be discussed.

In Conclusion

It is essential to understand that while pure APD can occur there are also often other challenges that children can experience. These range from cognitive skills that support listening comprehension such as concentration and memory through to language skills.

Auditory processing difficulties can also weaken children’s ability to read, spell and write fluently and difficulties in this area should be monitored or investigated.

John Saunders Children's Learning & Literacy works with children aged between 5 to 18 years.

Office Location

Trading as:
John Saunders
Learning & Literacy

2/554a High St

Prahran, VIC 3181