Understanding Auditory Processing Disorder

Understanding Auditory Processing Disorder

Have you heard of auditory processing disorder in the past? This is a condition that affects children across the globe, so if you have a kid or are in a position where you observe them on a daily basis, it would certainly pay off to understand this disorder.

What is Auditory Processing Disorder?

In simple terms, auditory processing disorder kids are unable to recognize the subtle differences between the sounds that make up words.

Basically, all of us ‘hear’ words via our brains interpretation of sound waves – but in some children it has been found that somewhere along the way the process is disrupted or adversely affected.

So instead of hearing a certain word, a child might hear something entirely different but similar sounding.

For example, instead of hearing ‘couch and chair’ an auditory processing disorder kid might hear ‘cow and hair’ or ‘ouch and there’.

What Causes Auditory Processing Disorder?

As of yet, the exact cause behind this disorder is unknown. There are many different theories out there regarding its cause, but because science does not yet understand the exact process involved in the interpretation of sound – they are all just theories.

What is known however is that auditory processing disorder is linked to conditions such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, autism, and other learning disabilities.

Because of the close link between these conditions very often auditory processing disorder kids are misdiagnosed as having one of these other conditions. Similarly, kids who have other learning disabilities are often misdiagnosed as having auditory processing disorder.

Early Warning Signs

Most auditory processing disorder kids tend to appear as though they have problems paying attention and listening. Also, because they’re ‘hearing’ the wrong words, many also have problems grasping languages and have difficulty with reading, spelling, grammar and other topics related to language.

To fully diagnose this problem however, you’re going to need to visit professionals who can help rule out other conditions that may cause hearing disabilities and positively identify auditory processing disorder if it is present.


Right now there is no ‘one size fits all’ treatment that auditory processing disorder kids can resort to, however there are a number of different therapies and approaches that have been known to produce results.

One of the most common involves the use of auditory trainers and hearing aids to help children focus their attention on a speaker.

Other solutions include auditory integration training, auditory memory enhancement, and various other listening and language building exercises that could help children identify words and learn them effectively.

As you can see, auditory processing disorder is a condition that is really quite serious and could affect the development of any child. If you suspect your child (or someone else’s child) of having this disorder – better be safe than sorry and visit a professional!

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Understanding Auditory Processing Disorder

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