APD-Auditory Processing Disorder

Auditory Processing Disorder

Auditory Processing Disorder, or APD, is an umbrella term that describes an underlying set of issues that can affect an individual’s ability to understand spoken speech, typically in noisy soundscapes.

Auditory Processing Disorder can be a congenital condition (i.e., present from birth) or it can be acquired later in life as a process of ageing, or through sustained injury and trauma to the auditory and associated systems. The ear is responsible for collecting sound information which is fed to areas of the brain responsible for sound processing. If these areas in the brain are not able to work together it can lead to an inability to process these speech sounds and lead to symptoms such as difficulty hearing speech in noise, that are characteristic of APD. 

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) in adults and Children 

About 1 in 20 patients attending an ENT/Audiology clinic for problems with their ears or hearing turn out to have normal results on standard hearing tests and no identifiable ear problem. Most of these patient’s report having difficulties understanding speech in noisy places. This puzzling combination of symptoms and results could be APD – Auditory Processing Disorder.  

Find out about symptoms here and treatments available from Harley Street Hearing here

To book an appointment with our APD specialist please call or complete the form.  

auditory processing is the complex process of the brain interpreting, and making sense, of the auditory information that was received by the ear and auditory system. Auditory Processing Disorder can arise when this operation is disrupted or is not functioning correctly and can lead you to having difficulty understanding speech, especially in noisy environments. 

strictly speaking Auditory Processing Disorder is not a genetic disorder, but one can have family history or genes that may predispose them to develop APD. Other causes can include prenatal factors, diseases of the ear, trauma, or injury to the head and/or ears, and age-related changes. 

symptoms of auditory processing disorder (APD) can overlap with those of other developmental disorders such as ADHD (tttention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or ASD (autism spectrum disorder), and this can make it difficult to know if one has APD without having had a thorough assessment.  There are celebrities who have spoken openly and shared their experiences about having other developmental disorders but not about APD. 

auditory Processing Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are not the same thing; however, ASD affects the development of the brain, and this can lead to the development of Auditory Processing Disorder. The signs and symptoms of both may overlap with one another and can make identifying one from the other more challenging. 

auditory Processing Disorder does not affect speech and oral production directly; however, it can affect the ability of one to correctly hear and decipher speech. So during early developmental years this can impact speech and language learning.

auditory processing is the complex process of the brain interpreting, and making sense of the auditory information that was received by the ear and auditory system. APD can arise when this operation is disrupted, or is not functioning correctly, and can lead you to have difficulty understanding speech especially in noisy environments. It can affect both children and adults of varying ages.

auditory Processing Disorder can be caused by a variety of factors. Underlying genetic and developmental conditions such as ADHD and ASD can lead to APD. As well, acquired causes like traumatic brain injuries, repetitive ear infections/auditory deprivation and age-related factors. 

testing for Auditory Processing Disorder is usually done by seeing a specialised clinician, called an audiologist, who uses a special battery of speech processing tests that measure an individual’s active listening skills. These skills include localisation of sound, discrimination of speech and degraded speech, among others.

if you have noticed recent difficulties with understanding speech in background noise, or difficulties with concentrating or localising sound, this could suggest symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder, and therefore you should speak with your GP or audiologist about having a test. 

strictly speaking auditory processing disorder is not a progressive disorder but other comorbidities that are present can worsen the symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder.

auditory Processing Disorder and Dyslexia are not the same thing; however, they do share some of the same symptoms and the presence of both can further exacerbate the other.

auditory Processing Disorder is not a disability, however the way the symptoms can manifest can make it difficult for someone to go about their day-to-day tasks. 

there are currently no pharmaceutical nor surgical cures for Auditory Processing Disorder. However, there are tools such as auditory retraining techniques, and assistive listening devices that can help patient to overcome the difficulties associated with APD. 

auditory Processing Disorder does not affect speech and oral production directly; however, it can affect the ability of one to correctly hear and decipher speech. Thus, during early developmental years this can impact speech and language learning. 

hearing and listening are a subjective sense, therefore everyone experiences it differently. Because of this it is difficult to describe how it may sound, but it can affect the way one might hear and differentiate speech sounds. 

there is no clear consensus to an actual date of Auditory Processing discovery. However, as early as the 1950’s researchers were starting to become aware of the symptoms of speech processing challenges in some children. 

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