What is Auditory Processing Disorder?

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is something you may or may not have heard about.

Dr Tomatis called it problems with LISTENING and today APD has become a common diagnose — for both adults and children.

APD is estimated to affect 

  • 6.2% of children in New Zealand
  • 35% for Pasifica children
  • Between 25% and 50% of the elderly.

Many symptoms of APD are the same as for hearing problems except that APD can’t be detected with a standard hearing test.

The problem lies in the brain’s ability to process auditory information quickly, easily, and correctly.

When someone is diagnosed with APD, they often have difficulties with learning or communication.

As a parent, you might not know your child is hindered in their academic learning and social interaction by auditory processing issues.

As an adult, you might wonder why sounds bother you, why you feel isolated and/or misunderstood.

It can also lead to anxiety and depression.

In many cases, they also have other diagnoses such as dyslexia, language disorder, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ADD, or ADHD. The symptoms and difficulties are overlapping.

In fact, Auditory Processing – Listening – may be the underlying cause for many of the symptoms.

What is it like having Auditory Processing Disorder?

Watch this video to get an idea of what it’s like to have problems with Auditory Processing.

Note: Use headphones for the best experience. There is no sound in the beginning; the visuals are silent. The entire video is 3 minutes long.

Video Title: Senior Studio Project Auditory Processing Disorder Simulation
Organization: Braincipher
Created/Credited: @MelanieDesRoches

So what can you do?

The three main recommended actions according to the New Zealand Auditory Processing Guidelines (2019) are:

  1. Auditory training
  2. Remote microphone hearing aid systems (RMHA)
  3. Language therapy

They also recommend starting interventions early.

We at Tomatis® couldn’t agree more!

Read more about APD for children.

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