Understanding Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a condition related to hearing and is known to effect around 5% of school aged kids.
APD, is also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder -CAPD.
Despite having a normal hearing, children with APD are not able to understand what they hear like other kids do. It affects the ability of a person to understand, comprehend or remember what they hear.
The problem occurs as there is lack of proper coordination between the brain and ears and does not mean that the affected person is deaf.
“CAPD is a broad term which indicates a mixture of disorder that has an impact on the way our brain processes the auditory signals or auditory information. Although the Children with CAPD have normal outer, middle and inner ear functioning, they cannot able to process the auditory information in the same way as other children process it, which causes difficulties in understanding speech and interpreting sound. “Himanshu Kumar Sanju of All India Institute of Speech and Hearing in Mysuru.
A child with APD may have the following signs and symptoms.
- • Getting distracted or anxious by noises.
- Getting upset in noisy places.
- Better behavior and performance in a quiet place.
- Facing difficulty in reading, spelling, writing, speech-language activities.
- Being forgetful or messy.
- Not being able to understand and follow conversation with others.
An audiologist or hearing specialist can identify and diagnose the presence of the disorder. If you feel your children have any of the above symptoms, then do get them checked by a professional.
Early intervention is vital as child can get timely help as there is no known treatment for APD presently. If the diagnoses is delayed, it can severely impair the speech and language abilities of the child.
This also affects their academic and social life leading to greater challenges in adulthood. Early detection and proper therapy can help the child be treated and overcome the disorder.
Timely diagnoses is vital for children with APD. Parents should get their kids tested if the children are showing delayed growth as compared to their peers. There are certain test that can diagnose APD such as the BERA test that can help identify the presence of APD. Glads Joseph, Speech Therapist, Prayatna Early Intervention Program
Joseph says speech therapy can go a long way in helping children with APD learn communication and aid in their development.
Children with APD can be taught coping skills and be trained to work successfully through the disorder. It is important that parents and teachers understand the issue faced by the children and get them timely help and guidance.
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