Testing for Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
The ability to process sound is fundamental to speech, hearing, and communications. Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is when the ear functions perfectly, and the patient is able to hear sounds well, but is unable to quickly or accurately distinguish between sounds. In other words, APD is not a problem with hearing, but an issue with listening to and comprehending sounds. People with APD can have difficulty differentiating between words that sound similar, which often leads people to think they have a hearing problem.
While the exact cause of APD is still unknown, researchers have noted possible links between APD and premature births, head injuries, or recurring ear infections. Research is also investigating links to autism spectrum disorder, non-verbal learning disabilities, dyslexia, delayed language problems, and other health challenges.
At ENT Specialists of Alaska, our staff will conduct a series of tests to determine whether you have APD, and if so, recommend a course of treatment. These hearing tests evaluate:
- Peripheral auditory system
- Binaural integration and separation
- Temporal patterning
- Auditory closure
- Auditory figure-ground discrimination
- Binaural interaction, and
- Language processing assessment
To diagnose school-age children, a speech and language assessment by a speech-language pathologist and a psycho-educational assessment by an educational psychologist or consultant may be necessary.