Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) in Children: Guide

Campbell, N., Grant, P., Moore, D,R. and Rosen, S. | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Presenting difficulties

Children referred for APD assessment typically have a normal audiogram but present with characteristics that may include:

  • difficulty hearing spoken language in the background of other sounds, including speech (the most common presenting complaint)
  • difficulty hearing in reverberant acoustic environments, or when speech is rapidly presented or degraded in some way
  • mishearing speech and similar sounding words (‘shoulder’ versus ‘soldier’)
  • responding inconsistently or inappropriately to spoken language and auditory information
  • taking longer to process spoken language and auditory information
  • frequent requests for repetition
  • difficulty hearing on the phone
  • poor attention to and/or memory of spoken language and instructions.

There may also be reports of impaired speech, language, phonological awareness, literacy, attention and academic performance.

In some cases children are referred when they do not progress as expected after receiving other types of support, such as speech and language therapy or dyslexia/learning support.