Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) in Children: Guide

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


Any discussion about the utility of questionnaires or checklists to screen for APD needs to be based on the knowledge that there is no gold standard for how APD is defined, the tests that should used or the criteria for diagnosis.  This reduces the certainty with which sensitivity and specificity can be identified.  It has been suggested that the utility of questionnaires and APD tests be “derived from patients with known, anatomically confirmed central auditory dysfunction and used as a guide to identify the presence of central auditory dysfunction in children and adults suspected of (C)APD” (ASHA, 2005, p. 9).  As discussed in ‘APD tests and criteria’ this premise has been challenged in recent years.

That said, questionnaires together with a detailed case history do offer a picture of how the child is performing in real life.  Questionnaires completed by caregivers, parents or teachers offer a profile of a child and can provide helpful insights into the support, if any, required.

Prior to 2000, APD questionnaires, with the exception of the Children’s Auditory Performance Scale (CHAPS; Smoski, Brunt & Tannahill, 1992) and the Fisher Auditory Problem Checklist (Fisher, 1976) were largely designed to rate the educational, social, and communication skills of children with impaired hearing.  These include the Screening Instrument for Targeting Educational Risk (SIFTER; Anderson, 1989), the Children’s Home Inventory for Listening Difficulties (CHILD; Anderson and Smaldino, 2000), the Listening Inventory for Education (LIFE; Anderson and Smaldino, 1999).

Since 2000, several questionnaires have been developed but they still have had mixed success in demonstrating significant correlations with traditional tests (Barry, Moore, Dillon & Tomlin, 2015).  These questionnaires include: the Scale of Auditory Behaviors (SAB; Schow, Seikel, Brockett & Whitaker, 2007), The Listening Inventory (TLI; Geffner & Ross-Swain, 2009), the Evaluation of Children’s Listening and Processing Skills (ECLiPS; Barry & Moore, 2013) and the Auditory Processing Domains Questionnaire (APDQ; O’Hara & Mealings, 2018).


Anderson, K.L., & Smaldino, J.J. (1999). Listening Inventories For Education: A classroom measurement tool. Hear. J. 52(10), 74-76.

Anderson, K.L., & Smaldino, J.J. (2000). Children’s Home Inventory of Listening Difficulties (CHILD). Tampa, FL: Educational Audiology Association.

Anderson, K.L. (1989). Screening identification for targeting educational risk. Tampa, FL: Educational Audiology Association.

Barry, J.G, Moore, D., Dillon, H. and Tomlin, D. (2015). Use of questionnaire-based measures in the assessment of listening difficulties in school-aged children. Ear Hear, 36(6), 1-14.

Barry, J.G. and Moore, D.R. (2013). Evaluation of Children's Listening and Processing Skills (E.C.L.I.P.S.). Medical Research Council: United Kingdom.

Geffner, D. & Ross-Swain, D. (2006). The Listening Inventory. United States: Academic Therapy Publications.

O’Hara, B. &Mealings, K. (2018). Developing the Auditory Processing Domains Questionnaire (APDQ): A differential screening tool for auditory processing disorder. Int J Audiol, 57(10), pp. 764-775.

Schow, R.L., Seikel, A., Brockett, J.E., & Whitaker, M.M. (2007). Multiple auditory processing assessment. St. Louis: Auditec.

Smoski, W.J., Brunt, M.A., & Tannahill, J.C. (1992). Listening characteristics of children with central auditory processing disorders. Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch, 23, 145-152.