Autism and Deafness: Guide

Joyce Sewell-Rutter and Stephanie Dawson | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Auditory processing

An Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) refers to difficulty processing what is heard.  APD is characterised by poor perception of speech and non-speech sounds.  APD has its origin in impaired neural function and impacts on life through a reduced ability to listen [BSA APD SIG 2011].

In most cases hearing is normal but sometimes APD can occur in the presence of a hearing impairment.  It is more challenging to assess APD in the presence of a hearing impairment.  Your audiologist will be able to provide more information about this.

The interdisciplinary APD Service at the University of Southampton is a team of Audiologists, Speech and Language Therapists and Teachers of the Deaf/Educational Audiologists offering guidance on sensory integration, cognition, written language and medical issues, specifically relating to the ear, nose and throat.  The team is able to offer interdisciplinary guidelines for the individual, their parents/family and school/workplace and also in-depth assessment and management, if required.