Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) in Children: Guide

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

Multi- or interdisciplinary approach

There is general agreement that auditory processing abilities may influence language development, particularly pre-literacy skills including phonological awareness, and that it can be difficult to separate the influence of auditory and language skills with regard to academic demands (Richard, 2012, 2013; Watson & Kidd, 2008).

It is important to understand, however, that ‘hearing’ difficulties in children with normal audiograms can be due to more than just APD.  Other factors that can play a role are language ability, attention, memory, motivation etc.  For example, a child who has difficulty following complex multiple instructions may have APD but equally it could be that the child does not yet have the language ability or memory to do so.

The act of processing speech is very complex and involves the simultaneous engagement of auditory, cognitive and language mechanisms (Medwetsky, 2011).

This is why a multi- or interdisciplinary approach is crucial.


Richard, G. J. (2012). Primary issues for the speech-language pathologist to consider in regard to diagnosis of auditory processing disorder. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 19, 78–86.

Richard, G. J. (2013). Language processing versus auditory processing. In D. Geffner & D. Ross-Swain (Eds.), Auditory processing disorders: Assessment, management, and treatment (pp. 283–299). San Diego, CA: Plural.

Medwetsky, L. (2011). Spoken language processing model: Bridging auditory and language processing to guide assessment and intervention. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 42, 286–296.

Watson, C., & Kidd, G. (2008). Associations between auditory abilities, reading, and other language skills in children and adults. In A. T. Cacace & D. J. McFarland (Eds.), Controversies in central auditory processing disorder (pp. 218–242). San Diego, CA: Plural.