– Ask a Teacher with Nancy Downing –
Q. My child has been diagnosed with auditory processing disorder (APD). Can you please help me understand that disorder? -school routines?
A: Auditory processing is what happens when your brain recognizes and interprets the sounds around you. Auditory processing disorder means that something is adversely affecting the processing or interpretation of that information.
Someone with APD often does not recognize small differences between sounds in words, even though the sounds themselves are loud and clear. An example might be “Hand me a brush and a comb” may sound like “Hand me a comb and a brush.” It can even be understood by the child as “Hand me a bush and home.”
Noisy environments or listening to complex information causes these types of problems to occur at a higher rate.
The following are some characteristics of APD:
• Have trouble paying attention to and remembering information presented orally
• Have problems carrying out multi-step directions
• Have poor listening skills
• Need more time to process information
• Have low academic performance
• Have behavior problems
• Have language difficulty (e.g., they confuse syllable sequences and have problems developing vocabulary and understanding language)
• Have difficulty with reading, comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary
There are programs for APD that can help your child. Go to the Internet to see what is in your area. Inform your child’s school of this diagnosis and see what services can be provided in that environment. Your child’s teacher will also need this information for teaching strategies.
Copyright © 2008 by Nancy Downing. All rights reserved.
Read more Ask a Teacher Q&A’s with Nancy Downing. Nancy has been named a USA Today Teacher of the Year. She is a special education teacher and the former Center Director of Learning Rx in Little Rock.