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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What can cause auditory processing disorder?

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  • 1


    Rachel Tosh

    Speech Pathologist

    Rachel is a speech pathologist specialising in speech, language, literacy and feeding therapy with more than 10 years of experience. Her aim is to help … View Profile

    Further to Peter's response above there are also some possible genetic risk factors as well. Due to the very limited research into APD we can't identify causes per say but there are a number of risk factors as outlined by Peter. The number one that I see most commonly in my practice is a history of multiple middle ear infections or other cause of fluctuating hearing loss during the critical early years (6-24mths of age seems to be the period that results in most impact on speech and language at least). The theory is that this results in inconsistent input to the auditory system when we are “tuning” in to the world around us and therefore results in difficulties processing auditory information. One other risk factor that is worth being aware of it that neglect/abuse as a child can also result in dissasociation (decreased sensory awareness) or hypervigilance (heightened sensory awareness) that can also result in the symptoms of APD. This is not the most common cause but important to consider especially for children in foster care etc.

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