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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How is auditory processing disorder different than a hearing problem?

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    Behavioural Optometrist with a special interest in:Binocular Vision ProblemsChildren's Learning ProblemsSports Vision EnhancementVision Improvement ProgramsPassionate about educating clients. View Profile

    Just because a person has normal hearing doesn't mean that they can interpret, understand or process correctly what is being heard. If I place my hand over my mouth when I speak to you then you can still hear my voice. However you would not be able to understand me. The words would appear jumbled or muffled. It is a little like saying that the ears can hear, but the brain has difficulty interpreting.

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    Gail Rogers

    Speech Pathologist

    Gail's passionate interest in working in the area of voice, communication & swallowing challenges developed after working as Speech and Language Pathologist with many different clientele in various … View Profile

    a person with an auditory processing disorder can usually hear perfectly but their brain has difficulties processing what it hears !

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    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

    One of my parents described it this way, “My son hears perfectly well he just can't listen very well!”
    As Gail Rogers said auditory processing is about processing the sound information received. There are a number of auditory processing skills so an auditory processing disorder can result in a wide variety of difficulties. For example some people will have trouble understanding people on the phone, making sense of what people are saying when there is background noise or when someone is calling out from another room or even finding it difficult to locate where a sound is coming from.

  • Raji Parangad

    Audiologist

    No referrals required. Cosmetic hearing aid specialist ( we have the latest, most discreet hearing aids in the market), Custom ear plugs, Assertive listening devices. … View Profile

    As a general rule kids with hearing loss generally have some delay in speech language as well as articulation problem (given that they are not hearing themselves clearly). On the other hand a child with Auditory processing have difficulty underatnding speech in presence of competing noise for ex in a  class room scenario. Hence usually it is the teacher who picks the problem up first... It is very easy to mis daignose a child with auditory processing disorder as havinga  hearing loss...So if you suspect a problem get an audiogram done first...

  • Kathryn Penno

    Audiologist

    Hello and Welcome, I founded the Hearing Collective to give clients one location, a collective of hearing healthcare services that are convenient and accessible. Hearing … View Profile

    From an audiological point of view, when we use the term Auditory processing we are assessing 'what and how the brain processes information'. We are looking beyond the ear=hear portion.

    A good way to break this down is to think about the ear picking up and sending the signal (from the peripheral pathway) up via the auditory pathways to the brain (the brain/Central pathways).

    Typically, when we assess a child for Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) we check their ears/hearing pathways to ensure there is no pathology or issues to stop/reduce the sound from clearly getting to the brain. If the child presents with hearing results with in the normal range we can then proceed to APD assessing.  APD assessment can include spatial awareness, auditory memory work and sound localisation (to name a few).

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