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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the symptoms of auditory processing disorder?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 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

    Factors to consider in recognising an auditory processing disorder:
    1. Does not attend to instructions or does not listen to them carefully

    2. It is often necessary to repeat directions

    3. Often misunderstands what is said

    4. Does not comprehend verbal concepts at age or grade level

    5. Slow or delayed response to verbal stimulation

    6. Easily distracted by background sounds

    7. Forgets what is said in a few minutes

    8. Has difficulty recalling sequences

    9. Has difficulty with phonics or speech sound discrimination

    10. Has language and/or articulation problems

    11. Lacks motivation to learn

    Auditory Processing may be defined as �not what we hear, but what we do with what we hear". In other words, what happens to sound after it goes through the ear? Auditory processing is responsible for detecting, identifying, discriminating, and interpreting sound, particularly speech. Auditory processing abilities include how well a person is able to pay attention and listen in complex auditory situations, such as in the presence of background noise. A person with an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) may appear as if he or she has a hearing loss. However, in most cases, hearing sensitivity is normal. Auditory processing deficits may result in diminished learning through hearing, and they may present as part of a speech, language, or learning problem. While APD is more common in children, difficulties with auditory processing may also be present in adults as a result of aging or head trauma.

  • 1


    Sophia John

    HealthShare Member

    Problems with auditory processing can certainly co-occur with dysgraphia.

    • Difficulty listening with background noise
    • Speech therapy or language delays when young
    • Poor auditory attention, drifts off in class
    • Difficulty with phonics and speech sound discrimination
    • Difficulty with sounding out when reading
    • Poor auditory memory

  • Kathryn Penno


    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

    Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) relates to how the brain interprets or processes the information it receives. From an audiological point of view, the peripheral hearing system (the pathways of hearing including the outer, middle and inner ear) are within the normal range. This means that the ear is picking up the information and sending it through to the brain, however when the signal reaches the processing pathways within the brain, the signal isn't clear. The person cannot clearly decipher what has been asked/said.

    An example can be when a child or adult is in background noise. A chlid is in a classroom and can't attended to or focus into the speech or message the teacher is communicating to the classroom. Behaviours for APD may show below average academic performance, misbehaving or 'being the class clown' (distraction). For an adult, they may struggle in cafes or restaurants, lecture threates, following conversations, as a result of head trauma or ageing.

    A GP and paediatrician should always be including to ensure a holistic point of view of addressing APD in children (and adults). 

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