What is an APD (Auditory Processing Disorder)?
Auditory Processing Disorder popularly known by many as APD is a defect that affects the nerves. It is a neurological disorder; it affects the part of the brain that processes spoken language. The child suffering from APD finds it difficult to process verbal instruction. The child also finds it difficult to process and filter the background noise and other sounds in the class or any place. There will be no problem in remembering, receiving or understanding as the child finds it easy to use auditory information, but the problem lies in the ability to listening. However, this is not a hearing disability or in any way connected to the hearing sense of the child, it is purely a neurological disorder.
Child suffering from APD may have the same behavioral problems like a child suffering from ADD. Child suffering from auditory processing issues should develop specific auditory skills. Evaluating APD is simple and it requires comprehensive assessment which makes it easier to look into all the factors that may cause the issue. Speech language pathologist – Language testing, occupational Therapist – Sensory systems assessment, psychologist – Behavioral and Cognitive testing and audiologist – Auditory processing testing are some of the tests that may need to be done. Before getting into any treatment, the first step is to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. The most important thing is to create a positive listening environment for the child. The school and classroom should are a perfect setting where the child will have any problem in listening. There is no sure set of treatment method for this disorder. The treatment should be more specific, personalized and deficit specific. A treatment plan which may be successful and effective for a child suffering from this disorder, may not work for another child. Treatment plan for APD should be accurate. It is completely based on the careful diagnosis of an audiologist. The treatment focuses on three major areas like changing the communication or learning environment, remediation of the auditory deficit and to compensate the disorder, it is necessary to recruit high order skills.
The main purpose of changing the learning and communication environment is to give the child an environment that has better access to auditory presented information. There are electronic devices that help to improve the attention on the message. The teacher needs to be more specific in delivering the information so that it will help the child to concentrate. The child suffering from this disorder should strengthen central resources like problem solving skills, attention, memory, language and cognitive skills. This will help to a great extent in overcoming this auditory disorder. There are treatments available to address the specific auditory deficits. One on one training given by a therapist helps in a better way. Computer assisted treatments are also available in improving auditory deficit. There are many home based programs that help children who suffer from APD. These programs are normally tailored to meet out the specific needs of a child. Some children may even require attending therapy sessions at local clinic and in school based on the severity. Parents should first understand that there is no one treatment plan that will suit all children. Every case is different and each child will require a different treatment plan. The frequency, type and the intensity of the therapy is normally individualized for the specific type of auditory processing disorder. Some children may have residual degree of the disorder even after taking treatment while some children will grow out of the disorder and experience amelioration. But with proper and appropriate intervention, it is easy for a child to learn to become active participants in their own learning, listening, and communication skills.
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