What is auditory processing disorder (APD)?
APD is an auditory disorder that affects how the brain understands auditory signals. It is characterized by poor recognition or discrimination of speech sounds. It is not the result of a higher-order, more global deficit such as autism, mental retardation, attention deficits, or similar impairments, but can coexist with one of these deficits. (asha.org)
When should my child be tested for APD?
If your child has difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, following directions, and discriminating (or telling the difference between) similar-sounding speech sounds, an Auditory Processing evaluation may be in order. APD can have symptoms similar to other higher functioning deficits. Therefore, referral to other specialists may be recommended. The materials used to test for APD are developed for use with children who are aged 7-12 years old. Screenings can sometimes be performed as early as age 5.