What is an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)


Why is listening so hard?

APD is a dysfunction of the auditory system, which significantly undermines the ability to make sense of the sounds which you hear. It undermines auditory attention and comprehension and can make communication difficult. APD can undermine your ability to disentangle meaningful sounds like speech from background noises, particularly in noisier environments like the average classroom. Because this disorder undermines comprehension of speech, it also undermines your capacity to keep up with peers at school (or work) or reach your potential.

APD can delay speech and cause significant fatigue particularly if you are really trying to listen to those around you. APD may be caused by a failure anywhere in the auditory system. Those with APD may appear to be less intelligent, lazy or inattentive.

APD undermines the comprehension of speech and other sounds. Some can hear perfectly but struggle to interpret or understand speech, particularly if is indistinct or under noisy conditions.
Causes of an APD include:

  • Physical trauma such as a difficult birth or an accident involving a mild traumatic brain injury.
  • Suffering or emotional trauma such as the loss of one’s natural mother for those adopted.
  • Significant or chronic anxiety.

Symptoms of an
Auditory Processing Disorder1

  • Reliance on other senses (ie visual-spatial learners)
  • Delayed speech, acoustic confusion b, d, g, p, t & k
  • Speech – too loud or soft, monotony
  • Delayed written language or maths
  • Poor attention or distractibility
  • Overloads easily, non-compliant, emotional
  • Tend to be loners
  • More extreme behaviour (males) ie class clown
  • Increased promiscuity (females)
  • Higher incidence of delinquency
  • Actively avoid noisy social situations
  • Tendency to become increasingly isolated
All ages
  • “He never listens”
  • Low self esteem

How can Listening therapy help?

The main aim of our programs is to improve the way in which your brain processes sound. Making our programs a sensible first choice of therapy for anyone with an APD.
For Evidence: See research for the demonstrated capacity for Dynamic and Integrated Listening Therapy to help those with APD.

1. Bellis, Teri, When the Brain can’t hear, Atria Books 2002

Who can it help?

Our programs are designed to help those who overload and under-perform in daily life. Most listen poorly and many have a learning difficulty, but this is not obvious in brighter clients. Many also appear lazy, but often have to work harder than others to keep up. So, they tend to get discouraged, become anxious or have low self-esteem. Many lack creativity and find it difficult to express their thoughts. Balance, movement and hand-eye coordination is often more difficult than it should be.

Test online how you perform!