Kids with autism spectrum disorder can frequently have auditory processing problems. But symptoms of auditory processing disorder overlap with attention deficit disorder. How can parents tell the difference?
School children with central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) have difficulty understanding what is said to them, but will usually pass a hearing test. They are often labeled at school with poor listening skills, difficulty focusing, hyperactivity disorders, language disorders and attention problems.
Let’s talk about whether these symptoms point to attention deficit disorder or auditory processing disorder.
Your child may not process sound correctly or hear subtle differences in words. Kids will have a disconnect between what they hear and how the brain understands the information.
Kids with APD do not have a hearing problem. However, they do not move sound through their central nervous system correctly.
Teachers and family members may even believe the child has a learning disorder.
(APD) auditory processing disorder can look like:
- child has a hard time telling the difference between similar sounds- more so in loud versus quiet environments (auditory discrimination).
- confused by background noise in social situations and noisy environments,
- loud noises in the home and school (ie..hum of the air conditioner) are distracting
- delayed language development
Chronic ear infections
Childhood illnesses (chickenpox, flu, etc.)
Pregnancy issues (gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, premature birth)
Other medical conditions
The evaluation process will start with an audiologist talking with parents and reviewing a list of symptoms. They will also communicate with the child’s pediatrician to make sure a medical condition has been ruled out. The audiologist will perform specific tests and a speech language pathologist will perform an evaluation also.
An early diagnosis with appropriate intervention can help children differentiate sounds, create listening strategies and provide other modifications for academic success.