skip to main content

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

Also called central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), APD is a hearing problem that affects 3%–5% of school-aged children. Children with APD have difficulty eliminating background noise and environmental distractions to interpret specific sounds, especially speech. They also have difficulty receiving, maintaining and using information presented orally. 

Since the auditory system isn’t fully developed until age 14, many children diagnosed with APD can develop better listening skills over time as their auditory system matures.

Currently, APD’S cause is unknown, though it may be linked to chronic ear infections, lead poisoning, seizure disorder, premature birth or head trauma.  Sometimes, there can be more than one cause or an unknown (idiopathic) cause.

APD is not the result of higher-order, more global deficits, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), intellectual disabilities or similar impairments. However, it may co-exist with ADHD, ASD or other disorders. 

Only through careful and accurate diagnosis can APD be determined. It is important to note that:

    • Not all learning, language and communication deficits are due to APD. 
    • Though a multidisciplinary team approach is needed to understand APD-associated problems, an audiologist must make the diagnosis.
    • Treatment is highly individualized. No one treatment approach is appropriate for all children with APD.

Read more about treatment for Speech & Language Disorders at CFI…



Stay in Touch