Auditory Processing Disorder? What’s That?

girl with headphonesWe had a diagnosis from an audiologist, but I still wasn’t 100% certain my son really had this Auditory Processing Disorder thing. I finally became convinced when I went to a presentation about APD. Every parent in attendance had variations of the same stories. One woman said, “I observed my daughter’s gym class, and she didn’t run when the coach told them to. She waited until she saw everyone else running, then took off behind the pack.” Yes! That was my son exactly. “We couldn’t use the vacuum when he was little,” someone else said. “For us it was the blender,” I volunteered. “My kid screamed when we turned it on.” For the first time in my mothering life, I was with other parents who understood.

Auditory Processing Disorder is “a neurological disorder in which a person has difficulty properly interpreting sounds received by the ears.” (medterms.com) APD is not a hearing problem. The ears take in everything, but the brain has trouble sorting it out. Imagine trying to carry on a conversation in a crowded restaurant full of chatter, where the background music is too loud, you’re right next to the kitchen and  the clink of dishes is echoing, plus there’s construction work going on outside. Imagine trying to do your homework there. Imagine these distractions making up the bulk of your day, every day.  That’s APD. To read what it’s like from someone who experiences it, take a look at the following blog post: “Living With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder.

For parents and educators who would like to learn more about this condition, the Columbia Public Library will be hosting a program titled “Auditory Processing Disorder in Children” on Monday, January 14, at 6:30 p.m.  Audiologist Dr. Lisa Guillory, AuD will share information on diagnosing and assisting kids with APD.

For those who can’t make this session, or for those who can and still want additional information, the following books might be helpful:

For more resources on Auditory Processing Disorder, see our catalog list.

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