Learning about the environment

Does Your Child Suffer from Auditory Processing Disorder? What You Need to Know

by Marsha Hudson

At what stage should you worry about the development of your child? If you are like any parent, you tend to worry to a certain extent about everything. However, deep inside you may know that something is wrong, but you're not sure what it is. Somebody may have told you about auditory processing disorder, and you need to find out some more about this. What is it, and what should you be looking for in a young child?

Doesn't Like to Be Read to

Do you find that they shy away from you when you want to read to them? It could be that they won't sit still and seem agitated in this type of situation  and would rather be involved with a more passive activity, like playing a game. It may be that they are having trouble actually focusing on the words that you're saying, especially if there are other distractions around like, perhaps, a television playing in the background.

Loud Noises

What happens when you turn on a vacuum cleaner and your child is in the room? Does he or she cover their ears, seem agitated and may want to run into another room? This is another possible sign of this disorder, as the affected child can be really sensitive to loud sounds.

Retaining Memory

There may also be some difficulty in retaining information in the short term memory. This will be especially the case when such information or instruction is delivered orally. You might find that your child is constantly asking you to repeat what you said.

Confusing Words

Furthermore, you may find that words that sound the same present difficulties. For example, the child may start to mispronounce or confuse words like fifty and fifteen.

Gathering More Information

If you can recognise some of the symptoms, then the next step is to have a word with the teachers at school and see what they think. If they can also identify some of the signs, then get in touch with your paediatrician. Keep a note of all your observations and your discussion with the teachers and present all of this to the expert. The paediatrician may be able to take special hearing tests to make sure it's not related to hearing loss instead.

Ruling It out?

It's also possible for you to be referred to a specialist, who will then confirm the presence of this disorder or not.