Auditory Processing Disorder is a hearing condition. It is not hearing impairment per se; it is the lack of coordination between the auditory senses and the brain. As a result, what is heard is not precisely what was said. It is hard for such people to make out the words with small sound differences; for example, they might confuse raise with gaze as they sound somewhat alike.
Children and APD
While it can affect people of all ages, it tends to start early in the childhood. If it is not caught well within time, it can lead to learning disabilities and difficulties in children. Their academic performance in the school gets compromised, which leads to other complications like stress, inferiority complex etc.
However, an early diagnosis can help counter this problem. Hence, if you feel that your child may be struggling with school and is not particularly able to understand things being said, talk to the best child specialist in Karachi.
It is important to know that the children are very much able to hear things being said to them in a relative quiet environment. It is when the setting is noise with a lot of background that comprehension becomes harder for them. Therefore, to ascertain your preliminary finding, experiment accordingly.
APD and auditory skills
People suffering from APD have many auditory challenges. There are certain auditory skills that they have a hard time processing.
One is their Auditory discrimination, in which people have difficulty telling apart separate sounds. As they cannot distinguish between them, their comprehension is also not accurate.
In Auditory figure-ground discrimination, people are not able to properly hear in noisy situations due to which their understanding is contingent on their surroundings. This can be very limiting for them.
Another area of struggle for the patients is auditory memory, in which remembering what they heard is a big challenge for them. Short- and long-term recall, both is weak in such people.
Furthermore, they also have a hard time understanding the sequence of the sounds and words, also known as auditory sequencing. Without this order, it is not possible to understand or make correct sense out of what is being told.
In auditory cohesion problem, the tricky conversations like riddles or the implicit words are not properly understood by the people.
Causes of APD
The exact causes of auditory processing disorder are unknown; however, certain things increase the risk for this disorder. Some diseases and conditions can lead to this disorder. These include ear infections, lead poisoning, meningitis, nervous system disorders like multiple sclerosis.
Moreover, premature babies are also at risk of this disorder. Trauma to the head can also result in APD.
Some people are genetically predisposed to it, as it can run in families.
Symptoms of APD
Often, problems with hearing also lead to issues with understanding and also speaking. People, especially children suffering from APD struggle with reading and words, generally. Their pronunciation is often incorrect as well, as they tend to not say the alphabets at the end of the words.
Moreover, APD also leads to inability to follow and understand conversations. Due to their inability to understand speech, they have to frequently ask others to repeat themselves. Hence, social settings can be very hard on the people suffering from APD.
It also leads to them misunderstanding what is being said, as the phonetically close words are hard to distinguish for them.
Furthermore, they are not able to quickly respond to the questions posed to them, as they take time understanding the speech. APD also causes people to not remember the things that were said.
Auditory processing disorder also causes concentration and attention problems. Naturally, it is very hard to focus when you are simply not understanding things.
Hence, children with APD tend to lag behind in the classes, as the set of instructions in the classrooms are beyond their scope. Furthermore, if the classroom is very noisy or it’s group activity that involves too many people to talk simultaneously, children with APD have a hard time following through.
Playgrounds and social activities therefore may be a daunting prospect for them as the background noise is far too much for them to be able to properly understand.
This disorder affects their perceptions as well; people with APD are unable to make out where the sound is coming from.
Needless to say, things like music are very hard for them to make out and learn.
While APD is not a hearing disease, it poses all sorts of other problems that can be minimized if the child is timely taken to the best child specialist in Lahore. It can preserve their self-esteem and can also help them cope better with this condition.