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Evaluations for Auditory Processing Disorder

IMG_2730.jpgThe hearing evaluation, or hearing test, is the foundation upon which a comprehensive assessment of a patient's hearing profile is compiled.  

Auditory processing is the term used to describe how your brain recognizes and interprets sounds. It is when this process, despite normal hearing acuity, is disrupted that a disorder is present. An auditory processing disorder (APD) affects the brain's ability to process or interpret auditory information correctly.

After other issues, such as hearing loss, developmental or behavioral disorders have been ruled out, an auditory processing evaluation can be done to determine if a person has an auditory processing disorder. This comprehensive testing is used to evaluate if the brain is having difficulty processing auditory signals.

Being able to hear and recognize sounds properly is important for speech and language development, social development and learning. It's important that individuals, especially children, be evaluated as soon as they show signs of a possible auditory processing issue.

Auditory processing disorder presents differently for each person.  Symptoms of the disorder are almost always worsened by noisy or highly stimulating environments.

Here are some possible symptoms of APD:

  • Difficulty listening in background noise
  • Difficulty following complex oral instructions
  • Varied responses to auditory stimuli
  • Easily distracted, impulsive and frustrated when too much noise is present
  • Short auditory attention span; easily tired during required listening activities
  • Appearance of day dreaming or not listening
  • Verbal requests are often met with “huh,” even after several repetitions
  • Difficulty with reading and spelling

Requirements for auditory processing evaluation:

Prior to an auditory processing evaluation, other evaluations and tests should be done to rule out common disorders and abnormalities. Children who show symptoms of APD should also be at least seven to eight years old, as it is difficult to accurately evaluate younger children.

The success of an APD program for children or adults is dependent on a clinician’s experience in this area.  Dr. Davis has many years of experience and has contributed to the knowledge base of the profession through publications and innovations (

Recommendations for APD are varied and can range from formal auditory listening therapies to practical, low-cost solutions for our patients.  Dr. Davis has experience working with pediatric APD and writing recommendations supporting and improving a child’s particular needs, in the classroom and in everyday listening.