Frequently Asked Questions

My audiologist told me that I have normal hearing. Why can’t I hear?

Most people who struggle with auditory processing disorders have normal hearing when measured on an audiogram.   Auditory processing deficits occurs when there is a breakdown along the auditory pathways from the ear to the brain.  This then interferes with understanding speech under some conditions.  If you think there’s a hearing problem, there likely is a hearing problem even if the audiogram shows normal hearing! 

What are common signs of an auditory processing disorder for young children?

There are many!  We’ve listed a few common signs below.

  • Sensitivity to loud or unexpected sounds
  • Difficulty learning nursery rhymes or songs
  • Difficulty listening and understanding speech when there are other noises 
  • Some speech articulation errors, often too mild to qualify for speech therapy 
  • Slow to learn phonics and difficulty discriminating between similar sounding words 
  • Difficulty with sounding out when reading 
  • Difficulty retaining information learned through listening 
  • May misunderstand what is said; needs information to be repeated, often says ‘huh’
  • May require additional ‘process time’ when answering a question
  • Difficulty following multiple step directions
  • May avoid eye contact when listening because of difficulty understanding speech when it is competing with visual stimulation (“Stop moving when you’re talking to me”.)

What are common signs of an auditory processing disorder in older children and adults?

Although it is more common to be diagnosed with a (central) auditory processing disorder as a child, sometimes symptoms develop as we age or result following a stroke or head injury.   ​Symptoms that adults with auditory processing disorders often report include: 

  • Difficulty following multistep directions
  • Being a poor speller
  • Difficulty recalling lists of information, such as a grocery list left at home
  • Difficulty recalling people’s names or forgetting newly learned terms or vocabulary 
  • Difficulty following conversations with friends and colleagues when more than one person is speaking
  • Difficulty learning a foreign language
  • Difficulty understanding speech in noise
  • Difficulty with reading comprehension

Can auditory processing therapy help my child’s reading?

Auditory processing is a foundational skill critical in the development of language and reading.  Children with solid auditory processing skills are better able to understand speech in a noisy classroom, identify small differences in words important for speech production and decoding, and are better able to retain what they hear and read.  

Will a hearing aid help my APD?

Recommending hearing aids for people with auditory processing disorders is a relatively new  intervention tool.  Clients with auditory processing disorders often report benefits in listening in noise when using low gain hearing aids.  Studies have additionally shown improved post-amplification scores on the Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults (HHIA), commonly used in clinics when assessing the benefits of amplification.   The use of mild gain hearing aids is only one potential tool in the intervention process.  The benefits of remediation therapy should not be overlooked. A client’s skills may grow quicker when the use of hearing aids are added to their treatment plan.  

My child’s occupational therapist offers listening therapy.  Will this help my child’s auditory processing?

Therapeutic Listening and The Listening Therapy Program are designed to strengthen neurological pathways and in doing so, may lead to improved learning and sensory processing.  Depending upon the type of auditory processing deficit, benefits may be seen in auditory skills.

At The HearingTeacher, L3C, we identify where the breakdown in auditory processing has occurred BEFORE we design an intervention program.  We then select the therapy programs that will best address your specific auditory deficit(s).  You will receive therapy in just these areas.

In order to process auditory information efficiently, an individual needs to be able to hear the information clearly, decode what was heard, retain what was decoded, organize what was retained, and perform these tasks instantaneously while listening with both ears simultaneously, often with competing information in the background.  An individual’s auditory processing ability can break down at any point along this continuum.