Auditory Processing Disorders
Auditory processing disorders (APD) can be observed in both children and adults. Simply put, these are disorders in which the person appears as if they have a peripheral hearing loss but have normal hearing on the audiogram, or pure tone test. People with auditory processing disorders may have deficits in processing of auditory information in a number of ways: they may have difficulty listening when background noise is present, difficulty with “filling in” missing auditory information, problems with combining information between the two ears (called dichotic listening), and issues with the timing of auditory information, just to provide a few examples. These types of problems may result in the listener struggling to hear in less than optimal situations, not being able to understand non-native speakers of their language, and struggling with people who speak rapidly, among other deficits. Auditory processing disorders can be the result of a developmental delay, a disorder of the central auditory nervous system (e.g. related to a head injury or illness), or a “wiring” issue thought to have a genetic component.
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