Auditory processing disorder, also known as the central auditory processing disorder, is a hearing problem which can affect children. About 5% of school-aged children have this disorder, interfering with the way their brain recognizes and interprets sounds such as speech. These children cannot hear the same way as their peers because their ears and brain are not fully coordinated. It is important to treat this disorder as soon as possible, as the right therapy can help to avoid developing speech and language delays in the future. There are many possible causes, such as head trauma, lead poisoning, and chronic ear infections.
Auditory Processing Disorder Symptoms
Children with this disorder can hear sounds normally; however they face difficulties differentiating between sounds in words. This problem tends to occur when there is loud background noise, making it difficult for them to understand what is being said amidst all this noise. Many people confuse this disorder from the learning disability known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This is because both disorders share similar symptoms, which include being easily distracted by loud noises, being disorganized, lost in conversation, or experiencing difficulties when reading, writing, spelling, or speaking. Children with the auditory processing disorder tend to perform and behave better in quieter environments.
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms listed above, have an audiologist test them for a potential diagnosis. These hearing specialists look for five main problem areas in children with this disorder. These included auditory figure ground, auditory memory, auditory discrimination, auditory attention, and auditory cohesion problems. For auditory figure ground problems, this is when the child has difficulty paying attention when noise is present in the background. Auditory memory problems are when simple instructions, such as directions, cannot be remembered. Auditory discrimination problems exist when the child has problems hearing differences between words or sounds that are similar to one another. Auditory attention problems are when the child gets easily distracted and is unable to finish their task or requirement. Lastly, auditory cohesion problems are when the child has difficulty with higher-level listening tasks such as from conversations. When testing the child, it is recommended that they are at least 7 or 8 years of age which is the common age for a diagnosis.
As a parent, it is important to know how to assist your child with their disorder. To improve their sense of sound and communication skills, a speech-language therapist or assistive listening device is an excellent option. At home, reducing background noises, speaking slowly, and using simple sentences when you are speaking can help communicate directions in a clearer manner. By making eye contact and asking the child to repeat directions, you are ensuring that the child is paying attention to you and comprehending what is being said to them.
The Canadian government recognizes the challenges faced by a family unit with a member who has auditory processing disorder and has incentives in place to reduce their tax burden. At Disability Credit Consultants we specialize in obtaining disability credits for individuals and families supporting members with auditory processing disorder disabilities. If you are supporting a family member who has auditory processing disorder you may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit. There are several steps involved in claiming the credit, and certain conditions need to be met.
Call Disability Credit Consultants at 1-855-752-0288 to find out more.