There are many types of auditory processing deficits, and because each child is an individual, APD may manifest itself in a variety of ways. It is important to look at the whole child in order to fully assess and understand the cluster of problems exhibited by children with APD. This requires pulling information together from multidisciplinary sources.
Prior to your child’s evaluation, you will need to complete and return a case history along with questionnaires so that your child’s medical history, developmental milestones, and any observations and concerns can be reviewed. You will be asked to send records of any previous testing your child may have had from psychologists, psychoeducational evaluations, or speech-language pathologists, along with any academic concerns from your child’s teacher. This information is integral to the APD evaluation in order to determine cognitive skills, receptive and expressive speech and language abilities, as well as listening and learning behavior.
Comprehensive APD evaluations are performed by our audiologist
The actual diagnosis of auditory processing disorder must be made by an audiologist with specialized training in utilizing a series of tests to evaluate the central auditory nervous system. Auditory Processing Evaluations usually take 3-4 hours. This is followed by a 1-2 hour counseling session in the afternoon to go over results and recommendations and demonstrate things with the child. Parents receive a typed summary of the findings and recommendations on the same day. This immediate feedback lets them know what can be done to help their child and be able to provide their child’s school with any recommended accomodations. A full report is then sent about one month later. Our reports are very detailed with comprehensive, individualized recommendations and are typically around 25 pages long,
APD screenings are not recommended
Only a full evaluation by an audiologist can truly rule out an auditory processing disorder. There are several commonly utilized screening tests that may be useful in determining the need for an APD evaluation, but these instruments do not address all areas that encompass APD. There are a number of different types, areas, or categories of auditory processing deficits that can lead to what we call APD. As such, assessing only one or two areas of auditory processing is not sufficient for evaluating the entire scope of auditory processing disorders. The specific area(s) in which the auditory processing deficiencies exist must be identified to determine the most appropriate treatment. Relying on screening instruments often results in APD being overlooked.
Sometimes tests used by professionals from other disciplines incorporate the terms “auditory processing” or “auditory perception,” but they do not assess the same skills tested in an APD evaluation. While this information can be helpful to understand the child’s overall strengths and weaknesses, none of the tests used by these professionals are diagnostic tools for APD.
Treatment recommendations are individualized
There is not one cure-all method of treating APD. No matter how successful a particular therapy approach may have been for another child, it does not mean it will be effective for your child. The key to appropriate treatment is an accurate and careful diagnosis by an audiologist specializing in auditory processing disorders.