APD Evaluations

auditory processing therapy

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, typically conducted the same afternoon, to thoroughly discuss the test results and recommendations.  Demonstrations of hearing assistive technology and practical ways to facilitate listening skill development are also provided when needed.  Parents receive a typed summary of the test results and primary recommendations the same day.  This immediate feedback empowers parents with a concrete plan of action and enables them to promptly share results with their child’s teachers. Following this, a detailed and individualized report, approximately 25 pages in length, is sent approximately three weeks later, providing a comprehensive overview and personalized recommendations.

APD screenings are not recommended

Only a full evaluation by an audiologist can truly rule out an auditory processing disorder. Several commonly utilized screening tests may be useful in determining the need for an APD evaluation, but these instruments are not very sensitive and do not address all areas that encompass APD. Several different types, areas, or categories of auditory processing deficits can lead to a diagnosis of an auditory processing disorder. 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 auditory processing deficiencies exist must be identified to determine the most appropriate treatment. Relying on screening instruments, which do not test each of these skills, 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. Quite often these subtests are measures of language comprehension or language reasoning and not assessments of auditory processing. While this information can help understand the child’s overall strengths and weaknesses, none of the tests used by these professionals are diagnostic tools for APD.

Learn more about the specific skills assessed in an APD evaluation.

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.

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