Auditory Processing Evaluations
Auditory processing is the term used to describe how your brain recognizes and interprets sounds. It is when this process is somehow disrupted that a disorder is present. (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder [(C)APD] affects the brain's ability to process or interpret auditory information correctly. (C)APD can impact all individuals, adults and children.
Being able to hear and recognize sounds properly is important for speech and language development and learning. It's important that individuals, especially children, be evaluated as soon as they show signs of a possible auditory processing issue. The (central) auditory processing evaluation is a comprehensive test used to evaluate if the brain is having difficulty processing auditory signals.
Symptoms of a (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder
(Central) auditory processing disorder can look different in each individual. Symptoms of the disorder are almost always worsened by noisy or highly stimulating environments.
Here are some possible symptoms of APD:
- Difficulty listening in background noise
- Difficulty following multi-step directions
- Difficulty with reading and spelling
- Difficulty recalling or retelling stories
- Slow or delayed responses to verbal information
- Frequently appearing as if daydreaming or not listening
- Frequently appearing frustrated or confused in noisy places
- Frequently requiring repetition of verbal information
- Frequently asking “what?” or “huh?”
Requirements for (Central) Auditory Processing Evaluation
Although young children may demonstrate behaviors which may make them suspect for (C)APD, a child must be at least 7 years old in order to be a candidate for an auditory processing evaluation. In addition, the child should have normal (or near normal) IQ, should not have significant speech/articulation deficits, speak English fluently, and have normal (or near normal) hearing sensitivity. (C)APD testing typically follows or is performed concurrently with evaluations by the school psychologist, special education personnel, and/or the speech language pathologist.
(Central) auditory processing disorder can be difficult to live with, both for the person with the disorder and the people in their lives. An auditory processing evaluation will not solve the problem, but it can give insight as to why the individual may be having problems at school, home, or work. The evaluation can provide guidance for the professional to help develop strategies and recommendations to lessen the impact of the disorder and help the individual succeed at school, at work and in other situations.
(Central) Auditory Processing Evaluation
The purpose of the auditory processing evaluation is to identify any area(s) of auditory processing weakness and to provide information to the educational team and/or to other professionals to assist them in planning personalized remediation programs.
An auditory processing evaluation begins with a through case history and assessments of the child’s hearing sensitivity, middle ear status, and outer hair cell function in the cochlea. The auditory processing portion consists of a battery of tests designed to assess several auditory skills. The auditory processing evaluation is performed in a sound treated booth, and it takes approximately two and a half hours to complete all components of the testing.
An auditory processing evaluation consists of a battery of tests designed to assess several key auditory functions as outlined by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). The auditory skills targeted in our evaluation include:
- DICHOTIC LISTENING – BINAURAL SEPERATION evaluates the ability to listen to a message in one ear and ignore a competing message in the other ear
- DICHOTIC LISTENING – BINAURAL INTERGRATION evaluates the ability to listen to different messages in each ear and process what is heard in both ears
- TEMPORAL PROCESSING evaluates the ability to sequence and discriminate gaps in non-speech stimuli
- AUDITORY FIGURE GROUND evaluates the ability to process speech in the presence of noise
- AUDIORY CLOSURE evaluates the ability to fill in missing portions of the auditory signal and recognize the whole message
After the results of the evaluation have been analyzed, a report will be written summarizing the findings and outlining recommendations and strategies to assist in remediating the auditory deficits.