When doing a regular hearing test, a child or adult with an Auditory Processing Disorder may have a normal hearing ability, yet they might not recognize and interpret sounds as clearly and especially not as quickly as others might.

Generally auditory processing issues go together with delays in other areas. Kids or adults with an Auditory Processing Disorder often have trouble remembering information correctly, especially when they are expected to follow instructions or directions with multiple steps.

An auditory processing disorder is isolating and stressful, especially for school going children. They may get into trouble for not being able to fully grasp what’s going on around them and what’s expected of them.

Depending on a child’s temperament and environment, the response may be one of withdrawal or shyness. In such cases it may take quite a while before anyone notices and they get help. ‘Troublemakers’ however,  those who are defiant and disruptive, are the ones who will get attention quite a lot earlier. Unfortunately for them, though, these kids will initially be labeled negatively, and  already carry the burden of thinking they are ‘stupid’ or ‘weird’.

There is often an overlap with ADD/ADHD and autism-based behavioural problems. It is therefore important to be quite careful with diagnoses, and especially with medication.

Figure this: Neurons processing sound take about a 30 milliseconds breaks before firing again for the next sound. For 80 percent of language-impaired children these breaks are at least 3 times that long, which means that they lose a lot of information. Often, they cannot hear the beginning of a syllable, or they ‘mishear’ the sound change within a syllable.