A lot of the children we work with have a difficulty recognizing the subtle differences between sounds, even those that are relatively clear for anyone else.
When doing a regular hearing test, a child or adult with an Auditory Processing Disorder may have a normal hearing ability, yet they do not recognize and interpret sounds as clearly and quickly as others might. The problem gets worse when there is a lot of background noise.
Generally auditory processing issues go together with developmental delays in other areas. Kids or adults with Auditory Processing Disorder often have trouble paying attention or remembering information correctly, especially when they are expected to follow instructions or directions with multiple steps.
There is often an overlap with ADD/ADHD and autism-based behavioral problems. It is therefore important to be quite careful with diagnoses, and especially with medication.
It is isolating, especially for children, not to be able to fully grasp what is going around oneself, and to get in trouble for ‘not listening’.
Depending on a person’s temperament and environment, they may come across as withdrawn, or simply shy. In such cases it may take quite a while before these underlying issues are detected. ‘Troublemakers’, those who are defiant and disruptive, are the ones who will get noticed quite a lot earlier. Unfortunately for them, though, they will often already be labeled negatively, and carry the burden of thinking they are ‘stupid’ or ‘weird’.