What is Auditory Processing Disorder?
Auditory processing disorder (APD), a neurological condition also known as central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), affects the brain’s ability to process auditory input, making it difficult to understand speech, follow oral instructions, or distinguish speech in noisy environments. APD can affect the functions to refine, analyze, modify, organize information that our ears send to the brain. More specifically, these functions include:
- Discriminating Auditory Stimuli (telling different sounds apart)
- Temporal Processing (deciphering gaps and rates of speech appropriately)
- Binaural Processing (separating and integrating different signals from each ear at the same time)
- Sound Localization (telling where a sound is coming from)
- Understanding speech with background noise or when the speech signal is not clear.
The disorder can affect anyone but is estimated to appear in as many as 5 to 7 percent of school-age children, according to the Auditory Processing Disorder Foundation, with boys diagnosed twice as often as girls.