How is an auditory processing disorder typically diagnosed?
Audiologists and other professionals often use screening questionnaires to determine if a child is showing signs of APD. Screening questions, such as how often the child asks “huh” or “what,” and how often they ask for instructions to be repeated, are designed to gauge how well children are absorbing what they’re hearing. Dr. Bea Braun, founding audiologist at the Auditory Processing Center, feels the questionnaires are a good starting point, but children’s academic performance in the classroom is often a bigger clue.The first step to evaluating a child for an auditory processing disorder is checking their hearing. Dr. Braun begins with a full hearing assessment to make sure both ears are healthy and hearing is balanced in both ears. Once she has ruled out an issue with the child’s hearing, she assesses for processing using a wide variety of listening activities. The child will hear tonal patterns, pitches, and sentences that are spoken very quickly or warped. Dr. Braun’s goal is to determine exactly where the processing issue is occurring, so she can recommend the best accommodations for the child.
For more information about auditory processing disorders, see Auditory Processing Disorders: What You Need to Know.