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How SCT Helps Children with Auditory Processing Disorder

How SCT Helps Children with Auditory Processing Disorder

Children with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), can leave their teachers, parents, and even therapists scratching their heads wondering what is wrong? Where is the breakdown? These children will often slip through the system without getting the help they need because they are seen as inattentive or “not trying.”

What is Auditory Processing Disorder?

APD is an auditory deficit that interferes with how the brain processes spoken language. It is neurologically based, meaning that the way the central nervous system processes auditory input is atypical. Children with APD have hearing that is adequate yet, they still have difficulty processing verbal instructions, filtering out background noise, and telling the difference between similar speech sounds.

In a classroom, these children will have trouble with information that is presented orally. They have difficulty learning to read. Remembering what they hear and following directions is a challenge. They may look like they have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) because of their difficulty in attending to a task.

SCT’s Approach to Auditory Processing Disorder

Symptoms of APD can easily be misdiagnosed or overlooked. SCT combines our clinical expertise and training to administer the appropriate diagnostic tests that evaluate a child’s receptive and expressive language. These results will often reveal difficulties with APD. Our therapists combine the test results with information and reports from the child’s school and home that provide a framework for therapy intervention and referrals for further APD testing.

Once we have all of the diagnostic information, we are able to develop a comprehensive therapy plan that addresses specific APD goals specifically designed for each client. Our therapists work one on one with each client to increase auditory processing and are able to identify appropriate strategies that will improve auditory processing for each child in their home and school environments.

How is Auditory Processing Disorder Diagnosed?

The actual diagnosis of APD must come from an audiologist who will administer a variety of tests that require the listener to attend and respond to differing signals, recognize order and patterns of auditory signals, and make sense of incomplete auditory information.

Even though the actual diagnosis comes from an audiologist, a multidisciplinary team approach is needed to fully understand the individual child’s issues. Critical information from a speech-language pathologist, the child’s teacher, psychologist, and audiologist give a complete view of how the child is impacted by APD.

A comprehensive evaluation by a speech-language pathologist will help to pinpoint areas of difficulty in your child’s language processing and determine if an APD evaluation is needed. If you are concerned about the possibility of your child having Auditory Processing Disorder, talk with your pediatrician, who can help guide you to the appropriate resources.


How common is Auditory Processing Disorder?
About 5% of the school age population is affected.

At what age can Auditory Processing Disorder be diagnosed?
Due to brain development and growth, testing for APD is typically not done until a child is 7-8 years old.

How do I know if I should seek help?
If your child is having difficulty with:

  • Maintaining attention in class
  • Remembering information
  • Hearing the difference between similar sounding words/sounds
  • Staying focused while others are speaking

An evaluation by a speech-language pathologist knowledgeable in the area of APD, can help sort out the causes and determine if a full APD evaluation is warranted.

Does insurance cover Auditory Processing therapy?
If your insurance covers speech therapy, it should cover APD therapy as well. Check with your insurance for details on your specific plan.

About the Author

Lisa Hamblin, M.S., CCC-SLP

Lisa Hamblin, M.S., CCC-SLP

Lisa has worked with kids since her days in college coaching gymnastics for children 3-13.  Lisa is stimulated by watching children learn and succeed “their inner light shines so bright” she says, and it's this passion that serves as the foundation of SCT's mission to support and enrich the lives of children.

Lisa's therapy focuses on a child's specific needs and personality; a strategy that makes therapy feel more like play and less like work. Her specialties include autism spectrum disorders and advanced training in early speech and language development. Her training and experience with children birth to three years gives her a deep understanding of how to help children at any age. When Lisa founded SCT, she made training in birth to 3 years a requirement for all therapists as part of her effort to provide the best therapy possible for every child.

At home, Lisa has had the opportunity to guide the development of her own children – ages 17, 15, and 3. She finds relaxation in physical activities like running and rock climbing. This summer Lisa's oldest daughter will join her “on the rock” for the first time.


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