There are five basic types of auditory processing disorder, each defined according to varying symptoms. In most cases, Auditory Processing Disorder does not present the same manner in each individual child and is usually a combination of problems affecting speech production, language processing, and attention to sound. The severity of each type of this disorder can vary greatly from child to child. Children with Auditory Processing Disorder have problems with processing all sorts of information and are extremely distracted. Most children with this disorder have a difficult time maintaining focus on one activity at any given time.
One of the main symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder is the ability to hear sounds that cannot be heard by the unaided human eye. This is a problem because it means that they will have trouble attending to and focusing on educational or social activities that require them to pay close attention to detail and therefore limit their symptoms. Children who suffer from this disorder often have problems with hearing things that other people can hear, and even people with normal or good hearing may struggle to understand what the child is saying. Children with auditory processing disorder will most often focus on only two or three sounds at any given time and may struggle to focus on noises more than six or seven.
Another symptom of Auditory Processing Disorder is the ability to feel the presence of other people while they are not around. This means that a child with Auditory Processing Disorder has a hard time ignoring or avoiding noisy environments. Children with Auditory Processing Disorder have a hard time blocking out background sounds or turning off television or radio stations. Children with Auditory Processing Disorder can even be completely unaware of what is going on around them, leading to the conclusion that they are awake but do not know it. Children with Auditory Processing Disorder may become extremely sensitive to their environment and can even become overly sensitive to the smallest details or events in their daily lives.
Some of the most common symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder involve classroom behavior. Children with Auditory Processing Disorder are normally extremely sensitive to their classmates’ sounds and can become extremely quiet when classmates speak to them. Children with Auditory Processing Disorder have a hard time focusing when learning new things in the classroom and may often accidentally skip class because they are focused on what they are hearing rather than listening to the teacher. As a result of their attention span is very short, children with Auditory Processing Disorder frequently misread or misunderstand instructions.
Children with Auditory Processing Disorder also have problems with processing information that is presented verbally. For example, if the child is asked a question by his or her teacher, the child with Auditory Processing Disorder might misinterpret the question as talking about things that don’t make sense to them. To compensate for this problem, some children with Auditory Processing Disorder learn to repeat back what the teacher says, repeating the information several times until he or she understands what is being talked about. Other children with Auditory Processing Disorder might even substitute another response for the question, such as asking another child what he or she meant by something. Children with Auditory Processing Disorder almost always lack the ability to read and compose their thoughts, leading to the constant need to ask people to repeat themselves or clarify what they mean.
If you believe that you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder, it is important to consult with a medical professional so that tests can be completed to determine if the condition is indeed present. Proper diagnosis can help lead to a long and healthy life, but proper treatment is equally important. Although there is currently no known cure for Auditory Processing Disorder, there are several different ways to treat it, including medications, therapy and chronic ear infections.