Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
Do you ever “mishear” information?
I often don’t hear the first bit when someone speaks to me. I need to LOOK at them directly…
I thought I was going deaf…until I learned about Auditory Processing Disorder. This condition often occurs together with ADHD.
This incident with my son happened last week.
I asked my son who was on his way out,
“Please bring in my walking shoes. They are in the boot of the car, in a bag. “
My son brought in my boots that were in the car boot…
I realised that this instruction was too long-winded and complicated…
And my son wasn’t looking at me when I spoke to him. His focus was on leaving the house…
I refused to feel guilty. I took this as a learning situation…
If you are a mum of an ADHD child, please understand that your child is NOT being naughty.
You need to learn how to adapt the way that you speak to your child to compensate for any hidden disabilities and challenges…
What do you think?
Do you prefer to watch rather than read?
More than one of my children has APD. I have done extensive research over the years to understand more about this condition and how to manage it. Here is some information that I have learned about Auditory Processing Disorder and most importantly some easy to implement tools to manage it.
3 Most Common Processing Disorders
There are three main processing disorders, auditory processing, visual processing, and sensory processing disorders. These are all common in those who have ADHD. These are conditions where the brain has difficulty receiving information that enters via one or more of the 5 senses, and has difficulty processing and understanding the information.
ADHD rarely occurs on its own. If your child has ADHD there is a strong probability that they may be suffering from one or more of the above processing disorders. It is vital that your child gets a diagnosis as soon as possible. The damage that can be done to your child if this condition is ignored can be life-long.
In this blog we will explore about APD, Auditory Processing Disorder in more depth.
What is APD?
Researchers still do not understand the process fully. They have found that APD related problems are connected it to the central nervous system’s ability to process auditory information.
A child who has APD can understand the meaning of what has been said. That is not the problem here. The difficulty lies in being able to turn sounds of language into words. Children with APD often suffer from comorbid conditions such as ADHD. Your child with APD is not deaf or hard of hearing. Your child can pass a hearing test and still be diagnosed with an APD.
If your child has APD please be aware they are probably working much harder than neurotypical children to understand the information that is being given over at school. They may tire more easily and get more frustrated.
At home, they may act out more than other children their age. Pay attention, if a child has APD, a lot of misbehaviour and frustration may simply simply occur due to misunderstandings. Your child is not intentionally misunderstanding or twisting around what you have said. They often genuinely have misheard/forgotten/not understood what was said.
APD is lifelong. The symptoms may lessen as the child matures, this is up to around age 15-18. However the base line difficulties stay for life. There is hope. With the right tools your child can live a successful life, just like their neurotypical peers. All they need is you, their mum, empowering them with the tools that they need to manage this condition. It is far easier than you think.
Common Signs of APD
Your child communicates to you through their behaviour. Here are some behaviours that could be a warning sign that your child may be struggling with APD:
- Finds it hard to hear and understand what is being said in crowded environments
- Gets easily frustrated when in noisy and crowded places
- Has difficulty remembering spoken instructions
- Gets unusually upset when given a consequence and claims that it is unfair
- Gets very upset because of something you have said or done, and you don’t understand why
- Often misunderstands instructions, (you sense this is not misbehaviour.)
- Finds it difficult to learn songs or nursery rhymes
- Is unable to pinpoint the source of a sound
- Has trouble following conversations
- Doesn’t enjoy listening to music
- Repeatedly doesn’t hear one part of what has been said, typically the first or last part of the sentence
- Hears the first and last part, of what was said, but doesn’t hear the middle part.
How to treat APD
APD does not go away. When managed properly, the symptoms will lessen, but the core impairment is still present. I repeat, when managed properly the symptoms will lesson. How do I know this? I have seen this happening with my ADHD children who have APD. Here are some of the tools that I have used successfully with my ADHD children to support them and empower them.
I use these tools every day with my ADHD children.
- Simplify your language. Give over information in short sentences.
- Avoid multi-step directions.
- Teach your child how to self-sooth then they get frustrated
- Ask the child to say back to you what has been said.
- Look at the child when you are speaking to them.
- Children with APD are often visual learners. Giving over information in visual format is vital.
- Teach your child how to keep their environment organised and uncluttered. A cluttered environment makes it much harder for the to listen and process what is being said.
- As your child’s mum, it is vital that the home environment is calm and uncluttered. Your child will benefit from a good routine.
- Teach your child how advocate for themselves when they need information to be clarified. Don’t expect that they know how to do this on their own.
As your child’s mum, you have a tremendous power to help your child get through this difficulty and manage it.
Get in touch with me and find out how you can empower yourself and your ADHD child. It really is easy when you know how to do it.