Struggling to hear in a noisy environment? You may be suffering from auditory processing disorder

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), also known as Central Processing Disorder, is a hearing disorder that affects the way that sound is processed and interpreted. People suffering from this disorder typically struggle to recognise differences in sounds, find it difficult to create order to sounds, and to block out competing background noise when following a conversation. This disorder is most common in children, but also affects adults.

The symptoms experienced by each patient varies, making it difficult to diagnose. The only way to know for sure whether your child, or yourself, is suffering from APD, is through a battery of tests conducted by an audiologist. This includes a hearing assessment as it is important to exclude a hearing loss.

By monitoring your hearing abilities, a diagnosis can be made early to commence with the correct treatment.

If you suspect that your child may be suffering from this disorder, the earlier it is diagnosed, the better. We can conduct tests at Dr Tanja Beeton Audiologist to help determine whether you are suffering from APD. Through a combination of school, home, and professional therapies and strategies, people suffering from Auditory Processing Disorder can lead a normal life.

Some known charateristics of Auditory Processing Disorders:

Although difficult to detect, these are some of the prevalent symptoms visible in patients suffering from Auditory Processing Disorder:


  • Misinterpretation of questions or comments
  • Confused by instructions
  • Struggles with distinguishing between different sounds
  • Slow or delayed response to questions
  • Seems to be listening, but not taking in information
  • Finds it difficult to express themselves
  • Trouble with studying and spelling
  • Cannot follow a conversation if there is background noise


Although an audiologist is responsible for the evaluation and diagnosis of a patient suffering from APD, speech and language pathologists are also involved in the process to determine the levels of auditory processing that are affected. Speech and language therapy may help the patient to function better in everyday conversations and learning environments.


To further assist the patient in leading a normal life, there are technological devices that can be recommended. These include hearing aids, as well as FM systems which are perfect for use in a classroom environment. Due to the growing volume of awareness and research on ADP, there are now also several computer programmes available to help patients train their brains in distinguishing between sounds.


To find out more about Auditory Processing Disorder, and how you can cope with it, feel free to make an appointment with Dr Beeton.




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