The mushrooming scientific knowledge base
that underpins the
identification and management of auditory processing disorders (APD) in children,
has brought with it a flurry of Web activity.
In a climate of increasing certainty among
speech and hearing professionals that APD is a valid diagnostic entity
(Jerger & Musiek, 2000) extensive information
for consumers has been developed, and chat
and listservs for general
discussion have blossomed.
As well, several comprehensive overviews
explain why definitions have been refined in recent years,
and why the "c" for "central" in the older,
more familiar term, CAPD, is gradually disappearing.
Contemporary research reveals the complexity of auditory
processing disorders in children (Ferre, 2001). Affected children may have
understanding the speech signal when background noise is present, in
understanding degraded speech, in comprehending verbal instructions, or in identifying
and discriminating between speech sounds.
An APD diagnosis may reflect "central" issues where cortical functioning of the
brainstem, hemispheres or corpus callosum is compromised.
Alternatively, difficulties may be occurring at the level of more peripheral
structures such as the cochlea mechanism and the auditory nerve. Or there may
be a mix of the two, possibly complicated by specific language
impairment (SLI), language processing difficulties,
pragmatic issues, attention
and problems with
The role of the audiologist is to rule out
and to accurately identify the nature of the auditory processing
breakdown and the level
at which it is taking place.
will say that the results of in-depth language
assessments by speech-language
pathologists provide vital clues in pinpointing why these individuals with
normal hearing sensitivity find it so difficult to make sense of
auditory information. Fifty or more APD articles and documents
available on the ASHA web
site (go here, enter the
search criterion CAPD in the search box, and click 'go') attest to the
extensive collaborative research occurring between audiologists,
speech-language pathologists and educators.
APD and school
The functional implications of APD in the classroom
and other school
situations, and for language learning and literacy are far-reaching (Pulaski
& Moskow, 1996), providing a cheerless segue
to Webwords 15, and an interesting selection of literacy links.
J.M. (2001). Complex, not complicated: Understanding children’s
auditory processing disorders. IDA Northern California Branch, 4-6
Jerger, J., & Musiek, F. (2000). Report of the Consensus
Conference on the Diagnosis of Auditory Processing Disorders in
School-Aged Children. Journal of the American Academy of
Pulaski, M. & Moskow, S.
(1996). Central Auditory Processing Difficulties (CAPD) The
Effects on Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking with Elementary
and Middle School Children.
Paper presented at the 43rd Annual Conference of the Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher
Educators. Charleston, SC.
overview for the clinician
Auditory Neuropathy Info Page
CAPD and auditory neuropathy
Child Neurology Home Page
Management at School
National Coalition on APD
New directions in auditory processing