What is Auditory Processing?

Auditory Processing is the ability of an individual to listen, hear and process the meaning of sound around them and to then be able to make an appropriate response.  

This is a multifaceted process that involves the use of numerous two-way links within the brain as illustrated in the diagram below;

What affects an individual’s ability to effectively process the sounds in their environment?

The ability to be able to effectively process sound is dependent upon;

  •  the physical ability of the ear to receive sound:

o   if there are structural defects present due to identified neurological or genetic disorders

o   an inherited difference associated with neuro diversity 

  • the degree to which the individual has learnt to listen and thus pay attention to sound

o   if the individual has suffered persistent health conditions such a glue ear or numerous ear infections during early life this may have resulted in a poor listening environment.

  • the extent of neural development available for processing sound;

o   such as the presence of a retained immature reflex profile which can affect the development of ear dominance.

What difficulties may an individual with APD experience?

An individual experiencing APD may have difficulty in some or all the following areas;

  • discriminating similar sounds from one another ie. cold vs. called
  • focusing on speech/tracking conversation when there is a lot of background noise
  • remembering/following a sequence of instructions needing constant prompting or reminding
  • understanding speech when more than one person is talking, or the person is speaking quickly or with an accent

All the above can result in the person having difficulty keeping on task, becoming easily distracted or fatigued.

You can complete our Auditory Processing Questionnaire below. The information will be submitted straight to us.