Who is a Candidate?

Auditory processing evaluations are most often performed on school age children although many adults are also tested. In order to be diagnosed with auditory processing disorder a child needs to be at least 5 years old.  However, early weaknesses in auditory processing skills can be identified in children as young as age 3. Since the brains of children this young haven’t matured enough to process a lot of complex information, fewer materials are available for this age range but some tests provide normative data in children as young as age 3.

Early intervention is critical. This is well documented in children with hearing loss, and young child children showing early signs of struggling to understand spoken language or remember what is heard can benefit from activities to promote listening skills and stimulate language development. Auditory Processing Center believes that intervention for children showing weaknesses in listening skills should not be delayed based on a child’s young age. Many techniques used in auditory-verbal therapy and in auditory training in infants and young children with hearing loss can be very beneficial. There are activities that can be performed at home as well as many apps to promote listening skill development.

The child should have normal or near normal hearing test results. If only a hearing screening has been performed, the child will need a full audiological evaluation including acoustic reflexes, acoustic reflex decay, and otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) prior to being seen for an APD evaluation.  Some tests can be administered to individuals with hearing loss, but for a full APD evaluation an individual needs to have normal pure-tone thresholds.

The child should have normal intelligence (IQ) or scores within a normal range on a nonverbal screening of cognitive functioning. This is because tests are developed and normed on groups of people with normal range IQ’s and valid score interpretation can be problematic if a child’s IQ does not fall within this range. However, some tests are appropriate for individuals with cognitive delay. Referrals are considered on a case by case basis for children with IQ scores falling below the normal range based on individual circumstances, needs, and abilities.

Children with speech articulation errors can still be evaluated, but different assessments are often used so that tests can be scored accurately. We talk the way we hear, so persistent articulation errors when the child has been receiving speech-language therapy is a big red flag that the child is not perceiving speech sounds correctly.

The child’s attention skills need to be within an average range, or if the child has ADD/ADHD it needs to be effectively managed with medication.  It is important to be confident that poor performance on the APD test battery is truly reflecting your child’s auditory processing skills. Listening is an active process that requires attending to and focusing on things of interest while dismissing things of less interest. If an attention deficit is suspected, your child’s auditory attention skills may be screened prior to administering the APD battery.   Auditory Processing Center also utilizes some tests that compare your child’s scores in noise to his/her own baseline of performance in quiet conditions.  When interpreted as part of a full test battery, these assessments are resistant to the effects of attention.  Therefore, in children with suspected attention deficit, a reliable APD evaluation can still be obtained.

  • Up to 43% of Children with Learning Difficulties Have Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
  • 25% of Children with Learning Difficulties Have APD and Dyslexia
  • Auditory Processing Center, LLC
    541 Highway 80 West
    Suite C
    Clinton, MS 39056
    Phone: (601) 488-4189
    Fax: (601) 488-4888