If your child has trouble focusing or following conversations, APD could
be the culprit - and it's more common than you think
OTTAWA, Dec. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - One of the most agonizing situations for a
parent is knowing that something is wrong with your child but not
knowing how to fix it or who to turn to for help.
Most of us have heard of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD), autism and cerebral palsy, but another neurodevelopmental
disorder—auditory processing disorder (APD)—is relatively unknown; a
surprising fact given that APD affects an estimated 2-3% of children in
Canada and recent research suggests that it is more common in adults
and seniors than originally thought.
So what is auditory processing disorder? Put simply: APD affects the way
the brain interprets the information the ears hear. Left untreated, the
negative effects of APD can have lifelong consequences.
"One of the biggest challenges is that the behaviours and characteristics
of APD are so similar to other disorders like, for instance, ADHD:
difficulty listening and reading, short attention span, anxiety, memory
problems, etc." explains Dr. Chantal Kealey, Audiologist and Director of Audiology and
Supportive Personnel at the Canadian Association of Speech-Language
Pathologists and Audiologist (CASLPA). "It's important to note that APD is not related to one's level of
intelligence; and, contrary to what you might expect, many people with
APD have normal hearing."
Canadian Guidelines on Auditory Processing Disorder in Children and
Adults: Assessment and Intervention were released today by the Canadian Interorganizational Steering Group
for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CISG), a consortium of
professional associations, provincial regulatory bodies and university
programs. The guidelines provide a framework for working with
individuals with this disorder.
The way and degree to which APD affects someone is entirely unique,
which means that assessment, treatment and management of this disorder
must be tailored to each individual.
"The way the brain interprets information is different from person to
person. Some people with APD have trouble determining where a sound is
coming from, for others, the sounds they hear become garbled," explains Kealey. "As a member of CISG, CASLPA is confident that these guidelines will shed
light on APD and help ensure that this disorder is managed in a
consistent way across Canada."
In some cases, stroke, a head injury or chronic ear infections may be
possible causes for ADP; however, in many cases, there is no known
cause. And, while there is no cure for APD, the good news is that it
can be treated. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists can work
with individuals to re-train the brain to interpret auditory
To ensure that testing is reliable and results are valid, assessment of
APD is not typically done until a child reaches approximately 7 years
of age. However- it is important to reach out to a health-care
professional if you suspect that APD may be present.
We encourage parents and caregivers concerned about a child's
communication development, or anyone experiencing communication
difficulties themselves, to seek help. For more information about APD
or to find an audiologist or speech-language pathologist in your area,
please visit www.speechandhearing.ca.
CASLPA, with over 6,000 members, is the only national body that supports and
represents the professional needs of speech-language pathologists,
audiologists and supportive personnel inclusively within one
organization. Through this support, CASLPA champions the needs of
people with communication disorders. Visit CASLPA at www.caslpa.ca or learn more at www.speechandhearing.ca.
The Canadian Interorganizational Steering Group for Audiology and
Speech-Language Pathology (CISG) is a consortium of speech-language pathology and audiology provincial
regulatory bodies, professional associations and university programs.
The group is working together to coordinate the development of practice
standards and guidelines and, to this end, will release documents
SOURCE: Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA)
For further information:
Cynthia Waldmeier, CASLPA Public Affairs
Telephone: 613-233-8906 /613-894-2128 (cell)