Auditory processing disorder

Auditory processing disorder (APD) is a difficulty caused by how the brain interprets sound. It is different to physical difficulties with how sound is carried through the ear into the brain.

We have found that APD becomes most obvious when a child moves into school. Before then it can appear that the child is simply distractible or impulsive which are common features of young children.

Children with APD most commonly have difficulty in understanding speech, especially in noisy environments, like a classroom. APD can also cause difficulties concentrating and reading when there is background noise. This can result in difficulties developing reading skills. As a result, children with APD tend to have special educational needs (SEN).

APD can have a varying degree of severity. In some cases, SEN additional support may be adequate, whereas in others an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be necessary. Careful assessment of the impact of the child’s needs is required to establish the necessary level of support and special educational needs advice should be sought.


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