If you have concerns, you shouldn’t wait to have your child’s hearing tested. With newborn hearing screening, most children are being diagnosed with hearing loss almost immediately. However, newborn hearing screening does not rule out late-onset, fluctuating or progressive hearing loss. If a hearing loss isn’t properly identified, a child may experience a number of different problems such as academic failure, speech and language delays, cognitive delays, behavioral problems or social isolation.
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a complex problem affecting about a small percentage of school-aged children. These children can’t process the information they hear in the same way as others because their ears and brain don’t fully coordinate. Something adversely affects the way the brain recognizes and interprets sounds, most notably the sounds composing speech.
Children with APD often do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words, even when the sounds are loud and clear enough to be heard. These kinds of problems usually occur in background noise, which is a natural listening environment. So children with APD have the basic difficulty of understanding any speech signal presented under less than optimal conditions.