Auditory Processing â€“ Hearing With Your Brain Did you know that we actually hear with our brains? Of course our ears are an essential part of the process but it is our brain that translates sounds to meaning. The ears collect sound waves and convert the acoustic energy to electrical impulses for the brain to interpret. In cases of hearing loss there is damage to the ear which alters the message the brain receives. The brain only gets a partial signal. For these patients we use hearing aids to help the brain fill in the gaps of missing information. Some individuals have normal hearing but still cannot translate sound correctly. These individuals have what we call an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). In these cases the ear itself is healthy (undamaged) but the wiring between the ears and brain is faulty so the brain receives a distorted or jumbled signal. Individuals with APD behave as though they have hearing loss (see common characteristics) even though they score within normal range to tones on a hearing test. APD affects children (5-10% of school aged kids) and adults. Typically for children an auditory processing problem is noticed between ages 6-12, as the child begins to struggle in school. APD is less common in adults but is usually identified following a stroke or head injury. In many ways APD resembles ADHD in the classroom and in fact the two often co exist. However they are two very different disorders that need to be managed individually. An audiologist can diagnose APD through a series of tests done in a sound treated booth, and will work with other professionals (teachers, education specialists, physicians, speech language pathologists) and parents to fully understand the academic and The Hearing and Balance Lab, PC 425-225-2626
social impact of the child’s APD to create an individual treatment plan. Audiology Concepts (Burnsville location) is one of the few clinics in MN to provide diagnostic APD evaluations and recommend appropriate treatment. Visit our website www.audiologyconcepts.com or call for a free APD packet for more information. Common Characteristics of APD: • Saying “huh” or “what” often • Asking for repetitions • Misunderstanding words • Extreme difficulty hearing in background noise • Difficulty following multi-step directions • Difficulty localizing to sound • Poor auditory memory • Reading and spelling difficulties Visit our website to know more on xxxkeywordxxx.
The Hearing and Balance Lab, PC 425-225-2626