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Auditory Processing


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Sounds and words are detected and transmitted by our ears but they are processed into meaningful language by our brains. Our brain’s process of turning sounds into speech is called auditory processing. Auditory processing disorders frequently go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed as attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder. It is important, if you or your loved on experience any of the symptoms listed below, to rule out a hearing loss and/or auditory processing disorder.


 
 

An individual’s ability to understand speech seriously influences and impacts our quality of life. The symptoms of an auditory processing disorder are:

  • Difficulty localizing sounds.
  • Having to ask others to repeat what they have said.
  • Experiencing difficulty understanding others, especially in noisy environments.
  • Having the feeling that, even though things are loud enough, they are still unclear, making it difficult to understand.
  • Difficulty understanding and following someone who speaks quickly.
  • Difficulty following verbal directions or commands.
  • Difficulty learning songs, nursery rhymes or a foreign language.
  • Difficulty paying attention or are easily distracted, especially in noisy settings.

If you believe you, a family member or friend might be experiencing an auditory processing issue, here are some steps to consider:

  • Have your hearing tested by an audiologist to rule out a hearing loss.
    Hearing tests are covered by Medicare, if ordered by your physician, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans. It is difficult to know the type and degree of hearing loss, and if medical intervention is an option, without a hearing test by an audiologist.
  • Schedule an auditory processing evaluation with an audiologist.
    A comprehensive medical and educational history and a specific battery of tests can be completed to detect auditory processing disorders.
  • Discuss your communication difficulties with your physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant at your next visit.
    Your healthcare provider can then refer you for a hearing test with an audiologist.
  • Complete a Hearing Handicap Inventory.
    If you score the inventory and find a handicap, discuss these results with an audiologist or your healthcare provider.

Resources related to auditory processing:


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