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Auditory processing disorder is a condition that affects the brain's ability to process sounds in the normal way. Patients find it difficult to locate the origin of the sound or differentiate between similar sounds. Speech recognition is poor too especially if there's background noise or more than one person is speaking. They also have difficulty in remembering instructions.
Auditory processing disorder affects people of all ages. Children with auditory processing disorder exhibit problems at a young age or it may become noticeable later in life.
The exact cause of the disorder is not known. It may be genetic. The condition is often associated with brain damage resulting from head injury, stroke, brain tumor or meningitis. The risks of developing the condition increase with age.
There's currently no cure for auditory processing disorder, and treatment is limited to control and management of the disorder.
Auditory training is recommended for training the brain to analyze sound. It involves a range of tasks, such as identifying the origin of sounds or focusing on speech amidst background noise. The tasks can be modified according to individual requirements.
Changes at home or school include improving room acoustics. Eliminating interference, such as television or radio can help the patient to focus. Use of audio-visual aids can enhance performance at school as well.
It may be useful to educate your peers, teachers, and family about the hearing problem. Request them to speak clearly and slowly while addressing the patient. The patient should be encouraged to maintain eye contact with the speaker and ask for repetition and clarification without any hesitation.
Most patients learn to manage the difficulties arising from the disorder through experience and with help.
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