Signs of Auditory Processing Disorder

auditory processing disorder symptoms

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), refers to a child’s ability to manage what he or she hears.  APD makes it difficult for the individual to process and use auditory information. Many of the symptoms of APD overlap with ADHD as well as learning and language disorders.   APD can negatively impact a child’s ability to interact with people, learn, and concentrate.

It is important to use a multidisciplinary approach to fully understand the cluster of problems associated with APD.  This being said only an audiologist can make the diagnosis of APD.

The Child Institute has compiled a list of symptoms associated with Auditory Processing Disorder.


  • Difficulty following directions

  • Frequent requests to repeat information

  • Trouble distinguishing between similar-sounding words

  • Lack of focus, especially in noisy surroundings

  • Impaired memory for nursery rhymes or song lyrics

  • Struggling with reading, spelling, speaking, or rhyming

  • Mixing up the order of sounds in words or numbers in a sequence

  • Inability to follow conversations

  • Trouble expressing thoughts and feelings clearly

Treatment of APD is highly individualized and there is not one treatment that is appropriate for all children with APD.  Speech-language therapy is the most common intervention used to treat Auditory Processing Disorder.  During speech-language therapy the child works on improving their skills in distinguishing, remembering, and sequencing sounds.  There has been little research to support the effectiveness of this intervention, however, going without treatment can negatively impact a child’s self esteem and growth as the child could struggle to keep up with their peers.  Educational therapy is another intervention that is helpful for children with APD.  Educational therapy helps children develop strategies to compensate for skills deficits.  These strategies can help children learn how to manage frustration, compensate for areas where they struggle, and play to their strengths.

 As always, feel free to contact In-Home Speech Solutions if you have questions or concerns we can help answer. 


Bellis, T. (2004) Understanding Auditory Processing Disorders In Children. Retrieved from

Quick Facts on Auditory Processing Disorder. Child Mind Institute. Retrieved from

Jennifer Price M.S., CCC-SLP Lead Speech-Language Pathologist & Owner