Auditory processing disorder

Skills That Can Be Affected by Auditory Processing Disorder

By The Understood Team

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Auditory processing disorder (APD) can affect a wide range of skills in language and learning. How does this play out in your child’s everyday life? Here are the underlying skills that can be affected by APD.

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Skills That Can Be Affected by Auditory Processing Disorder

Auditory processing disorder can aaffect a number of everyday skills—from remembering names to learning to read.

Auditory Discrimination
The ability to notice, compare and distinguish between different and separate sounds.
• Learning to read
• Distinguishing the difference between similar sounds (like seventy and seventeen)
• Understanding others’ speech, especially if the speaker is talking with an accent or in an unfamiliar dialect
• Picking up on subtleties like sarcasm and other information often conveyed through tone of voice
• Hearing and listening on the phone

Auditory Figure-Ground Discrimination
The ability to pick out important sounds from a noisy background. Picking up on important sounds inthe midst of background noise
• Staying focused on verbaldirections
• Pinpointing which direction a sound is coming from

Long- and Short-Term Auditory Memory
The ability to remember something heard very recently or in the not-too distant past.
• Remembering people’s names
• Memorizing telephone numbers
• Following multi-step verbal directions
• Recalling stories or the lyrics to songs

Auditory Sequencing
The ability to understand and remember the order of sounds and words.
• Remembering the correct order of a series of verbal instructions
• Following lists presented orally
• Working accurately with multi-digit numbers (not confusing numbers like 47 and 74) when they are spoken aloud without an accompanying visual cue
Graphic of Skills That Can Be Affected by Auditory Processing Disorder
Graphic of Skills That Can Be Affected by Auditory Processing Disorder

About the Author

Understood Team Graphic

The Understood Team is composed of writers, editors and community moderators, many of whom have children with learning and attention issues.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Joanne Restivo

Joanne Restivo, Au.D., is an audiologist in Newport, California, and a former assistant professor at Columbia University Medical Center.

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