A series of tests are performed to diagnose auditory processing disorder. Assessments to diagnose APD evaluate:
- Peripheral auditory system
- Binaural integration and separation
- Temporal patterning
- Auditory closure
- Auditory figure-ground discrimination
- Binaural interaction
- Language processing assessment
Before any of these tests are performed a standard hearing test is done to make certain the hearing is not impaired.
The tests used can identify the specific areas of difficulty, including diagnosis of one or more of the 5 subtypes of APD. Once the areas of difficulty are identified, an appropriate course of treatment can be planned.
Diagnosis Under Age 7
The American Audiology Association has a minimum age of 7 years old for a full assessment of auditory processing disorder. The tests required only have comparable data in this age group, and a certain maturity of the auditory system is required for them to be accurate.
However as with any challenge, early intervention is the key. At Auditory Processing Centers we can work with parents and provide a professional evaluation based on symptoms. This evaluation can give us an indication if auditory therapies would be beneficial. We do not diagnose under the age of 7, but this screening process can mean positive results for a struggling child without requiring a full diagnosis.
APD Testing for Autism Spectrum Disorder
APD and autism are often co-morbid; diagnosis of APD can help identify effective therapies for positive improvement. At Auditory Processing Centers we specialize in APD diagnosis for individuals on the autism spectrum. We work with the child to complete the testing process easily and effectively. In addition, auditory therapies that we use to improve the APD can often help improve other symptoms of autism.
It is common for a child with APD to have other difficulties that are beyond the scope of an audiology assessment. In those cases we will refer out for additional evaluations. This may include:
- Speech language pathologies for speech and language assessment
- Educational psychologist for psycho-educational assessment
- Occupational therapist for proprioceptive, vestibular and sensory assessments
- Behavioral optometrist for visual processing assessment