Causes of Auditory Processing Disorders

Young girl wearing headphones while having her hearing examined by an audiologist

Effective communication has two key components: First, the ears must be able to hear spoken words, and second, the brain must be able to recognize and interpret the sounds that were heard. Auditory processing disorders (APDs) interfere with the brain’s ability to convert those sounds into usable information.

Because an undetected APD can hinder communication and take away from quality of life, an early diagnosis is critical. The pediatric audiology specialists at Hearing Smile Professionals in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, perform comprehensive APD evaluations using highly tuned and calibrated hearing instruments in a soundproof room. The results can help us rule out or diagnose an APD and, if needed, create a customized therapy plan to manage it.

Are APDs the Same as Hearing Loss?

Distinct from hearing impairments, APDs are neurological issues that cause a delay or distortion in the transmission of auditory signals, leading to a poor ability to filter sounds and process words. Although the resulting communication problems are often misattributed to hearing loss, most children with an APD have normal hearing and typical audiograms.

The causes of auditory processing disorders are not fully understood, and in many cases, a specific cause cannot be identified. However, some children who are diagnosed with an APD also have or had:

  • A family history of APDs
  • A premature or traumatic birth
  • A history of ear infections
  • An extremely high fever at a young age
  • Jaundice (hyperbilirubinemia)
  • A concussion or traumatic brain injury

The Importance of Early Detection and Treatment

ADP therapy differs from speech-language therapy, and the right type of intervention is essential to effectively address the underlying cause of a child’s listening and learning problems. Any child who has difficulties understanding speech, remembering what they heard, and/or tolerating noise may benefit from an APD evaluation.

If you are a parent or teacher of a child who is exhibiting signs of an APD, contact Hearing Smile Professionals to schedule a comprehensive auditory processing disorder evaluation in Lancaster, PA. We can provide the personalized guidance and support your child needs to overcome their APD symptoms, regain their confidence, and succeed—even in challenging listening environments.

“When I met Dr. Elliot, she was really helpful and she gave me all kinds of tips and she gave me hearing devices that have helped me in school and upped my grades… I’m getting work done faster and it’s not that hard to focus and it’s easier to do work…. [Therapy] has helped me a lot with my memory and doing stuff in life and school... It’s hard at the beginning, and it’s a long drive but it pays off in the end.”

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“When I met Dr. Elliot, she was really helpful and she gave me all kinds of tips and she gave me hearing devices that have helped me in school and upped my grades… I’m getting work done faster and it’s not that hard to focus and it’s easier to do work…. [Therapy] has helped me a lot with my memory and doing stuff in life and school... It’s hard at the beginning, and it’s a long drive but it pays off in the end.”

“Every experience I've had, from start to finish has been a positive one. You have all gone over the top to make this experience kind, positive, and enjoyable… thank you, you are very much appreciated. ”

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