Although the presence of APD may be suspected by parents, speech language pathologists, educators, and psychologists, only an audiologist can diagnose APD. The first step in determining if an APD exists is to have a complete hearing evaluation. The audiologist will take a case history to help pinpoint areas of concern. She will then assess the eardrum and the middle ear, the inner ear, and obtain a graph of the child’s hearing ability. If the child’s hearing is determined to be normal and the case history information reveals the child to be a candidate for testing, the audiologist will complete a battery of tests to determine the child’s strengths and weaknesses. A series of tests is necessary in order to pinpoint the areas in which your child has difficulty.
APD often coexists with language processing difficulties. In order to get the most complete picture of your child’s difficulties, the audiologist will often recommend a complete speech and language evaluation by our speech language pathologist. Once the auditory and speech and language evaluations are completed, the audiologist and speech language pathologist will meet with you to discuss the test results. They will generate a complete report, including recommendations and guidelines for academic accommodations, which can be shared with your child’s teachers.
Testing for APD typically includes three test sessions of 1-1 1/2 hours each with the audiologist and two test sessions of 1-11 /2 hours each with the speech language pathologist. Due to the intensity of the testing, children under age 6 are usually too young for the testing.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Council for Exceptional Children
Information Center on Disabilities and Gifted Education
Aritcle by Mignon M. Schminky and Jane A. Baran
Department of Communication Disorders
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts