Auditory Processing Disorders cannot be adequately and definitively diagnosed until a child is around seven. Auditory processing skills grow over time and specific abilities do not fully develop until approximately seven years of age. In addition, many of the tests used to diagnose APD require a certain level of cognitive maturity to adequately assess the child’s abilities in these areas.

In addition to the resources listed in Part 1 of this article, here are some places that offer evaluation services for speech language disorders and the diagnosing of APD:

  • Private Practice evaluation centers
  • Nonprofit social service organizations
  • Hospitals with speech and language departments
  • Universities with speech, language and audiology clinics.

Your child’s pediatrician can be helpful in locating the necessary services. Also, The American Speech – Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) has a listing of professionals in your area. You can also contact the ASHA directly at 1-800-638-8255 or www.asha.org.

If you believe your child is experiencing difficulty in auditory processing, APD testing is not the first test to have. A multidisciplinary assessment is necessary to determine the functional impact of the disorder and to guide treatment and management of APD and associated difficulties. First a hearing evaluation, followed by a speech-language evaluation will be necessary. The Speech-Language Pathologist is qualified to delineate the cognitive-communicative and /or language factors that may be associated with APD. Not all speech –language pathologists have the same background and expertise. Confirm with the evaluator that they have experience and evaluating, diagnosing and treating children with auditory challenges and APD. In addition, cognition testing by a psychologist may be required as part of the full assessment. After these results are evaluated, the recommendation may be to test for APD.

Testing for APD must be done by and audiologis,t but not all audiologists perform APD testing. It is important to find an audiologist with the necessary expertise. When contacting these professionals, whether they work in a doctor’s office, private practice or hospital setting, be sure to confirm that they perform APD testing. For information regarding audiologists in your area you can contact the American Academy of Audiology 1-800-AAA-2336 or www.audiology.org.

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