I just found an interesting article about Rosie O’Donnell and her son who has an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). APD is when an individual’s brain has difficulty identifying, filtering, and interpreting sounds. Children with APD typically have difficulty attending, following directions, having conversations, and can also be sensitive to loud sounds and large busier group settings. I have often treated children who are mislabeled as having ADHD or ‘attention problems’ due to these difficulties whereas they really have Auditory Processing problems amongst other Sensory Processing difficulties.
At schools, children are often told to ‘pay attention,’ ‘listen,’ or ‘be a good listener’ however in reality these children are listening…..they just struggle to hear and make sense of auditory information ‘right.’ Here is an interesting post by a young woman of ‘What it’s like to have an Auditory Processing Disorder?’
Raising awareness about APD with teachers, parents, and medical professionals is key so that these children can get the right support versus being treated incorrectly or labeled as having a behavioural problem. Therapy using a Sensory Integration approach combined with an Auditory Training program (e.g. Therapeutic Listening, Listening Program, etc) have been helpful for many children with APD.