Is Auditory Processing Disorder Affecting Your Child With Autism in Special Education?

Does your child with autism struggle to understand verbal information? Do you sometimes think that your child must not be listening enough, because they always mix up verbal directions? Have you heard of Auditory Processing Disorder and wonder if your child has it? This article will be discussing APD, diagnosis and possible characteristics of this disorder.

It is important to understand that many disabilities have Co Morbid conditions that may occur with them. For example: a child with Autism may also have Sensory Integration Disorder, ADHD, learning disabilities and also Auditory Processing Disorder. By having knowledge of all disabilities that a child has, you will be able to advocate for appropriate needed special education services.

Auditory Processing Disorder is the inability to attend to, discriminate among, or understand auditory information. Language is developed by children by listening. When auditory skills are weak, the child may experience auditory overload; which makes learning much more of a challenge.

Also much of school learning is done verbally, which puts the child with this disorder at a terrible disadvantage!

Here are a few characteristics and symptoms of APD:

1. Has normal hearing but has difficulty in the reception (receiving) and interpretation of auditory information. Trouble making sense of what he or she hears.

2. May have difficulty staying on task.

3. May look around for visual cues, since they do not understand directions.

4. Responds fairly well in quite situations but may have great difficulty listening in noisy environments.

5. May have difficulty telling the difference between words that sound familiar.

6. May have difficulty remembering information in the order it was said?

7. May be visually alert.

8. May perform poorly on tests requiring verbal language information.

9. May have difficulty working independently.

10. Inconsistent performances.

If your child is showing some of these signs, you may refer them to your special education personnel in your school district, for an Audiological evaluation. Most school districts do not have Audiologists on staff, so they would have to pay for the evaluation for you to take your child to a private Audiologist (if they agree of course-though some hearing officers have given parents Independent Educational Evaluations at public expense, if the school district refuses to evaluate a child in all areas of suspected disability).

A complete Audiological evaluation includes all of the following:

1. Referral

2. Case History

3. Complete Audiological Evaluation

4. AP test battery

5. Results of whether the child has the disorder; and any recommendations for needed special education services or equipment.

Use this information to refer your child for an evaluation if you think that your child may have this disorder. Auditory processing Disorder negatively affects a child’s education, but with appropriate special education services and equipment, your child can continue to learn and have a bright future!