National Coalition of Auditory Processing Disorders

What is APD?

Auditory Processsing Disorder (APD) is a neurological defect that affects how the brain processes spoken language. This makes it difficult for the child to process verbal instructions or even to filter out background noise in the classroom.

There's no clear agreed-to definition of Auditory Processing Disorder, but there seems to be agreement on these points: 

     There is a breakdown in receiving, remembering, understanding, and using auditory information.
     Hearing ability is adequate.
     There is a neurological basis.
     The child’s ability to listen is impaired.

A child with Audiory Processing Disorder can often have the same types of behavioral problems as a child with ADD. It's easy to see, however, that using the techniques appropriate for an ADD child will not be very effective with a child suffering from auditory processing issues, who can have very specific auditory skills needing to be developed.

  • Checklist of Behaviors Seen in Children with APD

    Listening (noticed for a period of time)

    Mishearing/discrimination problems

    Problems following directions

    Problems attending to oral messages

    Distracted by background noises

    Poor organization of verbal material

    Oral and written expression problems

    Remembering what they hear

    Learning to read

    Common Signs of Learning Disabilities

    The good news about learning disabilities is that scientists are learning more every day. Their research provides hope and direction.

    If parents, teachers, and other professionals discover a child's learning disability early and provide the right kind of help, it can give the child a chance to develop skills needed to lead a successful and productive life. A recent National Institutes of Health study showed that 67 percent of young students who were at risk for reading difficulties became average or above average readers after receiving help in the early grades.

    Parents are often the first to notice that "something doesn't seem right." If you are aware of the common signs of learning disabilities, you will be able to recognize potential problems early. The following is a checklist of characteristics that may point to a learning disability. Most people will, from time to time, see one or more of these warning signs in their children. This is normal. If, however, you see several of these characteristics over a long period of time, consider the possibility of a learning disability.


    • Speaks later than most children
    • Pronunciation problems
    • Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word
    • Difficulty rhyming words
    • Trouble learning numbers, alphabet, days of the week, colors, shapes
    • Extremely restless and easily distracted
    • Trouble interacting with peers
    • Difficulty following directions or routines
    • Fine motor skills slow to develop

    Grades K-4

    • Slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds
    • Confuses basic words (run, eat, want)
    • Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including letter reversals (b/d), inversions (m/w), transpositions (felt/left), and substitutions (house/home)
    • Transposes number sequences and confuses arithmetic signs (+, -, x, /, =)
    • Slow to remember facts
    • Slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization
    • Impulsive, difficulty planning
    • Unstable pencil grip
    • Trouble learning about time
    • Poor coordination, unaware of physical surroundings, prone to accidents

    Grades 5-8

    • Reverses letter sequences (soiled/solid, left/felt)
    • Slow to learn prefixes, suffixes, root words, and other spelling strategies
    • Avoids reading aloud
    • Trouble with word problems
    • Difficulty with handwriting
    • Awkward, fist-like, or tight pencil grip
    • Avoids writing assignments
    • Slow or poor recall of facts
    • Difficulty making friends
    • Trouble understanding body language and facial expressions

    High School Students and Adults

    • Continues to spell incorrectly, frequently spells the same word differently in a single piece of writing
    • Avoids reading and writing tasks
    • Trouble summarizing
    • Trouble with open-ended questions on tests
    • Weak memory skills
    • Difficulty adjusting to new settings
    • Works slowly
    • Poor grasp of abstract concepts
    • Either pays too little attention to details or focuses on them too much
    • Misreads information
    Website Builder