Frequently Asked Questions

Why are good hearing and auditory processing skills important for a child?

Children depend on their hearing to develop speech and language skills and apply auditory meaning to letters for reading words. When a hearing loss or auditory processing deficit occurs, no matter the degree, there can be a significant impact on the child’s education, development and self-esteem.

What is the difference between hearing and auditory processing?

Hearing is the physical ability to detect sound while auditory processing is what the brain does with the information that is heard. It is important to keep in mind that even a child with normal hearing will pass a basic hearing screening/evaluation, but could still have abnormal listening skills.

What academic problems might my child have if they have an APD?

Depending on the area of deficit, problems may occur in reading, spelling, writing, following directions, attention, and behavior.

How can you determine if a child does have APD?

There are many psychological and speech/language tests that can indicated a generalized Auditory Processing Deficit. Also, a child's specific auditory characteristics can be a fairly reliable indicator.

However, only a licensed audiologist–utilizing calibrated audiometric equipment and specific auditory processing tests in a sound protected environment–can fully diagnose or rule out APD.

Is my child ready for an APD evaluation?

APD is most easily diagnosed at seven years of age or older but can be screened as early as age five years.

Diagnosing an APD requires approximately two hours of testing. This means that your child's cooperation is essential for a successful test. Dr. Steed has extensive experience in working with children of varying abilities. Several breaks will be provided.

Results are most reliable for children who do not have severe hearing loss, cognitive deficits, or behavioral challenges. Dr. Steed will consult with parents on a case-by-case basis to prevent unnecessary or unhelpful testing.

Why does the test take 2-3 hours?

An APD evaluation is a comprehensive test including many subtests. The evaluation includes a complete hearing evaluation, tympanometry, middle ear muscle reflexes, otoacoustic emissions, speech in noise testing, Buffalo Model auditory processing subtests, SCAN-C, Dichotic Digits, and others as determined by case history and test results.

When do I find out the results of the test?

On the day of the APD testing, after a brief break, Dr. Steed will review the test results with you and create a treatment plan based on the results. A customized treatment plan must consider your child's deficits, a family's availability, and the family's budget to be successful. Dr. Steed will collaborate with you to determine what combination of formal intervention (auditory processing therapy) and informal intervention (home-based programs) will work best for your family.

What do all of those tests tell you about my child's listening abilities?

Auditory processing is more than just asking, "Can you hear me now?" Once it is determined that a child has normal hearing, there are several different auditory skills that must also function normally in order to be able to understand what is heard.

The APD testing will look closely at all of the auditory processing skills used to understand speech: sound detection, sound discrimination, localization of sound, auditory attention, word discrimination, auditory closure, auditory synthesis, auditory analysis auditory association, and auditory memory.

What is the best course of action for someone diagnosed with APD?

Regardless of the age group, it is imperative to obtain therapy to overcome and cope with APD. Therapy to improve or resolve the auditory processing deficits can be facilitated by a trained Audiologist, Occupational Therapist, or Speech Pathologist who specializes in APD treatment.

Success of therapy depends on the severity of the diagnosis and the age of the patient. Therapy is very successful in children through the mid-teen years, before the brain becomes rigid and less accepting of new processes.

Informal therapy may also be recommended

Typically, how long is the therapy for someone diagnosed with APD?

The duration of therapy depends on the severity and age of the patient. A typical therapy regimen can be as little as a few months to several years depending on the specific needs of the patient.

A customized plan is developed after the initial assessment. To create an effective therapy plan, the parent should be involved in establishing obtainable goals.

What kind of results can one expect from therapy?

In some cases, full resolution can be achieved. However, expectations vary widely depending on the severity of the APD, age of the patient, other associated problems and lifestyle and motivation for improvement.

What are some common misdiagnoses?

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) can be easily misdiagnosed as:
  • Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder
  • Behavioral Disorder or Learning Disability
  • Language Disorder
  • Dyslexia
  • Depression

Does health insurance typically cover treatment/therapy for APD?

Many insurance companies recognize APD as a medically treatable disorder and will cover testing and therapy. Full coverage depends on your plan and status of your deductible.

Please use the following codes to obtain a quote from your insurance carrier regarding your coverage. The ICD-10 code (diagnosis code) most commonly used is H93.25 (Impairment of Auditory Discrimination) and the CPT Codes (procedure codes) for assessment are 92557, 92620, 92621 (x 8), 92588 and 92570. The CPT code for treatment is 92507.

Do you think your child will benefit from an APD evaluation?

Dr. Steed can diagnose APD and work with you to create a treatment plan for your child.