Auditory Processing Disorder

Auditory Processing Disorder is a brain-based deficit. It is characterized by an insufficiency in the ability to process, remember and recall information received through both the ears and written language.  It can, and often, occurs in people with perfectly normal hearing. It is not a problem with the ears.

Does my child have Audio Processing Disorder?

It is not difficult to know which children have Audio Processing Disorder. It is usually quite evident if you know what to look for. A child with Audio Processing Disorder or APD will struggle with verbal instructions, especially if more than one step is dictated.

“Go to your room. Get your socks, your shoes and your jacket. Let’s go to the store”

They may walk into their room, struggle to recall the other commands, and begin playing with their toys. Then mom has to go find them. “Why didn’t you come back? Now get your socks and shoes so you can hop in the car”. They may go to their dresser and grab their socks, but stall after that or go straight to the car without their shoes.

As they enter school, they will start to struggle with processing the teacher’s multi-step commands. They may grasp the sounds of the letters, but struggle when they have to sound out words with more complicated phonics.

Because Audio Processing Disorder affects their storing and retrieving written language too, some develop reading disabilities and often get diagnosed with Dyslexia or Dyscalculia. Click here to read more about Auditory Processing Disorder Symptoms.

There is Intervention.

Unlock Brilliance MethodWe like to start with the Unlock Brilliance exercises and activities. This helps to eliminate remaining Primitive Reflexes, what we call the ‘trouble makers’, and helps you make sure their sensory processing is up to par. They won’t make much progress until it is.

Next, we recommend a book that we really like by Dianne Craft titled “Brain Integration Therapy Manual”. It focuses on exercises and activities that build better connections and information sharing in the brain. It has a section especially for Audio Processing Disorders. Dianne published this herself, so there are some typos. But, it shares a wealth of knowledge that she has gained by working with Special Education children for more than 20 years.

If the child still struggles after these little interventions, see a specialist. Occupational Therapists have great exercises and interventions for APD.

Super Important Nutrients for APD

Lecithin and Fish Oil are very important nutrients for the brain. In fact, they are the building blocks for neurons. As you stimulate their brains to grow more connections, be sure it has the proper nutrients to do so. We give them to our children before or while they are doing the exercises.

It is important to make sure they Fish Oil is free of mercury and other contaminants. Our children love the Barlene’s brand Lemon Swirl flavored Fish Oil. It is guaranteed contaminant free and doesn’t have a fishy aftertaste. It is so good that they actually ask for more. It is a good little treat for finishing their exercises with you.

The Lecithin is just as easy to get down the pickiest kids. We buy it in ‘Lecithin Granules’ form and add it to the blender with some fruit and water. It doesn’t have a flavor, but blends well and makes the smoothie creamier. Kids love it.

Tip: I always buy super ripe bananas, peel them and freeze them. They add a lot of sweet flavor to any smoothie. Also, kids love straws. Mine drink it twice as fast with a straw.

Putting time in to make a difference in your child’s life is so rewarding when you see them start to do things they couldn’t previously do. Have fun with it, make it fun for them, and don’t push too hard. And enjoy this time with them.

Auditory Processing Disorder Symptoms

Auditory Processing Disorder is a neurological processing problem with sound and language. The child will struggle to process the information coming in through hearing and reading. They have normal hearing and can hear sounds just like other children, But, they struggle to comprehend, especially in noisy busy environments. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and it is often misunderstood because many of the symptoms and behaviors can correlate with other problems, like ADD. It affects about more than 5% of children. With therapy, children with Auditory Processing Disorder can be completely successful in life, and do great in school. See below for a list of Auditory Processing Disorder Symptoms:


  • Difficulty understanding Long Sentences.
  • Difficulty hearing all of the steps in a set of instructions.
  • Struggles to hear the person speaking to them when in a busy room.
  • May have been taken for a hearing test with suspicion of a hearing impairment.
  • Might catch the meaning of a sentence, but not the emotion.
  • Has problem recalling information recited to them, like a phone number.
  • Cannot repeat something back word-for-word.
  • Or, can repeat instructions back perfectly, but does not comprehend them.
  • Has to whisper sentences as they write them.
  • Keeps starting over with the ABC song when writing the Alphabet to find where they are.
  • Stops in the middle of sentences and reads it to see where they are at.
  • May have articulation problems that slow reading.
  • Can sound out a word like ‘b-a-tt-le’ but fails to see the text is talking about a battle.
  • Has difficulty fusing syllables into whole words. Choppy reading and missing syllables. Example:  Reads ‘com-pre-hen-sion’ like ‘compression’.
  • Stalls when trying to say simple words when speaking. Struggles to find the word to use.
  • Problems organizing words into a clear thought when speaking and writing.
  • Has to sound out simple site words over and over again.
  • May have been tagged with ADD, but can spend hours at LegosÒ or something done with the hands.
  • Prefers to play alone.
  • Gets easily upset at authority figures, like teachers or parents due to frustration understanding their commands and emotions.


Symptoms can vary from person to person and no two children are the same. They rarely exhibit all of the symptoms. But, just a few symptoms can inhibit their reading, attention, social skills, confidence, family relationships, behavior and much more. Your child may also display different symptoms than the ones listed above. Despite your child’s diagnosis, these interventions can make a huge difference. You should consult a professional if you suspect your child has Auditory Processing Disorder.

Click here to read more about Auditory Processing Disorder