Programs to help adults with auditory processing disorder

Help for adults with auditory processing disorder.

 - Self paced programs for all ages.
 - Improves listening and reading.

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Auditory Processing Disorder In Adults

How APD Impacts All Aspects of Life & What You Can Do About It

What Is Auditory Processing Disorder In Adults?
Many adults assume that difficulty hearing is due to hearing loss, where in fact, there may be an auditory processing difficulty. This diagnosis generally occurs where an audiogram comes back as "normal" and yet the patient reports hearing difficulty, particularly in social situations.

Auditory processing disorder in adults can be also defined as a deficit in the processing of auditory information, or a listening problem not explained by hearing loss. For an adult, auditory processing disorders may lead to or be associated with difficulties in higher order language, listening, reading, learning, and communication functions.

APD Characteristics in Adults

A hallmark deficit often associated with auditory processing disorder in adults (and children) is difficulty listening in the presence of background noise or reverberant environments. Other commonly reported issues include:

  • Lack of music appreciation
  • Difficulty following conversation on the telephone
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Difficulty following long conversations
  • Difficulty taking notes
  • Difficulty learning a foreign language or technical information where language is novel or unfamiliar
  • Social issues—difficulty “reading” others/pragmatic communication issues
  • Spelling, reading, writing issues

The auditory nervous system appears to become less flexible with age, meaning that processing conversation, especially with background noise can be increasingly challenging.

Pinpointing the incidence and prevalence of APD in adults is complex, as there is no common definition of the disorder and there is no agreed upon test battery. In addition, it is impossible to know how many patients have presented with APD only to fail to be identified by the standard audiologic assessment.


Treatment For Auditory Processing Difficulties in Adults

While there are environmental modifications -- such as using FM systems -- available, the most exciting opportunity is direct treatment, taking advantage of brain plasticity, the ability of the brain to improve processing skills at any age.

Recent research in brain plasticity has been incorporated into auditory training programs such as Fast ForWord software, provided by Gemm Learning. Fast ForWord can significantly improve processing speed and related working memory skills, to help listening in all noise backgrounds and to help reading.
Fast ForWord for adults