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Auditory Processing Disorder In Adults

How APD Impacts Life & What You Can Do About It

central auditory processing disorder in adultsAuditory processing disorder in adults is often confused with a physical hearing difficulty. They are surprised, when an audiogram comes back as “normal” and yet they know they are not “hearing” accurately, particularly in social situations where there is background noise.

Auditory processing disorder in adults is a deficit in the processing of auditory information.  It is a listening problem not explained by hearing loss. In addition to listening, auditory processing disorder can impact reading, test taking and general day-to-day functioning.

Recognizing Auditory Processing Disorder
Many adults have had auditory processing disorder their entire lives. They may have had difficulties with reading, keeping up in class and/or listening in noisy situations, but nothing so severe that they thought have needed to take action.

That is until they need to improve their reading or test taking skills to take the next career step, or until they get older and a minor auditory processing problem grows and so has more impact in their daily lives. As we get older, the auditory nervous system becomes a little less flexible, meaning that listening and processing language, especially with background noise, is more challenging.

APD Characteristics in Adults

While difficulty listening in a noisy environment is probably the most common symptom of auditory processing disorder in adults (and children for that matter), there are other common signs of APD in adults:

  • Unusual difficulty with phone conversations
  • Difficulty following multi-step or complex directions
  • Problems multi-tasking in auditory situations, e.g., listening and taking notes
  • Challenges taking on a new language
  • Spelling, reading, writing issues

Treatment For Auditory Processing Difficulties in Adults

As we learn more about auditory processing disorder for adults and children, more accommodations are becoming available. This includes environmental modifications, like using an FM listening system.  In addition, there are corrective treatments that take advantage of the ability of the brain to improve at any age.

Our Home-Based Program

Our brain training program for auditory processing disorder in adults is Fast ForWord at home. It targets processing and other cognitive skills, such as working memory and attention stamina, which often deteriorate when processing is weak.

The program is adaptive, the idea being to exercise and improve auditory processing delays that may have always been there or in the case of older adults to roll back the clock in order to help listening and reading skills. You would work on our software for 30 minutes a day, with remote guidance from Gemm Learning professionals when needed.


Our clients report improved listening skills in noisy situations, much better reading speed and stamina, and stronger performance on exams.

“I am noticing a better memory, such as: Previously I would be at a loss for words whereas now, I find words coming. I also notice that when I speak I can hear myself better. The article stated that even for adults Fast Forward (sic) software slows the world down, making it more manageable. It brought tears to my eyes. I look forward everyday to my brain exercises! Thank you!”


Adult learner



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