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Hearing testing
  By Brent McNeill, M.A., Registered Audiologist
   
   
  When we consider how we hear, we think about the amazing complex function of the outer, middle and inner ear. However, the pathway that the auditory signal takes through the brainstem and up into the brain is even more complex and important for the processing of speech. A general term for difficulty with this pathway is Auditory Processing Disorder.

Individuals with Auditory Processing Disorders or APD have problems with discrimination, recognition and comprehension of auditory signals. This can occur with normal hearing or with a hearing loss but is most pronounced when the sound is distorted, presented in poor acoustical environments or when soft.

Difficulties with auditory processing can occur at any age. The brain’s ability to process sound develops early and continues to develop until approximately 10 years of age. Children with auditory processing problems have great difficulty in school as they are unable to process instructions, especially in background noise. They often have difficulty with language and reading development.

Differentiating between APD and other childhood disorders such as attention deficit disorder, language impairment, reading disabilities, learning disabilities, reduced intellectual function and peripheral hearing loss is difficult. A number of specialists are required to determine the true nature of a problem.

If a child you know is displaying the following symptoms, they
possibly have Auditory Processing Disorder (APD):
 
   
  1. Frequently misunderstands oral instructions or questions;
2. Delays in responding to oral instructions or questions;
3. Says “huh” or “what” frequently;
4. Frequently needs repetition of directions or information;
5. Frequently requests repetition;
6. Problems understanding in background noise;
7. Is easily distracted by background noise;
8. May have problems with phonics or discriminating speech sounds;
9. May have poor expressive or receptive language;
10. May have spelling, reading and other academic problems.
   
  As individuals age their hearing can decline, but their auditory processing abilities can decrease as well. Other medical conditions such as strokes, tumours on the auditory nerve, and diseases of the nerves such as multiple sclerosis can contribute to APD.

The first step in assisting someone with APD is identification. Audiologists have been performing APD testing for many years and the tests have become more sophisticated over time. There are a variety of remediation approaches that can be used depending upon the individual, their lifestyle and the type of problem. We would be glad to answer your questions and perform some of the testing if appropriate.
   
  Science of hearing
   
  Schedule an appointment:
  Our friendly staff will be happy to discuss your particular needs and schedule an appointment with one of our registered audiologists.
   
  Victoria BC, location - 250.370.2833
  Sidney BC, location - 250.656.2218
   
 
 
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