Health Library
Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)

What Are Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)?

An auditory processing disorder (APD) may be present when someone has trouble hearing a spoken message even when their hearing tests are within the ‘normal’ range. They also may have trouble hearing instructions or sounds in a typical room setting.

Testing for APD

Specially designed tests are given in an Audiology sound booth. These tests measure how the brain interprets the sounds. In order to test for an APD, a child should have:

  • Normal hearing without hearing aids
  • Speech that is easily understood by others
  • Ability to sit and pay attention for at least one hour. Prescribed ADHD medications should be taken the day of the appointment.
  • Ability to wear headphones for at least one hour
  • 6 years of age or older
  • Normal cognitive function (normal IQ score)


Specific therapy and recommendations are made based on a child's test results. These may include:

  • FM system evaluation
  • Speech or language evaluation
  • Occupational therapy evaluation
  • Educational or psychological evaluation
  • Listening therapy
  • Suggested classroom accommodations
  • Home-based listening programs

What to Look For

  • Trouble hearing in noisy places
  • Mishearing words (white instead of wipe or wise)
  • Parent or teacher concern for hearing ability
  • Poor reading or spelling skills

Last Updated 03/2022

Reviewed By Lynn Summers, AuD, CCC-A

Who treats this.

The Division of Audiology at Cincinnati Children’s is one of the largest pediatric audiology programs in the nation. Early intervention and active collaboration with your family can change the outcome for your child with a hearing problem.

Contact us.