What is APD?
Auditory Processing Difficulties is not a hearing loss.

It is a difficulty that affects how the brain processes spoken language. There is a difference between listening and hearing. A child with APD can hear but cannot process the language.

  • Does your child have APD?
Things you may have noticed :
  • Difficulty with hearing and listening on the phone
  • Difficulty with hearing differences between words which have are similar i.e. sixteen and six
  • Picking up differences in voice tones cannot tell if you re joking or really angry
  • Identifying phonemes, so learning to read is tricky
  • Cannot tell from which the direction the sound is coming from
  • Identifying voice from background noise
  • Remembering words of songs or stories
  • Recalling lists
  • Remembering sequence of oral instructions
  • A daydreamer who finds concentration difficult
  • Shows difficulty in expressive language


  • How to help at home:
  • Always gain your child’s attention before speaking to him/her
  • Break down directions – try one step at a time at first
  • Always ask your child to repeat back what he has to do
  • Reading and homework should always be done in a quiet environment without distraction
  • Work with the school to find out the topics and vocabulary required for curriculum learning
  • Provide pictures of the topic before and discuss new vocabulary prior to the in the introduction at school – pre teaching is more important than after the event
  • Play games such as “Eye Spy” or see how many things they can see in the room that begin with a certain letter.
  • Play matching games where the children have to match pictures of objects that have either the first or last sound the same. i.e. house, horse.
  • Before beginning the story tell the child to listen for specific pieces of information in the story (e.g. the main character’s name)
  • Listen for words and tell me the missing one i.e. start with three words car ball shop. Repeat the words with one left out ask: “which one have I forgotten?”
  • When you are in the car and unable to face your child, always turn off the radio when carrying on a conversation. This will eliminate background noise making it easier for your child to hear you.