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Hearing and "listening" are different auditory skills. Individuals with normal hearing sensitivity, who have difficulty with discriminating words, listening in noise, following conversation, and paying attention when listening, may have an auditory processing disorder (APD). This is a misunderstood disorder because the problem is not poor hearing but how the auditory nervous system interprets what is heard through a normal functioning peripheral hearing mechanism. A comprehensive audiological evaluation will diagnose APD and help differentiate it from other disorders.

Children with APD may experience difficulty with: learning to speak, learning and reading, and social communication. Adults with APD misinterpret others' speech, have trouble understanding speech in noise, have a history of "not listening". Most individuals with APD have normal hearing but some with hearing loss may also be afflicted. Another condition called auditory neuropathy/dysynchrony, causes marked difficulty with processing spoken language but this is not APD. In cases of unilateral auditory neuropathy/dysynchrony, symptoms may masquerade those of APD.

This list welcomes questions, comments, suggestions, insights, and concerns about APD and related matters. However, comments made on this list cannot and are not intended to be used to diagnose nor treat. Any child or adult having auditory difficulty needs individualized diagnosis and therapy by an audiologist and/or an otologist. POSTS REGARDING MEDICAL/HERBAL/NON-TRADITIONAL treatments are NOT PERMITTED.

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