Silicon Valley Hearing, Inc. offers comprehensive audiology services to diagnose auditory processing disorders (APD). APD testing allows us to examine which specific areas of the auditory processing pathway that are causing breakdowns for you or your child. These results will enable us to provide you information, guidance and resources tailored to you or your child’s needs to help manage the daily challenges of APD.
Auditory Processing Disorder
What is an Auditory Processing Disorder?
Our ears are busy with the task of sending sounds from our outside world to the brain. Along the way, the central auditory pathway is responsible for decoding each individual sound, which allows our brain to attach meaning to a particular sound. It’s how we can determine what the sound is and determine what we need to do with it. Our brains have this magical way of stringing together individual complex beads of sounds, process those sounds and give us the ability to understand words, ready a story and sing a song. The brain is responsible for collecting and processing all the information it receives to paint the beautiful picture of our world.
While you or your child may have normal peripheral hearing (cochlea or sound organ), the dysfunction occurs beyond the cochlea in the central auditory processing pathway, which encompasses all the anatomical and processing mechanisms between the cochlear nuclei (in the brainstem) to the auditory cortex (auditory processing center of the brain). Somewhere along the way, sounds get jumbled and mixed up. APD is simply a disruption within auditory processing pathway that causes a breakdown in the brain’s ability to piece together the acoustic puzzle correctly. Manifestations of APD include delayed auditory development, learning problems and poor academic performance.
An APD test battery includes tests designed to challenge the auditory processing pathway. You will be tested using headphones in a sound proof booth. Several core tests are administered, in which you or your child are asked to repeat back information (words, numbers and pitches) presented to each ear individually or both ears binaurally. These tests give us the ability to assess the auditory skills of decoding, integration and prosody. It is our job to help determine which skill areas are affected and to help you plan what’s needed to improve your or your child’s auditory processing abilities.
Prior to Your APD Testing Appointment
If you or your child’s teacher suspect an auditory processing disorder, your child will need to undergo testing by a speech-language pathologist and an educational psychologist prior to being evaluated by Dr. Novick. An audiologist should be the final professional you or your child sees for diagnosis of an APD. The child must be at least 7 years of age to undergo a complete APD assessment at Silicon Valley Hearing, Inc.
Prior to an appointment, Dr. Novick will schedule a 30-minute phone conversation with you in order for her to gain insight into what your or your child’s needs are. She will ask very specific questions to help determine what the next steps will be. If your child has not had a speech-language assessment or an educational psychological assessment, Dr. Novick will not schedule an APD evaluation at this time. If your child has already had tests conducted by a speech-language pathologist and an educational psychologist, please kindly obtain copies of all test results and reports and forward them to Dr. Novick prior to scheduling an appointment for your child.
You will need to allow a minimum of 2 hours for a full APD assessment. Your child will be given numerous breaks between tests. Dr. Novick advises you to bring healthy snacks for your child to help sustain good energy levels for focus and attention. For children who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, please be sure your child has taken his/her medication prior to APD testing.
A follow-up parent educational session will be scheduled 1 week following the APD assessment to fully review the test results with you; expect this appointment to be scheduled for 1 hour. Please do not bring your child to this appointment.