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Clare asked...

Auditory processing disorder.

Tags: Children

I have just had my son assessed at school - he is 5.5years old and based on the school assessment, they suspect that he has APD - auditory processing disorder. Whilst I know a full diagnosis cannot really be given until he is 7years old, I am left a little disappointed, that my help between now and 7 years of age is now fairly limited other than making sure that I speak clearly and get him to repeat back what I have said.

Do you know of any good medical advice/consultants who could help me in my quest for help. Given that the SENCo at school is potentially diagnosing such a disorder as a parent, I desperately want to start helping him now or at least get a second opinion to support/back up what has been said. Any help greatly received as I am upset by his diagnosis having just started out in his educational years.

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The answer

Thank you for contacting us. It’s very understandable that you are upset, help does exist however and this is usually highly individualised to each child or adult that suffers from the condition. It’s important to realise that until a child has reached the age of 7, Auditory Processing Disorder cannot be diagnosed with any certainty, this is due to ongoing early brain development and other conditions masquerading with a similar presentation at early ages.

This is why it has been suggested your son will be able to be diagnosed as to the problem with certainty once the early years of brain development are completed. At around the age of seven Auditory Process Disorder can then be diagnosed with much more specifity but this has to be done by a trained Audiologist. Once the diagnosis has been made therapy can then be instigated, typically this will involve a treatment plan drawn up between the treating audiologist and a speech and language therapist attached to your son’s school.

In addition the teaching staff involved in your sons education and wellbeing will be able to instigate methods of teaching and reinforcement as to what your son is being taught and helped with by the therapist guiding his management.

Unfortunately there are no specific medical specialists as such that are directly involved in managing and treating this type of difficulty, the specialists in this field however are Audiologists and Speech and language therapists and you may wish to ask your son’s school to put you in touch with the speech and language therapist attached to them for an initial chat and exploration of your concerns.

I do hope this information will be of help and I wish you the very best going forward for the future.

Answered by our Health at Hand nurses

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Auditory processing disorder

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