Thursday, February 14, 2013

ADD vs APD: When an Attention Issue is Really an Auditory Issue

When your child is struggling in school, you want to get to the root of the issue as quickly as possible. Nowadays there is more awareness about a wide spectrum of learning problems.

Most teachers receive some training about the major diagnoses, and educational psychologists have a full toolkit of diagnostic assessments.

Once you have a name for the symptoms you are seeing, plans can be made to ensure that the education provided is appropriate for a child’s needs.

But what happens if you suspect that the diagnosis your child receives is the wrong

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is a familiar term to most parents. ADD diagnoses have been on the rise for the last few decades. However, there is a lesser known disorder, with a similar list of symptoms, which may be overlooked: APD (Auditory Processing Disorder).

APD may initially present as an attention deficit issue, but in reality it has nothing to do with a child’s ability to sit still. Rather, APD stems from a weakness in the ability of the brain to process the sounds it receives.

This specific weakness can be either acquired through brain injury or illness, or genetically inherited.

  • ADD and APD share a number of symptoms, such as:
  • Struggling to focus in a noisy environment
  • Fidgety and easily distracted
  • Showing some aggression or even isolation socially
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Lower academic performance
  • Zoning out in a conversation

Each of these external symptoms has a different internal cause, depending on the diagnosis. Both can in turn cause reading problems, and both appear in the 7 Main Causes of Reading Difficulty (video).

Children with ADD struggle with the above symptoms because there is insufficient activity in the frontal lobe to regulate the strong neuronal activity in the cerebral cortex.

Without the necessary control over the cerebral cortex, the activity there is just unregulated ‘brain noise’ of neuronal chaos.

Children with APD, on the other hand, struggle with these symptoms because the world around them sounds ‘foggy’ or unclear.

A child with APD will have perfect hearing; the problem lies in the brain’s interpretation of incoming sounds, not the hearing mechanism itself.

You can imagine how not being able to properly understand what people are saying could lead to all of the above behaviours, and then some!

You can read the full article here at Easy read System

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