My daughter Anne is 17 and will be a senior next year. She was diagnosed with ADD in middle school but I've always wondered if she has more of a processing issue. Processing information even has an effect her soccer because she has a hard time processing what the coach is telling her, especially when she is out on the field. Until reading about your story, I had never heard of APD. Anne has been denied extra test time for the SAT twice. I would like to have Anne tested for APD to see if this is an issue for her. What type of testing do I look for and what type of doctor can give me an accurate diagnosis?
Thanks for writing me!
You are not alone in never having heard of APD before now. Knowledge and understanding of APD is still in it's infancy.
I'm glad to hear Anne is out on the soccer field. When I was in elementary and middle school, I was great at sports (still am). However, I was so unsure of what I was hearing from the coaches, other players, etc. that I wouldn't go out on the field and play. Absolutely refused. Not even bribery worked.
In general, I wouldn't put myself in a situation where I was unsure of what was going on around me. It was very stressful for me.
By the time I reached high school (where Anne is now), I finally got myself on the field, played baseball, loved it and felt totally comfortable. Then again, I knew every rule and situation. I didn't need to hear what anyone was saying. Furthermore, I could imply anything misunderstood immediately and realize it.
Anne needs an official diagnosis of & documentation for APD in order to be granted extra time. Auditory Processing Disorder is a learning disability.
Here are two links on the topic:
What you are looking for is an Audiologist or Auditory Therapist in your area. Referencing specific testing for APD & intellectual/developmental disabilities is what you are seeking. In addition, you may be able to call a neurology department at a doctor's office, hospital or University for referrals.
It may be necessary to get an M.D. or Neurologist to look at the Audiologist's diagnosis and get it in writing that they agree (for the SAT College Board).
I can tell you from personal experience, the extra time helped immensely.
What will an audiologist test for?
There are generally four tests:
HEARING: The first tests will be basic hearing tests to rule out any hearing loss. This is especially important for children since an estimated 11% of school-age children suffer from some form of hearing loss.
NEUROLOGIC: The second group of tests measure how well the brain responds to various sounds. The technical term is Electrophysiologic tests. Administering these tests involves the use of electrodes, which measure brain response to sound stimuli.
BEHAVIORAL: The third group of tests are considered behavioral tests. They involve presenting spoken information with portions of the words purposely missing. A person without CAPD can fill in the gaps and understand what is said, while an individual with CAPD cannot.
DICHOTIC: The fourth group of tests are called dichotic speech tests. These involve presenting specific numbers or words alternatively in each ear, and the patient must repeat all that has been said in both ears.
For me, I not only learned that I had APD, but that it was my left side / left ear where my wiring went a little haywire. I easily passed the first test (I suffer from no hearing loss at all in either ear – in fact my hearing is super) but failed the other three tests.
I hope this helps.
You are welcome to follow up as often as you like (ask away!), as well as pass along any questions Anne may have.