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HealthInfo Canterbury

Auditory processing disorder

Sometimes a person's hearing may be normal but sounds are mixed up when they reach the brain. This is called an auditory processing disorder (APD). You can also think of it as a listening difficulty. APD is most common in children, but it can also develop in adults as a result of a head injury, stroke, or other condition that affects the brain.

Auditory processing disorder can make it hard to:

This can lead to learning difficulties for children.

An audiologist can diagnose auditory processing disorder using specialised hearing tests.

There are a range of treatment options to help manage the condition.

Your doctor can refer your child to see a paediatric audiologist at Christchurch Hospital.

Alternatively, you can pay to see a private audiologist. You can search for one on Healthpages or through the New Zealand Audiological Society. Not all private audiologists see children, so make sure you ask if they do.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2020.

Page reference: 152816

Review key: HICDG-40335