What Speech-Language Pathologists Need to Know About Auditory Processing Disorder Purpose: To consider whether auditory processing disorder (APD) is truly a distinct clinical entity or whether auditory problems are more appropriately viewed as a processing deficit that may occur with various developmental disorders.Method: Theoretical and clinical factors associated with APD are critically evaluated.Results: There are compelling theoretical ... Clinical Forum: The Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist in Identifying and Treating Children With Auditory Processing Disorder
Clinical Forum: The Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist in Identifying and Treating Children With Auditory Processing Disorder  |   July 2011
What Speech-Language Pathologists Need to Know About Auditory Processing Disorder
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alan G. Kamhi
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Correspondence to Alan G. Kamhi: agkamhi@uncg.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Ilsa Schwarz
    Associate Editor: Ilsa Schwarz×
  • © 2011 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions
Clinical Forum: The Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist in Identifying and Treating Children With Auditory Processing Disorder   |   July 2011
What Speech-Language Pathologists Need to Know About Auditory Processing Disorder
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2011, Vol. 42, 265-272. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/10-0004)
History: Received March 4, 2010 , Accepted July 23, 2010
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2011, Vol. 42, 265-272. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/10-0004)
History: Received March 4, 2010; Accepted July 23, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 13

Purpose: To consider whether auditory processing disorder (APD) is truly a distinct clinical entity or whether auditory problems are more appropriately viewed as a processing deficit that may occur with various developmental disorders.

Method: Theoretical and clinical factors associated with APD are critically evaluated.

Results: There are compelling theoretical and clinical reasons to question whether APD is in fact a distinct clinical entity. Not only is there little evidence that auditory perceptual impairments are a significant risk factor for language and academic performance (e.g., Hazan, Messaoud-Galusi, Rosan, Nouwens, & Shakespeare, 2009; Watson & Kidd, 2009), there is also no evidence that auditory interventions provide any unique benefit to auditory, language, or academic outcomes (Fey et al., 2011).

Conclusion: Because there is no evidence that auditory interventions provide any unique therapeutic benefit (Fey et al., 2011), clinicians should treat children who have been diagnosed with APD the same way they treat children who have been diagnosed with language and learning disabilities. The theoretical and clinical problems associated with APD should encourage clinicians to consider viewing auditory deficits as a processing deficit that may occur with common developmental language and reading disabilities rather than as a distinct clinical entity.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would like to thank the members of the ASHA 2007 Ad Hoc Committee on the Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist in Identifying and Treating Children With Auditory Processing Disorders for their help in refining my ideas about APD. I would also like to acknowledge Mary Kristen Clark, who provided helpful comments on all of the previous drafts, and Hugh Catts, for always being a sounding board for my ideas. Finally, I would like to thank the graduate students in my spring, 2010 school-age language class, particularly Mike Maykish, for their probing questions that pushed me to fully embrace the view that APD is best viewed as a processing deficit that may occur with various developmental disorders.
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