The Diagnosis and Management of Auditory Processing Disorder Purpose: To provide a personal perspective on auditory processing disorder (APD), with reference to the recent clinical forum on APD and the needs of clinical speech-language pathologists and audiologists.Method: The Medical Research Council–Institute of Hearing Research (MRC-IHR) has been engaged in research into APD and auditory learning for ... Review
Review  |   July 2011
The Diagnosis and Management of Auditory Processing Disorder
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David R. Moore
    Medical Research Council–Institute of Hearing Research, Nottingham, UK
  • Correspondence to David R. Moore: davem@ihr.mrc.ac.uk
  • 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 / Review
Review   |   July 2011
The Diagnosis and Management of Auditory Processing Disorder
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2011, Vol. 42, 303-308. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0032)
History: Received November 16, 2010 , Revised April 13, 2011 , Accepted April 26, 2011
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2011, Vol. 42, 303-308. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0032)
History: Received November 16, 2010; Revised April 13, 2011; Accepted April 26, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose: To provide a personal perspective on auditory processing disorder (APD), with reference to the recent clinical forum on APD and the needs of clinical speech-language pathologists and audiologists.

Method: The Medical Research Council–Institute of Hearing Research (MRC-IHR) has been engaged in research into APD and auditory learning for 8 years. This commentary is informed by and describes that and other research.

Results: Currently, APD is ill defined, and training-based interventions appear to have limited effectiveness. However, there remains a huge clinical and caregiver appetite for evidence-based information about children’s listening difficulties and how they might be managed. MRC-IHR research suggests that both the problem and the solution revolve around auditory cognition and, in particular, working memory and attention. Children who are poor listeners tend to have a range of cognitive difficulties. But, results of training studies within and beyond auditory science indicate that training primarily influences sustained attention (focus) rather than more basic sensory detection or discrimination.

Conclusion: Providing logical and rigorous scientific information on the nature and alleviation of listening difficulties in children should remain a high priority for speech, language, and hearing research. We should be optimistic that collaboration between clinicians and researchers will result in much greater understanding and improved management of listening disorders in the near future.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would like to thank the U.K. Medical Research Council and the National Institute of Health Research for sponsoring my research. My colleagues at IHR, especially Sygal Amitay, Mel Ferguson, and Alison Riley, helped conduct much of our own research as presented here. I would also like to thank Lisa Hunter and Bob Keith, University of Cincinnati, and Nina Kraus and Bev Wright, Northwestern University, for long discussion of and comments on the various issues raised in this article.
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