Auditory Processing Disorder





Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is a disorder that causes a disruption in the way that an individual’s brain understands what they are hearing. They usually don’t recognise slight differences between sounds and words even when the sounds are loud and clear. It isn’t related to hearing problems or intelligence.

With the right therapy, adults with APD can be successful in life. Early diagnosis is important, otherwise it can lead to depression and avoiding things you used to enjoy.

Symptoms of APD can range from mild to severe.

Some symptoms in adults are:

  • Pronunciation problems as unable to process the sounds in speech
  • Difficulty with learning foreign languages because of the new speech sounds and vocabulary
  • Difficulty remembering and following multi step directions
  • Poor musical skills
  • Don’t notice phone is ringing and miss important calls
  • Difficulties in communicating with family and friends and avoiding large gatherings
  • Poor organisation skills
  • Difficulty in understanding someone talking fast.


Adults can empower themselves by:

  • Having a quiet place to work
  • Reducing background noise at home
  • Have people look at you when you are speaking
  • Using visual aids at work
  • Using assistive technology such as FM system to deliver sounds to your ears
  • Contact an audiologist for help and support

Learning as much as you can about APD can help with easing anxiety. It can guide you to make more informed choices.   Also meeting other adults that have APD by joining an online support group can help.

Useful links:

Need support? NurtureConnect allows you to connect with our NurtureProgram support team, or call our 24 hour NurtureLine 1300 622 243 or join our Facebook community.


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Disclaimer: This publication by Miracle Babies Foundation is intended solely for general education and assistance and it is it is not medical advice or a healthcare recommendation. It should not be used for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual condition. This publication has been developed by our Parent Advisory Team (all who are parents of premature and sick babies) and has been reviewed and approved by a Clinical Advisory Team. This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Miracle Babies Foundation recommends that professional medical advice and services be sought out from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your personal circumstances.To the extent permitted by law, Miracle Babies Foundation excludes and disclaims any liability of any kind (directly or indirectly arising) to any reader of this publication who acts or does not act in reliance wholly or partly on the content of this general publication. If you would like to provide any feedback on the information please email [email protected].