How Young to Test APD?
Lucker (2015) reports that nothing in the guidelines from the national associations state that children under age seven cannot be assessed for auditory processing. He concludes that ASHA and the American Academy of Audiology support evaluating auditory processing in young children as long as the audiologist “understands and is careful in making appropriate interpretations of the test results…” Indeed, Lucker notes that “testing young children is critical for early intervention and prevention of more serious problems” and he queries if we test and measure hearing in children under seven years of age, why not assess auditory processing in these children?
Lucker reports that assessing audition in children always requires caution and care and the audiologist needs to take into account the individual and their specific and unique circumstance and attributes—but isn’t that what we do w ith all people? Lucker states that “when evaluating auditory processing in the elderly, care must be taken to consider factors such as senility, Alzheimer’s and other neural and mental conditions that could impact test taking behaviors, results and interpretation….” He states that if we accept the seven year lower age limit barrier, we may harm younger children by not providing early intervention, direct treatment and/or appropriate accommodations for children under age seven. Further, he notes for the child with auditory processing issues who goes undiagnosed, one might expect greater learning problems, increased frustration, lower self-esteem and perhaps feelings of failure to cascade.
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Cox LC, McCoy SL, Tun PA, Wingfield A. (2008) Monotic Auditory Processing Disorder Tests in the Older Adult Population. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 19:293–208.
Dawes P. (2011) The SCAN-A in Testing for Auditory Processing Disorder in a Sample of British Adults. International Journal of Audiology 50:107–111.
Dillon H, Cameron S, Glyde H, Wilson W, Tomlin D. (2012) An Opinion on the Assessment of People Who May Have an Auditory Processing Disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 23:97–105.
Ferguson MA, Hall RL, Riley A, Moore DR. (2011) Communication, Listening, Cognitive, and Speech Perception Skills in Children With Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) or Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research 54 (2):211–227.
Lucker JR. (2015) Auditory Processing Abilities in Children – When to Test? Audiology Today 27(1):25-31.
Vermiglio AJ. (2014) On the Clinical Entity in Audiology : (Central) Auditory Processing and Speech Recognition in Noise Disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 25: 0-4-917.