The Link Between APD and ADD/ADHD
Auditory processing weaknesses are often present in children suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Upon evaluating the presence of an attention deficit, it is interesting to note that most children diagnosed with ADD can, in fact, pay attention. This is especially true if the topic at hand is something that the child enjoys. The truth is that people tend to enjoy doing things that they are good at and tend not to enjoy the things that they are poor at. We know that children with auditory processing weaknesses are not good listeners, which makes them selective in what they listen to. It is not that these children are incapable of listening, but rather that listening is such hard work that these children become choosey (selective) about listening. When faced with a listening task, children with auditory processing weaknesses often exhibit attention issues.
The Foreign Language Analogy
A great way for parents to relate to children with auditory processing weaknesses and ADD is through analogies. Consider, for example, listening to someone speak with either a foreign accent or strong dialect. If that person discusses something of interest to you, then you will tune in and listen even though it may seem difficult to do so. If you are not interested in what the person is talking about, on the other hand, then you will find it difficult to pay attention, in which case you may find your mind wandering at times. The task of listening becomes even more fatiguing as the accent becomes stronger, leaving you exhausted after what could have been a simple conversation. This analogy is a perfect example of how a child with auditory processing weaknesses can perform inconsistently in school.
Auditory Figure Ground Skills
Children can also exhibit weaknesses in the area of auditory figure ground skills, which relates to the ability to hear in the presence of noise. Children with poor auditory figure ground skills struggle to pay attention in noisy environments, often easily distracted by normal, everyday sounds in the environment. In the presence of noise, children with this kind of weakness may become anxious, overwhelmed or frightened and may even show sound sensitivity issues. It is for this reason, among others, that auditory processing weakness should be considered a piece of the puzzle when a child has difficulty paying attention or staying focused.
A “Daily Listening Diet”
When auditory processing deficits become a piece of the puzzle, a “daily listening diet” can prove quite helpful. Learn why a daily listening diet is a critical element in remediating an auditory processing problem.