Auditory Processing Disorder

Do any of the following describe you or your child?

  • Trouble understanding speech when in noisy environments
  • Cannot follow multi-step directions or confuse directions
  • Ask people to repeat what they say or say "what?" and "huh?" frequently

If this sounds familiar, you or your child may have an auditory processing disorder.

What is Auditory Processing?

Auditory processing refers to what we do with or how we make use of what we hear - or how the brain takes the sounds we hear and gives them meaning.

What is an Auditory Processing Disorder?

An auditory processing disorder (APD) is a breakdown in one or more skills needed to manage or interpret auditory information and make sense of speech.

Individuals with APD are able to hear very soft sounds and speech signals, but when in a difficult listening environment, they have difficulty understanding or interpreting speech messages.

Risk Factors for APD

  • Family history of APD
  • Learning challenges
  • History of ear infections in early childhood
  • Delay in speech development

Characteristics of APD

  • Difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments
  • Misunderstanding communication
  • Inconsistent or inappropriate responses
  • Frequent requests for repetitions or saying "what?" or "huh?" frequently
  • Taking longer to respond in conversation and/or difficulty following information presented auditorily
  • Difficulty paying attention or easily distracted
  • Overly sensitive to loud noises
  • Difficulty following multi-step instructions
  • Difficulty localizing sound
  • Difficulty learning songs or nursery rhymes
  • Difficulty repeating sounds, letters and numbers in sequence
  • Spelling and reading difficulties

APD Evaluation


The first step in completing an APD evaluation is to complete a comprehensive hearing evaluation to rule out hearing loss. If you or your child has had a hearing evaluation completed prior to your appointment, please bring the results so they can be reviewed.


The audiologist will give you or your child different listening tasks in the sound booth. The testing takes approximately 1-1 1/2 hours depending on how many breaks from the testing you or your child may need. To be eligible for testing, your child must be six years of age or older.


The audiologist will review the test results and write a comprehensive report that will explain the results and the impact on your or your child's auditory processing skills. If applicable, specific recommendations will be made along with a possible referral to other professionals for further evaluation.

Springfield Office

You may be referred to Memorial's Hearing Center or you may call 217-788-3767 directly to schedule an appointment.

The Hearing Center is located at 644 N. Second Street, in the Memorial Home Services building. We are open Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m..