Redbridge SERC

Auditory Processing Disorder



Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)  relates to a specific difficulty processing auditory information.
Students with APD do not have a difficulty with hearing and they can often have perfect hearing- they simply do not process what they hear effectively.
They can process part of what they hear, but if part is not processed the whole meaning can be lost or students can perceive a totally different meaning from the auditory meaning.
As this is a processing disorder repeating the instruction or saying it in a louder voice will not help the information be processed.
The nature of APD tends to be random and it can affect both auditory information, reading and writing.
APD can be a cause of dyslexia.


Students with APD are easily distracted by noise and their environment.

Fact sheets

Training / Help

Further help and support can be obtained from;

  • Churchfields Language Team
  • SALT
  • Hatton Outreach
  • Little Heath Outreach


Screenshot for video: Auditory Processing Disorder- examples of activities to support

Auditory Processing Disorder- examples of activities to support

This is an example of working to improve a pupil's auditory processing skills - auditory memory, sequencing, etc

Screenshot for video: Auditory Processing Disorder- identifying symptoms

Auditory Processing Disorder- identifying symptoms

Clinical Director, Devon Barnes, continues the discussion on Auditory Processing Disorder by explaining some of the major symptoms and the effects they have on APD sufferers.

Screenshot for video: Does your child have Auditory Processing Disorder?

Does your child have Auditory Processing Disorder?

This episode of A Place of Our Own provides an overview of what auditory processing disorder is and the treatments that are available

Learning Aids

Social Skills Awareness - game to support isolation

Social Skills Awareness - game to support isolation

Available from: Social Skills Awareness - game to support isolation

Autism Teaching Strategies have produced a board game you can download and play. Social isolation is very common as students grow older - it is a useful tool to use.


Stickman Communication

Stickman Communication

Stickman Communications create brilliantly simple cards to help communicate a variety of conditions/ disabilities. They currently cover; * ASD * Sensory overload * Allergies  * Medical conditions  * Bowel and bladder conditions * Hypermobility and EDS * Migraine * Seizures * POTS /SVT * Visual impairment * Mental Health *…
Full Size image


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I find a checklist of symptoms?

    Here you will find a checklist of a range of sensory processing difficulties eg tactile, auditory, oral 

  • How does it feel to have Sensory Dysfunction?
  • Where can I read more about Auditory Processing Disorder?
    • When the brain can't hear- Teri James Bellis
    • Assessment & Management of Central Auditory Processing Disroders in the Educational Setting- Teri James Bellis
    • Like Sound Through Water - A Mother's Journey Through Auditory Processing Disorder- Karen Foli
    • Language Processing Problems - A guide for Parents and Teachers- Cindy Gaulin
    • The Dominance Factor-Carla Hannaford Phd


    These books are available from Amazon or maybe you can order from your library.


  • How can students help themselves?
    • Keep your eyes on the speaker, and try to get eye contact.
    • Use good listening behaviour -- quiet body and closed mouth.
    • Ask to have directions repeated or clarified when you feel confused or unsure of what to do.
    • Repeat information quietly to yourself, after directions or information are presented orally.
    • Ask someone to explain what words mean, or use a dictionary or electronic thesaurus, when you aren’t sure.
    • Visualize – make a picture in your mind, to help you remember important points.
    • Wait until your parent or teacher finishes giving directions and answers questions before starting a task.
    • Write down your assignments at school to help you remember what you’re supposed to do when you get home. 
  • What are the noticeable difficulties linked to APD?

    Children with auditory processing difficulty typically have normal hearing and intelligence. However, they have also been observed to:

    • Have trouble paying attention to and remembering information presented orally
    • Have problems carrying out multistep directions
    • Have poor listening skills
    • Need more time to process information
    • Have low academic performance
    • Have behavior problems
    • Have language difficulty (e.g., they confuse syllable sequences and have problems developing vocabulary and understanding language)
    • Have difficulty with reading, comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary
  • How can I help?
    • Since most kids with APD have difficulty hearing amid noise, it's very important to reduce the background noise at home and at school.
    • Have your child look at you when you're speaking.
    • Use simple, expressive sentences.
    • Speak at a slightly slower rate and at a mildly increased volume.
    • Ask your child to repeat the directions back to you and to keep repeating them aloud (to you or to himself or herself) until the directions are completed.
    • For directions that are to be completed at a later time, writing notes, wearing a watch, and maintaining a household routine also help. General organization and scheduling also can be beneficial.
    • Encourage pupil's to be aware of noise levels in the enviroment and move to somewhere quieter when they need to listen.
    • Provide your child with a quiet study place (not the kitchen table).
    • Maintain a peaceful, organized lifestyle.
    • Encourage good eating and sleeping habits.
    • Assign regular and realistic chores, including keeping a neat room and desk.
    • Build your child's self-esteem.
    • Altering seating plans so the child can sit in the front of the room or with his or her back to the window
  • What are the main difficulties for students who have APD?
    1. Auditory Figure-Ground Problems: when a child can't pay attention if there's noise in the background. Noisy, low-structured classrooms could be very frustrating.
    2. Auditory Memory Problems: when a child has difficulty remembering information such as directions, lists, or study materials. It can be immediate ("I can't remember it now") and/or delayed ("I can't remember it when I need it for later").
    3. Auditory Discrimination Problems: when a child has difficulty hearing the difference between words or sounds that are similar (COAT/BOAT or CH/SH). This can affect following directions, and reading, spelling, and writing skills, among others.
    4. Auditory Attention Problems: when a child can't stay focused on listening long enough to complete a task or requirement (such as listening to a lecture in school). Kids with CAPD often have trouble maintaining attention, although health, motivation, and attitude also can play a role.
    5. Auditory Cohesion Problems: when higher-level listening tasks are difficult. Auditory cohesion skills — drawing inferences from conversations, understanding riddles, or comprehending verbal math problems — require heightened auditory processing and language levels. They develop best when all the other skills (levels 1 through 4 above) are intact.

Family Resources

Relaxed performances -National Theatre

44 (0)20 7452 3000
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Gill Dodson who works for Newbridge recently shared with us her recent trip to see a relaxed performance of Matilda. She could not recommend this highly enough and said there were lots of accomodations for a range of SEN.

Looking at their website the next performance appears to be War Horse in September.

Auditory Processing Disorder- advice for parents


Here is a collection of advice for parents;

  • 5 things to do after your child is diagnosed
  • Recommended resources
  • Preparing school
  • What is APD?
  • Review of books