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    Gena's Avatar
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    Default Updated: Auditory Processing Disorder Testing

    Update: DS had his testing yesterday. Update in Post #6

    **********************
    Has anyone done testing for Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), either for yourself or for your DC? Can you tell me about the testing? What did it involve? How long did it take? How much did it cost and did your insurance cover it?

    DS is getting this testing done in a couple of weeks. I've been wanting him to have this test for years, but the audiologists all told me the youngest age they test at is 7. (DS will be 7 in a week. ) They told me the appointment will take about 2 hours and will include a regualr hearing test, the APD testing, and a review of the results.

    DS has made a lot of great progress over the years, but verbal language processing is still an area where he has a lot of difficulty. He still relies heavily on scripting ang prompting. DS knows a ton of scripts, so people who do not know him well think his language skills are more advanced than they really are. If you deviate from the script in his head, he really struggles to respond appropriately.

    We are hoping that APD testing will give us some insight into his problems with processing verbal language.
    Last edited by Gena; 06-08-2011 at 01:36 PM.
    Gena

    DS, age 11 and always amazing

    “Autistics are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg." - Paul Collins, Not Even Wrong

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    DS was tested for APD at age 5 (while in Kindergarten) and was found to have auditory processing delays. DS was a little young when he was tested. They usually test kids when they are school age.

    The testing took about 2 hours and was exactly as you described -- a hearing test, auditory processing test and a discussion of the results, plus a list of recommendations for school and home. Most of the testing took place in a soundproof chamber. The cost for DS' testing was covered by our insurance, so we just had a co-pay. It took place at a hospital and was conducted by a PhD audiologist who did a lot of APD diagnosis.

    DS has an IEP at school, and the accommodations for APD are similar to those for ADHD, which he also has -- preferential seating, repetition of information and instruction, learning support. That's great news that your DS is finally getting tested for APD. I hope it gives you a lot of the answers and information you have been looking for.

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    I would love to know where they do this kind of testing? And what type of treatment would be recemended if the child had a problem in this area? There is a listening program they do at an OT place near me but it is expensive (I think it was $2k a few years ago for a a 3 week program) and we have not looked into it for that reason. I think they train the ear to hear sounds better by having the child listen to different tones and classical music on headphones.

    Jessica.

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    HIU8 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    We did that. I was called therapuetic listening. DS went from literally not acknowledging or talking to anyone outside family to a chatty Kathy type of person. The headphones are bought from a specific company. I believe they cost us $150. You can use any portable CD player. The CD's are what is expensive. DS was on each CD for 2 weeks. I believe we did over 15 CD's total. So at least 30 weeks on the program and each CD was about $40 (not covered by our insurance). We stopped when DS plateau'd finally. The effects, over a year later, are astonishing. It was
    Heather

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    DD 2007

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    Gena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesmom View Post
    DS was tested for APD at age 5 (while in Kindergarten) and was found to have auditory processing delays. DS was a little young when he was tested. They usually test kids when they are school age.

    The testing took about 2 hours and was exactly as you described -- a hearing test, auditory processing test and a discussion of the results, plus a list of recommendations for school and home. Most of the testing took place in a soundproof chamber. The cost for DS' testing was covered by our insurance, so we just had a co-pay. It took place at a hospital and was conducted by a PhD audiologist who did a lot of APD diagnosis.

    DS has an IEP at school, and the accommodations for APD are similar to those for ADHD, which he also has -- preferential seating, repetition of information and instruction, learning support. That's great news that your DS is finally getting tested for APD. I hope it gives you a lot of the answers and information you have been looking for.
    Thank you for sharing your experience. Did you learn specific things about what areas your DS has trouble with, such as background vs foreground noise, auditory sequencing, etc ?

    How did your son handle the testing? Was it stressful for him? Did he wear headphones for it? What kind of activites did they do, was it more answering questions or play-based?

    I'm worried about how DS will react to the testing. We are doing it at the Children's Hospital and they will be double-teaming (2 audiologists doing the test) due to his autism. But I'm not sure how to prepare DS for the process.
    Gena

    DS, age 11 and always amazing

    “Autistics are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg." - Paul Collins, Not Even Wrong

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    Gena's Avatar
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    DS had his hearing and APD test yesterday (rescheduled from May due to insurance issues). I'm so glad we did this!

    DS did a great job cooperating and concentrating on the test! In the past, we were never able to do a complete hearing test because DS could not handle the testing procedures, so I was worried about how he would do. But he did great and it was obvious he tried his best. I was so proud of him!

    The test started off with a regular hearing test. DS thought it was a fun game to raise his hand when he heard the beep. His hearing was normal, so the audiologist proceeded with the APD testing.

    The audiologists tested him in several areas using 2 different tests. He did scored above average in 2 areas, and below average in the others. In particular, he scored very low in the tests for dichotic listening. These were tests in which DS would hear different stimuli (words or sentences) in each ear at the same time and either had to identify both or had to ignore one to identify the other. This indicates that he has a lot of difficulty listening and processing in busy environments where there are multiple conversations or mutiple verbal input competing for his attention (like attempting a conversation while the TV is on).

    To put in everyday terms, dichotic listening is sometimes referred to as the "cocktail party effect" and is the reason why people can have seperate conversations in crowded rooms.

    Interestingly, last summer I worked with DS on Earobics Step 1 and we completed that program. The audiologist told me that Earobics specifically targets the two areas DS did well on (listening while having to ignore random background noise and breaking words down into seperate sounds). So I was really happy that we worked on that last year.

    Overall, the audiologists diagnosed DS with mild to moderate Auditory Processing Delays/Deficiets related to dichotic listening. She said that at this point she is not ready to call it Auditory Processing Disorder because she would like to see how he progresses in the next year and a half. At that point, she can do some additional testing DS is still too young for right now.

    She gave me a bunch of informational pages and techniques to work with DS. Some of it are things we have been doing all along, so it's good to know that we are on the right track in those areas. Plus it's good information to share with the school and especially with daycare, since this provides some solid evidence to back up what we have been telling them.

    I'm very happy we did this testing. We got some good information about DS's strengths/weaknesses in how he perceives verbal information and how he learns.
    Gena

    DS, age 11 and always amazing

    “Autistics are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg." - Paul Collins, Not Even Wrong

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    Oh how interesting!

    I will think about this for older DD. She (and I ) both struggle with that cocktail party thing.
    Beth, mom to older DD (8/01) and younger DD (10/06) and always missing Leah (4/22 - 5/1/05)

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    Sorry I missed this Gena. Some of the "treatments" we often use are ALDs, or Assistive Listening Devices. These are very useful in the classroom environment. They allow the teacher's voice to go directly to your son's desk via a microphone to a speaker. It can often be difficult to get the school district to pay for such a device but you never know. These are referred to as "sound field systems".

    http://www.hear-more.com/classamplification.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by kerridean View Post
    Sorry I missed this Gena. Some of the "treatments" we often use are ALDs, or Assistive Listening Devices. These are very useful in the classroom environment. They allow the teacher's voice to go directly to your son's desk via a microphone to a speaker. It can often be difficult to get the school district to pay for such a device but you never know. These are referred to as "sound field systems".

    http://www.hear-more.com/classamplification.htm
    Thanks for the info, Kerridean.

    My son's school is actually equipped with these devices in some of the classrooms. I know they are in all the regular kindergarten classrooms and the staff believes that they are beneficial for even typical kids in that age group. Of course, DS was not the regular kindy classroom (he was not mainstreaming yet), so he hasn't actually been in one of the classrooms with a sound field system.

    At this point I'm not sure if DS needs one of these in his classroom. Adjusting how the teachers, aides, and therapists communicate with him may be enough. It's something we will have to discuss when school resumes. If needed, we can make changes ti his IEP at that time.
    Gena

    DS, age 11 and always amazing

    “Autistics are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg." - Paul Collins, Not Even Wrong

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