Diagnostic Audiology Program
Auditory Processing Disorders Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is an auditory processing (AP) evaluation?
An auditory processing evaluation uses a variety of tests designed to stress the auditory system. The child’s performance is compared to norms for children the same age, as the auditory system continues to mature through about age 12 years. The audiologist is the professional who diagnoses a (central) auditory processing disorder or (C)APD based on this evaluation.
How old does my child need to be to have an AP evaluation?
An auditory processing evaluation can be completed on a child as young as 7 years of age without significant cognitive or developmental delays. The testing requires that the child respond verbally, therefore the child’s speech must be intelligible to an unfamiliar listener. The child must also be able to remember and repeat strings of numbers and simple sentences.
Does an AP evaluation test my child's comprension/understanding of language?
A (central) auditory processing disorder is different from a language comprehension disorder. An auditory processing evaluation will tell us how the brain is able to access information presented through the auditory system, but does not test understanding of the language. A speech language pathologist would be an appropriate professional to address this area.
How do I make an appointment?
You may request an intake packet for the Lexington or Waltham location by calling 617-355-6042. Once the parent questionnaire is returned with copies of the child’s cognitive, educational, speech-language evaluation and current IEP (if applicable), it is reviewed by an audiologist. If the audiologist requires further information, you will be contacted by telephone. Once we have determined that your child is a candidate for an evaluation, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment.
Why do I need to submit my child's previous testing?
Many factors may have an impact on a child’s candidacy and ability to participate in an auditory processing evaluation, including attention, executive function, cognition, memory and language skills. This information is required to ensure your child receives appropriate testing and an accurate diagnosis.
What should I bring to the appointment?
Please bring your insurance card and referral number if your insurance requires it. You may wish to bring a snack and/or a drink for your child.
How do I prepare my child for the appointment?
- During the appointment, your child wears earphones, sits in a sound room and is instructed to tell the audiologist what he/she hears. You can assure your child that there are no right and wrong answers.
- Your child can expect to be completing listening tasks for about 45-60 minutes.
If your child is receiving medication used to improve attention, it is important that the child take the medication on the day of the evaluation.
How long does the evaluation take?
We allow 90 minutes for the appointment. This includes a behavioral hearing test, an auditory processing evaluation and a time for the audiologist to verbally review the test results and recommendations with the parents or guardian. A full written report is sent to the family at a later date.