Published on 09 January 2013
New national guidelines have been announced to help Canadian doctors screen children for auditory processing disorder (APD), a little known hearing disorder that affects two to three percent of Canadian children.
The symptoms of APD, which affects the way the brain processes sound, are similar to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They include: short attention spans, anxiety and difficulty reading.
Children with APD must have treatment that is tailored to their specific difficulties, says Chantal Kealey, the lead audiologist at the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists.
“They learn a little bit differently and you need to hone in on where those areas are,” she told a news conference in Ottawa.
Dr. Benoit Jutra, a Université de Montréal audiology researcher, says the new guidelines will provide a more “holistic” approach to treating children with APD. Children must be examined in their different environments, both home and school, and receive help where they have issues. Parents and teachers must be given the tools to address APD-related problems.
More information on the guidelines is available at www.canadianaudiology.ca.