Skip to content

Auditory Processing Disorder

Make Appointments & Get Care

What is Auditory Processing Disorder?

Auditory processing disorder (APD), also known as central auditory processing disorder, is when the brain is disrupted while recognizing and interpreting sounds. Individuals with APD can hear, but they have trouble understanding specific sounds, especially speech. This condition often begins in childhood and affects approximately 5% of school-aged children.

Symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder

  • Having a hard time with multi-step directions
  • Poor listening, reading, spelling, or writing skills
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Struggling to remember verbal information
  • Trouble listening to background noise
  • Becoming easily frustrated with tasks
  • Taking a long time to complete tasks

Auditory processing is “what the brain does with what it hears.” APD may affect one or more of the four main auditory processing skills:

  • Auditory discrimination: Difficulty distinguishing small differences between words
  • Auditory figure-ground discrimination: Difficulty picking out specific words in a loud environment
  • Auditory memory: Difficulty remembering what was said
  • Auditory sequencing: Difficulty understanding and remembering the order of words

APD can sometimes look like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but they are two very different conditions. With APD, your child will show issues completing tasks related to sound. Your provider may refer you to an audiologist if you are showing the above symptoms, as well as:

  • Poor academic performance
  • Family history of auditory processing problems
  • History of speech and language delays

UR Medicine's Treatments for Auditory Processing Disorder

Your audiologist will first give a basic hearing test to see if you can detect sounds around you. Then they will run several additional tests to measure your auditory attention and auditory processing skills.

Depending on the results of the evaluation, your audiologist will provide you with skills and suggestions based on your specific needs, including:

  • Reducing background noise in the classroom
  • Rephrasing instructions
  • Separating multi-step directions into smaller units

Speech therapy can also help build auditory skills.

What Sets Us Apart?

Our world-class audiologists, in association with field-leading doctors and surgeons at UR Medicine, provide patients with a complete range of services using the latest techniques and technologies.

Each member of our team at UR Medicine Audiology holds a master’s degree or higher and is New York State-licensed and nationally certified in audiology. Our providers engage in extensive research and are dedicated to advancing knowledge and expanding treatment options.


We serve you in the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding region.

View All Locations

6 locations

Audiology - Rochester

Highland Professional Office Building
990 South Avenue, Suite 207
Rochester, NY 14620

Pediatric Audiology - Rochester

Lattimore Medical Center
125 Lattimore Road, East Entrance, 2nd Floor
Rochester, NY 14620

Audiology - North Greece

60 Greece Center Drive, Suite 3
Rochester, NY 14612

Audiology - Brighton

Clinton Woods
2365 South Clinton Avenue, Suite 200
Rochester, NY 14618

Audiology - Rochester

Strong Memorial Hospital
601 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, NY 14642

Audiology - Batavia

7995 Call Parkway, Suite 100
Batavia, NY 14020

Patient Education & Support

Related Services & Conditions