Auditory processing disorder in relation to developmental disorders of language, communication and attention: a review and critique – International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders.

This article describes the vagaries of diagnosis of auditory processing issues and shows how important work is being done to help make proper evaluations and treatment research widely available. It is not definitive but is a useful article for those orienting themselves to CAPD issues.

Background: Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) does not feature in mainstream diagnostic classifications such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV), but is frequently diagnosed in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and is becoming more frequently diagnosed in the United Kingdom.

Aims: To familiarize readers with current controversies surrounding APD, with an emphasis on how APD might be conceptualized in relation to language and reading problems, attentional problems and autistic spectrum disorders.
Methods & Procedures: Different conceptual and diagnostic approaches adopted by audiologists and psychologists can lead to a confusing picture whereby the child who is regarded as having a specific learning disability by one group of experts may be given an APD diagnosis by another. While this could be indicative of co-morbidity, there are concerns that different professional groups are using different labels for the same symptoms.
Conclusions & Implications: APD, as currently diagnosed, is not a coherent category, but that rather than abandoning the construct, we need to develop improved methods for assessment and diagnosis, with a focus on interdisciplinary evaluation.