Kids are excitedly playing outside in a group.

How To Tell the Difference Between ADHD and APD

Auditory processing disorder (APD) is thought to be a central nervous system dysfunction involving the way the brain processes auditory input. Children with APD primarily experience difficulty interpreting speech because they are unable to recognize important differences between word sounds. For example, a child with APD may confuse the meaning of the words “ball” with “wall” or “bat” with “cat”, especially when they are in environments with background noises, such as playgrounds, cafeterias and classrooms.

Symptoms of APD in children include:

  • Being easily distracted, forgetful and disorganized
  • Problems following directions in school and at home
  • Acting upset or unsettled in noisy places
  • Academic difficulties particularly involving subjects that require the child to hear and interpret a teacher’s instructions

Signs of auditory process disorder are often misdiagnosed as signs of ADHD because many symptoms of both conditions overlap. However, ADHD is not a central nervous system disorder but a neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorder that does not involve problems with the way the brain processes auditory information. Instead, children with ADHD are hyperactive, have poor impulse control and procrastinate when given a task to complete. ADHD is impairment of the brain’s “executive functioning” area found in the prefrontal lobe of the brain.

A child suspected of having APD or ADHD should be given the appropriate tests necessary to determine if they have one disorder or both disorders. Testing for APD includes hearing, language and speech assessments and cognitive testing which can show how well the child’s brain is processing information. Tests for ADHD include gathering first-hand information about the child’s behaviors from parents, teachers and school records and having a psychologist interview and observe the child.


Clock Ticking? Know When to See a Hearing Doctor.

Is Your 7-Year Clock Ticking?

If you lived with diabetes for seven years without a diagnosis, can you imagine what that raging blood sugar would do to your health? By year seven, your symptoms would probably be so bad you'd no longer be able to ignore them. You'd probably…
Ranges of hearing loss depend on frequencies

What Do We Actually Mean By Hearing Loss?

When we talk about hearing loss, we're usually referring to the permanent ranges of hearing loss, called age-related hearing loss or noise-induced hearing loss. But the official name is sensorineural hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing…
Is it hearing loss? An ear exam can tell you if it's something else.

Wax? Fungus? Actual Hearing Loss?

"Where'd my hearing go?" Did you wake up one morning with ears that felt full, like you were listening through a tunnel? Did you think, "I really did a number on my ears this time -- is it hearing loss?"  Or, could it be something else? There…
cochlear implants

Referring Patients for a Cochlear Implant

Laurel was a 42-year-old promoter for a Memphis band. When she first visited me, she told me she was dealing with progressively worsening hearing loss. She'd been wearing hearing aids from my office for the last 10 years, but her hearing loss…