Symptom Tests for Children

[Self-Test] Auditory Processing Disorder in Children

This screener may help determine whether your child demonstrates symptoms similar to those of auditory processing disorder, which impacts oral communication and comprehension.

Does your child need instructions written out and numbered? Does he mispronounce and mix up similar sounding words? Or easily forget names and titles?

These are all signs of auditory processing disorder (APD), a learning disability that impacts the brain's ability to filter and interpret sounds. People with APD have a hard time receiving, organizing, and using auditory information. They're able to hear, but fall short at listening. While APD isn't as well known as some other learning disabilities, it’s estimated that roughly 7 percent of children have some type of auditory processing difficulty.

APD usually becomes apparent in the early grades, when children are expected to actively listen. A young child with sound discrimination problems may be fidgety at story time, overwhelmed in noisy settings, or mispronounce words. Older children with APD may have trouble reading because it involves the manipulation of sounds.

Answer the following questions to see if your child might be showing signs of APD and share the results with a professional for evaluation.

Adapted from the symptoms of APD as described by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. This is not a diagnostic tool. If you have concerns about possible APD see a health professional. An accurate diagnosis can only be made through clinical evaluation. This screener is for personal use only.

My child can’t focus on his homework if he can hear someone talking or playing in another room.

If I tell my child, “Go to your room and get your coat,” she’ll go to her room and come back without her coat.

My child seems disinterested in music.

My child cries, covers her ears, or runs away when I turn on the vacuum cleaner.

My child gets upset if anyone talks while we’re watching TV, even at a very low volume or during a commercial.

My child has been tested for hearing problems, and everything came out fine.

My child mishears me when I’m speaking; he thinks I said “bread” instead of “red,” for example.

My child gets stressed out when talking on the telephone — or even thinking about it.

My child often says, “What?” even if no one is talking.

My child can’t focus on writing and listening at the same time, and has difficulty taking notes.

My child does poorly on oral tests but not written ones. My child has difficulty listening to auditory information (teacher teaching) when no visual information is available.

My child often says sounds in the wrong order, long after his peers have stopped doing this.

My child seems distracted or has trouble focusing during class.

(Optional) Would you like to receive your auditory processing disorder symptom test results — plus more helpful resources — via email from ADDitude?

Can’t see the self-test questions above? Click here to open this test in a new window.

Auditory Processing Disorder in Children: Next Steps

1. Read Developmental Milestones: Red Flags for Auditory Processing Disorder
2. Take This Test: Dyslexia Symptom Test for Children
3. Take This Test: Executive Dysfunction Symptom Test for Children
4. Take This Test: Sensory Processing Disorder Symptom Test for Children 
5. Listen to the Free Webinar “What Are You Saying? Auditory Processing Disorder in Children,” with Lois Kam Heymann, M.A., CCC-SLP
6. Find: Specialists or Clinics Near You
7. Download: Does My Child Have Auditory Processing Disorder?