The five main problem areas that can affect both home and school activities in children with APD are:
1. Auditory Figure-Ground Problems: when a child can’t pay attention if there’s noise in the background. Noisy, low-structured classrooms could be very frustrating.
2. Auditory Memory Problems: when a child has difficulty remembering information such as directions, lists, or study materials. It can be immediate (“I can’t remember it now”) and/or delayed (“I can’t remember it when I need it for later”).
3. Auditory Discrimination Problems: when a child has difficulty hearing the difference between words or sounds that are similar (COAT/BOAT or CH/SH). This can affect following directions, and reading, spelling, and writing skills, among others.
4. Auditory Attention Problems: when a child can’t stay focused on listening long enough to complete a task or requirement (such as listening to a lecture in school). Children with APD often have trouble maintaining attention, although health, motivation, and attitude also can play a role.
5. Auditory Cohesion Problems: when higher-level listening tasks are difficult. Auditory cohesion skills — drawing inferences from conversations, understanding riddles, or comprehending verbal math problems — require heightened auditory processing and language levels.