Members area



Don't have a login?

Join us

Become a member

  • Connect with others through events, workshops, campaigns and our NEW online forum, Your Community
  • Discover information and insights in our resource hub and receive the latest updates via email
  • Access one-to-one support and tailored services which help reduce barriers for deaf children
Menu Open mobile desktop menu

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

We can only provide support and services to families and carers of children and young people with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) if your child is deaf or has hearing loss.

However, if a child has normal hearing levels with APD we are currently unable to provide support or services.

What is Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

Deafness occurs when one or more parts of the ear or auditory (hearing) nerve doesn't function as it should. However, the ability to listen to sounds also involves memory, learning, vision and attention, as well as hearing. If any of these functions are impaired then hearing and listening may be affected.

Children with APD may have difficulties with listening, or making sense of the sounds heard, particularly in environments with a lot of background noise. They usually have normal levels of hearing and normal intelligence.

Some parents realise their child has difficulties with understanding from an early age, but often APD becomes more obvious when children start school.

The cause of APD is often unknown. In children, APD may be associated with conditions such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, autism, autism spectrum disorder, specific language impairment, pervasive developmental disorder, or developmental delay.

Information and support

British Society of Audiology 

The British Society of Audiology (BSA) established an APD Special Interest Group in 2003. The steering committee represents a broad range of professional disciplines, and includes leading researchers and clinicians in the field. They foster strong links with community, individuals with APD and their families, and have the parent of a child with APD as an advisor to the SIG.

Their parent adviser coordinates a Family Support Group. Email [email protected] for information about joining.

BSA's APD Special Interest Group also have a Facebook page.

Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (IPSEA)

IPSEA is a registered charity. It offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.