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Causes of APD

Auditory Processing Disorders affect approximately 2 to 5% of the population.

Ongoing research is revealing that the causes of APD are varied and numerous. 

The underlying causes may be present at birth or acquired due to disease or trauma. 

-Pre-natal/neo-natal factors such as hypoxia, drug   exposure, cytomegalovirus (CMV),  hyperbilirubinemia   (jaundice)

-Neuromaturational delay due to prematurity or low birth weight

-Genetic factors resulting in "faulty wiring" of the   neural 


-Auditory deprivation (e.g. chronic middle ear infections,


-Brain injury or trauma

-Neurological disorder or disease (e.g. multiple sclerosis)

-Cerebrovascular disorder (e.g.stroke)

-Exposure to neurotoxins such as heavy metals or solvents

-Seizure disorders

-Age-related changes in the central auditory nervous


Other conditions may have symptoms that are similar to APD, but may not actually be APD. Such conditions include:

-Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

-Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

-Cognitive Delays

-Executive Function Disorders


These conditions can also co-exist with APD. Only careful multi-disciplinary assessment and diagnosis can determine whether these other conditions exist and the impact that they may have on processing and listening skills.

In some cases, the individual may not have an actual Auditory Processing Disorder, but may have a Listening Disorder (LiD). Listening Disorders also make it difficult to perform well in complex listening conditions, but are not the result of dysfunction of the auditory neural pathways leading to the primary auditory cortex. Nevertheless, a treatment plan may be needed to help manage LiD.

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