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Learning Disabilities

Heather Wallace

Ivy Tech Community College

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Learning Disabilities

There are approximately 15 million children, adolescents, and adults who have a form of

a learning disability in the United States. A learning disability is a disorder that affects the ability

to understand or use unspoken or written language. There are several types of learning

disabilities that someone can struggle with, Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a hearing

problem that affects about five percent of school-aged children. Kids with this condition cant

process what they hear in the same way other kids do because their ears and brain dont fully

coordinate (kids health).

Auditory Processing Disorder, also know as Central Auditory Processing Disorder, this is

a condition that aversely affects how sound that travels unimpeded through the ear is processed

or interpreted by the brain (Learning Disability Association). People with Auditory Processing

Disorder do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words, difficulty also comes

from trying to tell where a sound is coming from (Learning Disability Association). Even when

sounds are load and clear enough to hear they struggle with making sense of the order of the

sounds or to block out competing background noises (Learning Disability Association). When

children have the opportunity to the right kind of therapy, they can be successful in school and in

their lives. When it comes to APD early diagnosis is key, because if the condition isnt caught or

treated early, a child can have speech and language delays or problems learning in school (kids


According to Teri Bellis (nd), the term auditory processing often is used loosely by

individuals in many different settings to mean many different things, and the label APD has been

applied (often incorrectly) to a wide variety of difficulties and disorders. With this there are some

who now wonder if every child or adult that have difficulty listening or understanding spoken
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language just diagnose themselves or are given the diagnosis of APD (Bellis). Bellis (nd) refers

to APD to the central nervous system (CNS), and however the CNS is vast and is responsible for

functions such as memory, attention, and language, among others. In order to avoid confusion

with other disorders that can affect a persons ability to attend, understand, and remember, Bellis

says its very important to emphasize that APD is an auditory deficit that is not the result of other

higher-order cognitive, language or related disorder (Bellis).

Some signs and symptoms vary for each child or adult, and there are many different as

well. Some to look out for are if they have difficulty processing and remembering language-

related tasks but may have no trouble interpreting or recalling non-verbal environmental sounds,

such as music (Learning Disability Association). Children or adults may process thoughts and

ideas slower and have trouble explaining them to others, they may misspell and mispronounce

similar-sounding words and confuse similar-sounding words. May be confused by figurative

language, such as metaphor or similes, or misunderstand puns and jokes, they may take things

too literally. They may find it difficult to stay focused on or remembering a verbal presentation

or a lecture. A child may begin to ignore people and say what a lot, even when they have heard

most of what was said to them, they may begin to have difficulty comprehending sentence

structure or rapid speech (Learning Disability Association).

When it comes to wondering or figuring out what the cause of this may be is a bit more

difficult to decide the cause. As of now there isnt really any specific cause that anyone has been

able to find or link to it. They say it could be liked to ear infections or trauma or lead poisoning,

there can also be multiple different causes if any at all.

This is a disorder that is increasing rapidly in todays day in time, there are many

symptoms that come along with this disorder. There are also treatments, which may include
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environmental modifications, such as the use of listening devices, and working with a therapist.

Therapies you could look into for treatment are occupational therapy and applied behavior

analysis, some devices to look into is a hearing aid. Even if your child is correctly diagnosed

with APD there are things to do to help improve their lives, they could live a relatively normal

life. Fifteen million children are diagnosed with a learning disability, and if that could be your

child wouldnt you want to know more about that specific disability? I learned about this

disorder by doing this research, now I know it exists, did you?

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Bellis, T. Understanding Auditory Processing Disorders in Children.

Kids Health from Nemours. Auditory Processing Disorder.

Learning Disabilities Association of America. Auditory Processing Disorder.