Language Processing Disorder vs. Auditory Processing Disorder—What’s The Difference?

by | Apr 5, 2023 | Auditory Processing Disorder, Hearing Health, Patient Resources

There is so much more to healthy hearing than just getting hearing aids.

The difference between auditory processing disorder (APD) and language processing disorder (LPD) can play a significant role in diagnosing and treating language and communication difficulties.

This is especially true with processing disorders in children. Difficulties in interpreting language define both disorders, but they affect different parts of the brain.

APD affects the ability to interpret sound, while LPD affects the ability to interpret language. This can profoundly impact a person’s ability to learn, communicate, and function in their daily life.

We want to make a clear distinction between these two disorders in order to provide the best possible care and support for everyone here in Texas.

We will also discuss the available treatments and resources to help those with these disorders. There is so much more to healthy hearing than just getting hearing aids.

We want to help you and your family understand how to maintain healthy hearing while also being able to recognize if a problem does arise.

Click here to find out if you have APD

Summary of Auditory Processing Disorder

Auditory processing disorder (APD) is a neurological disorder that affects the way the brain processes sound information.

It can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms can often be mistaken for hearing loss or attention deficit disorder.

People with APD have difficulty understanding speech, even when the sounds are loud and clear.

Summary of Language Processing Disorder

Individuals with LPD may have difficulty understanding spoken language, comprehending written language, expressing themselves verbally, and/or using appropriate grammar.

It is also known as a “language-based learning disability.”

Differences Between LPD and APD

  • Language Processing Disorder—Can affect any language-related activity, including understanding conversations, reading, and writing.
  • Auditory Processing Disorder—Affects the way the brain interprets and processes sound. It does not directly affect language skills.
  • Language Processing Disorder—Is caused by a variety of factors, including neurological, cognitive, and environmental factors.
  • Auditory Processing Disorder—Is usually caused by an auditory processing delay. It can be caused by hearing loss, ear infections, or brain injury.
  • Symptoms of Language Processing Disorder—Include difficulty with understanding and using language, difficulty following directions, remembering language, and verbally expressing ideas.
  • Symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder—Include difficulty understanding verbal information, processing complex auditory commands, and distinguishing between similar-sounding words.
  • Treatment of Language Processing Disorder—Involves working with a language specialist to develop language skills.
  • Treatment of Auditory Processing Disorder—Includes strategies we develop with you to improve sound processing. We rely on years of experience, including listening to recordings of words or sounds and practising them with you, to ensure improved hearing health and understanding.

Are Auditory and Language Processing Disorders Permanent?

APD is not a permanent condition, but it can be complicated to treat.

Treatment usually involves identifying and addressing the underlying cause, such as a head injury or ear infection, and creating a long-term plan to provide measurable progress.

LPD is not necessarily permanent, as it can be improved with early intervention, proper assessment, and appropriate treatment.

Treatment for LPD typically includes speech-language therapy, which we can help find and ensure you’re getting the best care possible.

First Steps To Recovery

People of all ages can be at risk for developing APD, though it is most commonly seen in children.

Identifying this early is our number one priority, which is why we want to educate our Houston communities.

If you’re concerned about auditory processing disorder in your child, please schedule an assessment with our experts or contact us with any questions you may have.

We will perform a detailed evaluation, ensuring we gather all the information needed to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

We’re standing by to help you and your family today.

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Jana Emola-Austin, Au.D.

Raised in Bryan, Texas, Jana completed her undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University before attending the University of North Texas with an ambition to earn her master’s degree in speech pathology. However, a required audiology class soon set her on a new career path. She became enthralled with the subject and says audiology resonated with her because it involved everything she enjoys – helping people to improve their lives and relationships with others and using technology to make positive impacts. Following this revelation, Jana went on to graduate with her Doctor of Audiology degree. After many years of assisting patients in the clinic on a daily basis, Jana’s main responsibilities at Allison Audiology have shifted to a management role. She now works behind the scenes focusing on administrative, management, and marketing responsibilities.