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Thriving in the Midst of Chaos: Parenting With Special Needs Kids

Dec 28, 2020

Episode 70: Auditory Processing Disorder With Guest Dr. Lilach Saperstein

In this episode, we discuss the ins and outs of auditory processing disorder (APD). Guest Dr. Lilach Saperstein noted that APD occurs when the brain can’t properly pick out what is important to hear vs what is noise. APD is more likely to occur in children that have other disorders, such as ADHD or autism, although another possible contributing factor is chronic ear infections between 0-3 years of age. Diagnosis is typically only made starting at age 7, but can be screened starting at age 5.


APD presents differently in each child. Common signs include inattention, not answering to their name, constantly saying “what,” “I didn’t hear you,” “did you call me?,” needing to repeat things to the child, the child not being engaged to sounds around them when it is noisy or busy but attends when it is quiet, and the child experiencing frustration in communicating. Before being diagnosed with APD, one must have had ruled out hearing difficulties and ADHD. It is strongly recommended that a child also have a psychoeducational evaluation, speech and language evaluation, and a medical checkup, and the audiologist will also gather information from the teacher and parent. Although only audiologists can diagnose APD, speech therapists most typically do the treatment.

Dr. Saperstein provided the following tips for managing APD:

Tips: Visual cues along with auditory cues

            Visual schedules for routines

            One direction at a time

            Repeat information back verbatim

            FM system in the classroom (mic to kid’s ear)

            Learning an instrument

            Preferential seating near front of the room, near the teacher

            Pre-teaching key words of the lesson

            Chunking information

            Play Simon says (start slow, then speed up instructions)

            Play chicken dance that gets faster and faster

            Copy the beat

            Written communication at school and work

            Accommodations in the office

            Listening to audio books and podcasts (slow down or speed up playback speed)


Guest Links:

All About Audiology

All About Audiology Guide



Khan Academy Kids

Teachers Pay Teachers


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Show Music:

Intro Outro: Intro Outro 2 by Mattias Lahoud under CC-BY 3.0 License (

Theme Song: 90s rock style by monkeyman535 under CC-BY 3.0 License (

Self Care Song: Green and Orange No Water by Duncan Alex under CC-BY 3.0 License (


Hosted by: Jessica Temple and Lewis Temple


Disclaimer: Our show is not designed to provide listeners with specific or personal legal, medical, or professional services or advice. Parents of children with health issues should always consult their health care provider for medical advice, medication, or treatment.

Copyright 2020 Jessica and Lewis Temple