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Auditory processing disorder (APD), also known as central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), is a hearing problem that affects about 5% of school-aged children.
Kids with this condition can't process what they hear in the same way other kids do because their ears and brain don't fully coordinate. Something interferes with the way the brain recognizes and interprets sounds, especially speech.
With the right therapy, kids with APD can be successful in school and life. Early diagnosis is important, because when the condition isn't caught and treated early, a child can have speech and language delays or problems learning in school.
Kids with APD are thought to hear normally because they can usually hear sounds that are delivered one at a time in a very quiet environment (such as a sound-treated room). The problem is that they usually don't recognize slight differences between sounds in words, even when the sounds are loud and clear enough to be heard.
These kinds of problems usually happen when there is background noise, which is often the case in social situations. So kids with APD can have trouble understanding what is being said to them when they're in noisy places like a playground, sports events, the school cafeteria, and parties.