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I have a cousin who told me that auditory processing disorder is a complex problem. Since I know the term is used by many people, in very different ways, I want to hear what it means exactly. I have heard there is research underway to help understand this disorder, so I want to know this. Can you tell me more about this problem with auditory processing? Is there any research to investigate therapies that will help individuals who may have an auditory processing disorder?

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Auditory processing is a term used to describe what happens when the brain recognizes and interprets the sounds around person. Humans hear when energy is recognized as sound travels through the ear and is changed into electrical information that can be interpreted. The disorder as a part of auditory processing disorder means that something is adversely affecting the processing or interpretation of the information. Children with auditory processing disorder often do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words. It happens even though the sounds themselves are loud and clear. These kinds of problems are more likely to occur when a person with auditory processing disorder is in a noisy environment. Human communication relies on taking in complicated perceptual information from the outside world through the senses. With this, I mean of perceptual information such as hearing, and interpreting that information in a meaningful way. Human communication also requires certain mental abilities, such as attention and memory, which is still affecting auditory processing. Scientists still do not understand exactly how all of these auditory processes work and interact or how they malfunction in cases of communication disorders. Even though child seems to hear normally, he or she may have difficulty using those sounds for speech and language, which is recognized as auditory processing disorder.
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