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Is APD Treatable?

This is the question that's on every parent’s mind and is my favorite one because auditory training is so amazing!  The answer is Yes! Auditory processing weaknesses are treatable. Whether it can be completely eliminated depends on the type of auditory processing disorder, and if there are any other conditions present, including ADHD, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, sensory integration disorder or cognitive disability. It is also dependent on the motivation of the child or adult to complete the auditory training exercises. For most persons with auditory processing weaknesses, improvement in hearing can be accomplished.


There was a wonderful study done back in 1991 when functional MRIs first became available.  An MRI was taken of an adult monkey's brain to determine which areas were being activated. These researchers mapped out the areas of the brain that responded to low frequency sounds, mid frequency sounds, and high-frequency sounds.  Next, they surgically destroyed inner ear  high-frequency sound receptors so that the brain was no longer receiving that type of stimulation. Then they waited for 10 months. Their hypothesis was that the area of the brain that previously received high frequency sounds would become weak, atrophic, or diminish in size. But when they repeated the MRI, they found that this area of the brain that responded to high-frequency sounds had reorganized to respond to low and mid frequency sounds. No wasted brain tissue, just reorganization!  The brain actually changed in response to the stimulation it was receiving. This phenomenon is called brain plasticity, which demonstrates that the brain can change, and reorganize. This amazing study  was a very significant one for the area of auditory training.

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