Summary of the Clinical Practice Guideline

Article Citation

Clinical Practice Guideline: Auditory Processing Disorder in Children and Adults: Assessment & Intervention

College of Speech and Hearing Professionals of British Columbia. (2019).
Vancouver (Canada): College of Speech and Hearing Professionals of British Columbia, 1-84.
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This guideline from the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of British Columbia provides recommendations on assessment and intervention of auditory processing disorder in children and adults.

Recommendations from This Guideline

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When screening for auditory processing disorders (APD) in individuals, behavioral checklists, questionnaires, or screening tests of APD should be used prior to further assessment and should not be used to diagnose APD.


When assessing for auditory processing disorders (APD) in individuals, audiologists should:
  • assess auditory capacities such as localization, lateralization, and temporal resolution through standard audiometric assessment (e.g., pure tone audiometry, immittance battery, otoacoustic emissions, speech recognition), 
  • collect pre-assessment information (e.g., contextual observations, checklists, questionnaires) and case history,
  • conduct APD testing using a test battery with good test sensitivity, specificity, and efficiency that also assesses and describes the individual's functional abilities and difficulties, and
  • consider electrophysiological testing (e.g., auditory brainstem evoked response, middle latency response, P300 and Mismatch Negativity) in cases when abnormal or limited findings on behavioral measures need to be confirmed.
For a detailed description of interpreting assessment findings, see Sections 3.7 and 4.6 of the full text document for more information.

Keywords: Behavioral (e.g. Speech Discrimination/Dichotic Listening/Temporal Processing), Electrophysiologic (e.g. ABR/Middle Latency/P300), Case History, Communication/Speech-Language/Cognition, Questionnaire/Checklist (Caregiver/Self-Report), Immittance Testing (e.g. Acoustic Reflexes), Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs), Pure Tone Audiometry, Speech Recognition (e.g. SRT/WRS)


For managing auditory processing disorder (APD) in individuals, clinicians should develop a management plan to improve the individual's participation and autonomy. Interventions may target
  • environmental factors to improve the listening environment (e.g., reducing background noise, reducing the effects of distance, using assistive listening devices), 
  • social environmental factors to improve engagement with communication partners (e.g., modeling communication repair strategies, providing education to caregivers and educators), or 
  • personal factors to improve auditory capacity (e.g., providing direct training, teaching coping strategies).
For a detailed description on managing APD, see Sections 3.8-3.10 and 4.7-4.10 of the full text document for more information.

Keywords: Auditory Treatments (i.e. Manipulation of the Acoustic Signal), Compensatory/Environmental Strategies (e.g. Chunking/FM System), Counseling and Education

Service Delivery

Audiologists should be the primary professionals identifying and working with individuals with auditory processing disorders (APD). Other members of the multi-disciplinary team may include speech-language pathologists, educators, psychologists, physicians, or other care staff. Core competencies of audiologists working with individuals with APD include an understanding of the assessment and management of APD, characteristics of developmental and acquired APD, and a knowledge of community resources.

Keywords: Provider

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