There is a need for an evidence-based approach of this population. For this reason, the Research Centre for Innovations in Care (in cooperation with the Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen) is developing a Dutch Position Statement. The ‘Dutch Position Statement APD’ will provide professionals tools to identify, diagnose and advise children with potential auditory processing disorders.
There are people who, despite the absence of hearing loss, still have problems with speech understanding in complex listening situations, for instance with background noise, or when a speaker speaks very quickly and/or the sound quality is limited. For those problems in listening and understanding , referral to an Audiological Center can help in assessing the nature of the problem; audiological and additional psychological/ speech-language assessments can be carried out, as well as counselling or (referral for) treatment.
Within the Dutch Audiological Centers, wide variation exists in procedures for diagnosing and advising children with complaints about listening and understanding in complex listening situations (suspected auditory processing disorders, APD). There is a need for uniformity in the diagnosis of this population. Some centers have specially developed procedures with standardized (auditory, language, psychological) assessments, other centers do not include auditory processing tests any more, and focus on assessing broader functioning of the child. These differences are, for professionals as well as for (parents of) clients, not preferred.
In some countries outside the Netherlands, consensus documents or position statements are developed. These describe the current situation in the field of science and practice in terms of diagnostics and guidance/counselling of children with auditory processing disorders. We want to develop this in The Netherlands.
The following studies will precede the development of the Position Statement:
- Systematic Review of the definition, symptomatology and comorbidity of auditory processing disorders (PhD student Ellen de Wit at Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen).
- Focus group study into current experiences, perspectives and needs of professionals from Audiological Centers (senior lecturer Karin Neijenhuis at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences).
- Delphi study into consensus of experts with regards to auditory processing disorders (applied research professor Margreet Luinge at Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen).