An APD can only be diagnosed by an audiologist, with specialized equipment and tests. As of yet, there is no agreed upon standard test battery.
Testing is best done after the child’s 7th birthday, as auditory processing skills vary widely until this age.
Traditionally, it is advised that children with decreased cognition or more global difficulties should not be tested for APD, as some form of auditory processing disorder would be expected secondary to the presenting condition.
However, for optimal classroom placement and for the purpose of IEPs, assessment can be done for the purpose of finding specific deficits rather than diagnosing an auditory processing disorder to the exclusion of other disorders.
It is essential that the child also receive other assessments, as auditory processing can not be diagnosed without information about the rest of the child.
Auditory processing is only one aspect of communication. What is heard is influenced by the ability to pay attention, the familiarity of language, and the ability to understand language.
Cognitive assessments and language assessments are done by psychologists, psychiatrists and speech-language pathologists. Educators, occupational therapists and pediatricians also contribute to the assessments.