The aim of this study by Sarah Lawton, speech-language therapist at SoundSkills APD Clinic, was to explore the emotional and psychological consequences of living with APD as perceived by children with the disorder and their parents.
Lawton, S., Purdy, S. C., & Kalathottukaren, R. T. (2017). Children diagnosed with auditory processing disorder and their parents: a qualitative study about perceptions of living with APD. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 28(7), 610-624.
Background: Negative psychosocial consequences have been reported for children with auditory processing disorder (APD). The current literature surrounding APD does not sufficiently address the emotional and psychological consequences of living with the disorder. It is recommended that data be collected from multiple sources, including the child living with APD. Subjective reports of the perceptions of children with APD and their families have real-life validity and can inform clinical decisions and guide future research.
Purpose: The aims of this study were to explore the psychosocial consequences of APD as perceived by children with the disorder and their parents.
Research Design: Qualitative cross-sectional study.
Study Sample: Thirteen participants were interviewed: six children with APD, aged 10–12 yr, and one parent for each child (in one case, two parents participated in the interview).
Data Collection and Analysis: Semi structured interviews were used to examine the social, emotional, and educational well-being of children with APD. Inductive thematic analysis was conducted to develop themes that illustrated the experiences of living with APD.
Results: Three themes were identified forming a causal network conceptual framework that is reciprocal in nature: (1) external factors, (2) internal problems, and (3) coping. The themes revealed how APD impacted negatively on children’s psychosocial well-being (internal problems: covert thoughts, overt behaviors) and described the basis for these outcomes (external factors: environmentally based problems, dissatisfaction with support) and the ability of children and their parent(s) to manage the impact of APD (coping: positive, negative).
Conclusions: The three themes identified in this research provide a novel understanding of the experience of APD. The themes reflect the psychosocial consequences of external factors that are created internally through ‘‘thought’’ and expressed externally through ‘‘behaviour.’’ Pathways to support positive coping strategies while discouraging negative coping strategies will enable children to overcome problems and improve their psychosocial well-being.
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