By Fatima Malik

What is ADHD?

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) is a neuro-developmental condition that affects executive functioning, attention and impulse control. 

What is APD?

APD (Auditory Processing Disorder) affects the listening ability because their ears and brains don’t fully coordinate. 

How are ADHD and APD linked?

ADHD and APD can sometimes co-exist in a child. But it can be difficult to distinguish the two or determine if a child has both at the same time. 

The reason is that APD can sometimes display the same kind of symptoms as ADHD. 

For example, APD can affect attention and executive function, just like ADHD. 

Kids with ADHD also have symptoms related to sensory processing issues, which include auditory processing. 

APD can mask symptoms of ADHD, so it’s hard to diagnose a child with ADHD who also has APD. 



No clinical tests can definitively tell you if your child has ADHD or APD. 

ADHD is usually diagnosed in the following categories: 

Predominantly inattentive:

They mainly show behaviours associated with inattention, lack of focus and distractions.

Predominantly hyper-impulsive:

 Mainly showing behaviours associated with hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Trouble sitting still, having trouble with social situations.


Showing both a mix of inattentive and hyper-impulsive symptoms.

What are the differences between APD and ADHD?

Some symptoms that may help distinguish APD from ADHD include:

  • APD makes it more difficult to localize the source of a sound, especially when there are multiple sounds at the same time instead of one individual sound at a time.
  • Kids with APD may struggle to learn songs (they may misunderstand the words).
  • APD can make it difficult for kids to understand conversations or decode complex verbal communications.
  • Kids with APD may appear to have hearing difficulties, even when they listen attentively.

But regardless of diagnosis, the point of identifying any disorder is to treat it. 


There is a combination of medication and therapeutic treatments for both disorders. Child psychologists and psychotherapists can benefit kids with ADHD and APD.

Building the child’s skills to deal with the symptoms as they grow older.

Offices in ON: Woodbridge, North York, Barrie, Hamilton, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Bolton, Oakville, Markham, Scarborough etc.

Positive Kids
Author: Positive Kids

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