Hearing disorder often misdiagnosed as ADHD in kids, experts warn

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OTTAWA - Health advocates say a little-known hearing disorder that affects two to three per cent of Canadian children is often going misdiagnosed.

The symptoms of auditory processing disorder, which affects the way the brain processes sound, are similar to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — short attention spans, anxiety and difficulty reading.

Chantal Kealey, an audiologist with the Canadian Association of Speech-language Pathologists and Audiologists, says not enough doctors are aware of the disorder.

Kealey and her organization have released a new set of national guidelines that urges doctors to take a more "holistic" approach.

They recommend ensuring teachers, parents and schools are making an effort to identify children with APD and where they are facing difficulties.

Kealey says children with the disorder are no less intelligent than other kids, they just learn differently — differences she says can be treated once identified.

Organizations: Canadian Association of Speech

Geographic location: OTTAWA

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