Diagnosis and management of Auditory Processing Disorder

Project Details

Approximately 5-7 % of children meet the diagnostic criteria for the neuro-developmental disorder termed Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). These same children will often display significant literacy development difficulties. Adults also experience auditory procesisng deficits, with incidence increasing wth age.

The development and underlying associations of auditory processing skills require better understanding, and is a primary focus of this research team. Recent research has shown significant link exists between cognitive abilities and  performance on specific auditory processing tasks (Tomlin et al., 2015).  Evidence supporting delays in central auditory nervous development in children with APD has also recently been published (Tomlin & Rance, 2015), which would support an overall neuro-maturational delay as an underlying cause of Auditory Processing, cognitive and reading deficits.

How to ameliorate this disorder and optimize listening and/or educational outcomes is still to be determined.  The second aim of this team  is to evaluate the efficacy of various remediation approaches for their ability to target the neuro-plasticity of the central auditory nervous system and improve long-term auditory processing, literacy and listening outcomes in children and adults)diagnosed with APD. Determining the efficacy of available rehabilitation approaches for the amelioration of auditory processing deficits will provide clinical guidelines for the management of this disorder, and further insight into the mechanisms and pathways underlying auditory porcessing ability.



  • HEARing CRC
  • Phonak Org
  • Victorian Department of Education and Training


  • 2016 Early career Research grant
  • HEARing CRC funding

Research Publications

Tomlin, D. and Rance, G. (2016). Maturation of the central auditory nervous system in children with auditory processing disorder. Seminars in hearing. (37) 1, 74-83.

Barry, J. G., Tomlin, D., Moore, D. R., & Dillon, H. (2015). Use of questionnaire-based measures in the assessment of listening difficulties in school-aged children. Ear and hearing, 36(6), e300.

Tomlin, D., Dillon, H., Sharma, M., & Rance, G. (2015). The Impact of Auditory Processing and Cognitive Abilities in Children. Ear and hearing. (36)5, 527–542

Tomlin, D., & Rance, G. (2014). Long-Term Hearing Deficits After Childhood Middle Ear Disease. Ear and hearing, 35(6), e233-e242.

Tomlin, D., Dillon, H., & Kelly, A. S. (2014). Allowing for Asymmetric Distributions When Comparing Auditory Processing Test Percentage Scores with Normative Data. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 25(6), 541-548.

Dillon, H., Cameron, S., Glyde, H., Wilson, W., & Tomlin, D. (2012). An opinion on the assessment of people who may have an auditory processing disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 23(2), 97-105.

Research Group

Identification and Management of Hearing Disorders

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Mental Health, Child Health

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Audiology and Speech Pathology

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