Diagnosing auditory processing disorder

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Diagnosing auditory processing disorder

Many parents wonder about auditory processing disorder. Auditory processing refers to how your brain makes sense of the information that you hear through your ears. If you have a problem with your auditory processing, you might not understand things. It might be difficult for you to hear in the midst of background noise. Things might come across as unclear for you. For example, if I say go get my coat, the child comes back with a toy goat. This can interfere with their functioning in a number of ways. It can make reading very, very challenging. It can also make attending to lectures at school and lessons very difficult. It also can impede social functioning because the child cannot follow the flow of a conversation. Auditory processing disorder can actually look a lot like ADHD or like an autism spectrum disorder, so it´s very important that that piece is thoroughly evaluated when you are getting a diagnostic assessment.

Watch Allison Kawa, PsyD's video on Diagnosing auditory processing disorder...


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Allison Kawa, PsyD

Child Psychologist

Alison Kawa is a licensed child psychologist specializing in the evaluation of children and adolescents.  Her pre- and post-doctoral training emphasized child and adolescent testing.  She was a fellow in the UCLA Autism Evaluation Clinic where she acquired extensive training in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders and a range of other developmental disorders.  During this time, she also obtained certification from the University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center (UMACC) on the gold standard instruments (i.e., ADI-R and ADOS) used in autism evaluations.  Following her fellowship, she became Senior Assessor at UCLA where she worked for four years.

Alison completed the PsychoEducational Diagnostic Services Program (PEDS) Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Assessment at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center at Vista Del Mar.  In this setting, she conducted comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations for children and adolescents with a diverse range of issues including ADHD, Learning Disabilities, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders.  She also completed the Child Therapy in a School Setting program offered by Phillips Graduate Institute, where she gained training and experience in play therapy, social skills groups, and therapeutic interventions appropriate for adolescents. 

While completing her graduate training in psychology, she held a staff position at Working With Autism, Inc., where she worked individually with children with autism, provided case management and supervision, and developed and implemented a staff-training curriculum.  It was through this position that she acquired a love for teaching and training. In addition to her private practice, she teaches pre- and post-doctoral fellows at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center at Vista Del Mar, where she also works as a supervisor and consultant.

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