Attention Deficit May Be Hearing Deficit

Attention deficit and auditory processing disorders are not necessarily mutually exclusive — a child could be suffering from both, Musiek says.

“That they co-occur is widely agreed on,” says Dr. Glen Elliott, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at UCSF and an attention deficit disorder expert. “But would I recommend that every child with AD/HD gets this assessment? No.”

Auditory processing disorder may just be one facet of learning disabilities, which are also closely correlated with attention-deficit kids, Elliott says.

A Second Opinion Musiek recommends that parents whose children have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder consider getting a second opinion, especially if the drug Ritalin or forms of behavioral treatment don’t seem to be working.

Musiek has seen parents who returned to their doctors with the revised diagnosis and were able to take their kids off medication.

“As a parent and a citizen,” he says, “I’m worried about the fact that so many kids are on medication for AD/HD — and what if they don’t really have it?”

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