The brain is the true organ of hearing. The ears only transmit sounds to the brain. Auditory processing is the way our ears communicate with our brain and what our brain does with what it hears.
Every listening skill we have uses auditory processing. This includes determining where a sound is coming from, following a teacher in a noisy classroom, recognizing your favourite song, picking up on sarcasm, or following verbal instructions. However, good auditory processing skills require attention. Attention span is the ability to keep your mind focused on something through careful observation or listening. You must first pay attention to something before you can process it for meaning and understanding. There are different types of attention, such as sustained attention which is the child’s ability to stay focused and on task for an extended period of time. Selective attention is the ability not get distracted by for example background noise and divided attention is the ability to handle more than one task at a time (i.e. multi-tasking).