(Central) Auditory Processing Disorder

Teacher working with her student with hearing loss making sure she understands the assignment at school

(Central) Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)

Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), also known as an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), is a series of difficulties that can occur during various listening tasks. Children with (C)APD may hear normally, however, they are unable to comprehend or interpret the information they hear correctly. When (C)APD is present, the individual’s ear sends sounds to the brain, but the part of the brain responsible for translating those sounds into meaning does not function properly, resulting in a jumbled message. They also tend to behave as though they understand, but lose track of the conversation when there is background noise, more than one person speaking, or a person is speaking rapidly or in incomplete sentences. If left untreated, children with (C)APD may have speech and language delays. They also tend to have difficulty learning, especially in loud noisy classrooms. Early diagnosis is crucial because with the right treatment, a child with (C)APD can do well in school and live a completely normal life.

(C)APD Evaluations

(C)APD evaluations are particularly useful for children ages seven and older who have normal hearing, but experience difficultly listening and learning in the classroom. HES understands that a careful and accurate diagnosis is the first step to providing a comprehensive and effective treatment program. (C)APD evaluations must be interpreted in the context of a complete psycho-educational test series, including measures of the child’s cognitive, language, and reading capacity. At HES, we scrutinize your child’s test for predictable sequences of errors or patterns in their responses that indicate the type of auditory delay they are experiencing. In doing so, we can determine the specific area(s) of auditory weakness to develop a unique treatment plan that fits their individual needs.

(C)APD Treatment

(C)APD treatment must be individualized, intense, and effective. Designing a plan to improve symptoms of (C)APD requires the collaboration of multiple specialists, parents, and teachers. The educational team with take into consideration the child’s school and home environments while developing their plan. Modifications to your child’s classroom, homework, and in-school testing requirements may be recommended. If there is a hearing loss, hearing aids may also be part of the treatment plan. Additionally, your audiologist at HES may work with the speech-language pathologist at your school to provide auditory training therapies to help your child develop better listening and organizational skills.