Central Auditory Processing Disorder

What is Central Auditory Processing Disorder?

Auditory processing refers to what we do with the messages that we hear. A Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) occurs when there is a breakdown in auditory memory, attention, cognition, and hearing. A Central Auditory Processing Disorder can affect children who have normal peripheral hearing but have difficulty coordinating auditory information and synthesizing it accurately and effectively by the central auditory mechanism. Children with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder may co-exist with other difficulties in the central nervous system, including learning disabilities, speech-language disorders, ADHD, and other developmental disorders.

What are some symptoms of Central Auditory Processing Disorder?

Symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Decreased ability to localize sound
  • Poor auditory discrimination
  • Reduced auditory integration
  • Poor auditory sequencing skills
  • Difficulty listening in the presence of background noise
  • Decreased auditory attention
  • Poor auditory memory

Our Approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy

An initial diagnosis of a Central Auditory Processing Disorder is made following a comprehensive audiological evaluation, which is completed by a licensed and ASHA accredited audiologist. The assessment includes a battery of tests designed to examine how well the skills in the central auditory mechanism in the brain stem are working. The speech-language pathologists at NSPT work closely with the audiologist, following the diagnosis, and collaborate on an ongoing basis. Children with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder benefit from working closely with both speech and language pathologists, as well as occupational therapists. Professionals at North Shore Pediatric Therapy can collaborate with teachers and other professionals and provide formal school observations to help set up a successful learning environment for your child. In addition, compensation strategies can be provided and taught within the context of the classroom. The therapy will include activities to increase auditory closure skills, vocabulary building, discrimination skills, grammatical rules, meta-cognition, and auditory perceptual training.

How can I help treat my child’s Central Auditory Processing Disorder?

Children with CAPD benefit from both direct intervention and remediation techniques aimed at improving auditory skills, assistance in learning compensatory strategies for auditory processing, and making necessary modifications in their environment to make them successful. Classroom and home recommendations can be made by your child’s SLP in order to facilitate improvements with auditory perceptual skills in the school and home environment. Children with CAPD tend to learn well using a multi-sensory approach, and follow through on tasks more consistently when verbal instructions are clear and concise. Listening breaks are also recommended for children, in order to allow them time to process auditory information and to minimize auditory fatigue throughout the day.