What is Central Auditory Processing Disorder?
A central auditory processing disorder (or a CAPD) is a weakness in the ability to quickly understand information an individual hears.
Signs and symptoms
Your child may have a CAPD if he or she:
- Says “huh a lot”
- Cannot follow multi-step directions
- Has difficulty reading, comprehending, and writing
- Gets overwhelmed in a big group or in a place with lots of noise
- Is forgetful
Who can make a diagnosis?
Everyone from teachers to pediatricians may suspect a problem, but a diagnosis should be made by an audiologist, who will screen for attention issues, screen for visual processing delays, and assess memory ability.
What can be done at school?
Schoolroom tactics differ greatly on a case by case basis, but one approach generally agreed on is placing the child at the front of the classroom. If your child learns best visually (as if often the case with CAPD kids), then liberal use of visual supplements is also recommended.
If it doesn’t have one already, the classroom may need an amplification system.
For some students, small group instruction may be necessary.
What can be done at home?
School may be fatiguing so be sure to schedule some time to relax. When it’s time to do homework, make sure the area you pick is very quiet.
When a task has multiple steps to be completed, create lists.
And above all, be patient, and try to speak to your child while facing them. Turn off background noise when possible.
Types of Therapy
- Speech and language therapists can assist in strengthening the language area of the brain
- Audiologists can focus on the auditory system and listening, as well as auditory memory training
- Home therapy can assist your child in becoming a fluid reader
How often should an APD assessment take place?
Some schools require annual evaluations, some every 3 years. If a school does not require them, then a re-evaluation should take place when any change in your child is noted.