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Central Auditory Processing Disorder

What Exactly are Central Auditory Processing Disorders?

If a person has CAPD your statement may come as certain words drowned out by other noises or with some parts of your statement sounding like different words or meaningless strings of verbiage. A sign of CAPD is when a person you are talking to acts like what you said is not registering or if they answer with something that really doesn't relate to anything you said.

Most people really don't know much about CAPD so we take the replies as the person really not being concerned with what we said or wondering if they just aren't very smart. It is really not that at all and people with this disability are bothered and embarassed by these situations throughout their lives.

CAPD is a physical hearing impairment, but it doesn't show up as a hearing loss on routine screenings. It affects the hearing system beyond the ear, which seperates background sound from the meaningful sounds and deliver the messages to the brain. This is a vital link to our relationship with the rest of the world and when this is affected it is tough on a person. These problems can be thought of as "short circuits in the wiring" and often the exact cause of CAPD goes unknown.

This disorder is usually characterized by a child having difficulty understanding speech in the presence of normal hearing sensitivity. They are usually noticed when the child is in an atmosphere of sensory overload. Too much is happening around the child and the child can't process the same information that other children process. This also occurs when the redundancy of the auditory information is reduced when speakers can't be seen or if an ear infection produces a temporary hearing loss.

How is CAPD Diagnosed?

There are various tests that can be used to diagnose CAPD. The tests require that a child repeat words, phrases, or tonal sequences when the test signal is presented in the same time as a competing message or when the signal has been filtered to eliminate some frequencies from the normal spectral content. In some cases, children are asked to repeat seperate but simultaneous messages directed to each ear. The child's scores on the tests are compared to normative scores that have been gathered from children of the same age who don't have CAPD

How Do I Determine if Someone could have CAPD?

-problems with rapid speech

-hears better when watching the speaker

-memorizes poorly

-poor communicator

-speech developed late or unclearly

-difficulty following directions in a series

-confuses similar sounding words

-asks many extra info. questions

-unusually sensitive to sounds

-"ignores" people

-difficulty sounding out words

-often needs remarks repeated

-interprets words too literally

-talks or likes sounds louder than normal

If a person experiences any of these things then you may be dealing with someone that has CAPD.

Strategies that can be used for a child with CAPD...

Here is a list strategies that are designed to maximize the child's strengths and to not overload the child. There a numerous strategies because some work better than others. The best thing to do is to find out which strategies work for your child.

* Allow a "buddy" system with another child so that your child can check on homework assignments or other instructions.

* Give your child information in smaller packets. Rather than giving a multistage instructions, provide them in "sound bites."

* Give your child enough time to think and to respond to instructions or questions.

*Teach listening skills. For example, your child should wait until instructions are completed by the teacher before beginning a task.

* Teach strategies that compensate for weak areas. For example, assignments that are given orally could be checked with the teacher at the end of the class period.

* Restate important information. When repeating try phrasing the information in a different way.

* Check your child's comprehension of auditory information before moving on to another topic.

* Gain your child's attention before giving instructions. You might call your child's name or cue the child by saying "listen" or "ready" before beginning.

* Teach your child to use visual information- Look and Listen.

* Preferentially seat your child near the area that the teacher spends most of his/her time.

* Place your child in classroom settings that avoid noisy environments. Avoid open classroom placement.

Will a Hearing Aid Help a Child with this Condition...

A hearing aid would only be of use to a child with this disorder if the child also experienced some type of hearing loss because if the child doesn't have a hearing loss a hearing aid would only cause the child to have more problems due to the overly loud sound.

However, Auditory Trainers, which are a form of Assistive Learning Devices, can be useful for children who have CAPD. A teacher will wear a microphone/transmitter while the child wears a headset/receiver. The use of this device allows the child to focus his/her attention on the teacher and reduce the background noise.

Children who wear hearing aids also can use that technology and modify the hearing aids for direct auditory input. The input comes from the receiver of an auditory trainer or can also be self contained.

Web sites used in the production of this page/ Links on CAPD

Living and Working with CAPD
Angelfire Web Builders