Although we hear with our ears, it is our brain that makes sense of the information we hear. The mechanism by which the brain analyses and assigns meaning to auditory information is known as auditory processing. A Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD, sometimes called APD) occurs when this process is impaired.
Efficient processing of auditory information is very important for children and adults to be successful in learning and communication. A CAPD will have an impact on educational achievement, social development, relationships and general emotional well being.
Listed below are some common behavioural characteristics of people with a CAPD. Central auditory processing consists of a number of different underlying mechanisms. The actual symptoms of a person’s CAPD will depend on which mechanisms are affected.
(It is important to note that these symptoms can result from other disorders. Careful assessment is required to identify the underlying cause).
Central auditory processing is an umbrella term for a number of different underlying mechanisms. At our clinic, a comprehensive test battery is used to assess these mechanisms. The specific processes assessed are:
The tests we use have been selected to identify weaknesses or problems in each of these areas.
CAPD testing is relatively demanding, and parents are advised to arrange morning appointments when their children are most alert. Although most children with CAPD have normal hearing, a standard hearing test must be carried out to exclude the possibility of a peripheral hearing impairment. This part of the assessment is carried out at the first appointment. The complete assessment takes up to 2 ½ hours, which is spread over two to three appointments. A detailed report discussing the questionnaire responses, test results and rehabilitative recommendations, is provided.
A CAPD assessment is recommended for children and adults with:
CAPD Testing is suitable for adults and children from age 7. Before age 7, there is too wide a range of auditory processing abilities to make reliable comparisons.
A comprehensive management program can be put together, once a person’s specific auditory processing weaknesses have been identified. This program will also take into account other factors such as the age of the person and their particular requirements. The aim of the rehabilitative program is to both strengthen a person’s auditory processing skills as well as to teach them strategies to better manage the auditory processing problems they are having. The management program for CAPD will usually consist of a combination of the following four components: