Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) occurs in children and adults when auditory information is not interpreted correctly, when the auditory signal gets distorted or altered on the way from the ear to the brain. Sometimes a child hears what you are saying but has trouble processing information in a timely manner or understanding it correctly. This makes everyday listening situations challenging. Signs of CAPD become more pronounced in less than ideal listening environments, compromised by background noise, distance, and/ or poor acoustics. If your child has an auditory processing disorder, he/she might:
- Difficulties understanding in noise
- Frequently asking for repetitions: “What?”, “Huh?”
- Easily distracted
- Difficulties paying attention
- Misunderstanding and mishearing
- Difficulties following complex directions
- Difficulties finding the direction of the sound
- Related difficulties with memory, reading, and other academic areas
Research indicates that children with attention issues, language processing issues, learning disabilities, etc. frequently exhibit similar characteristics as patients with central auditory processing disorder issues. Therefore, it is important to define specific auditory processing deficits in order to implement appropriate management. The purpose of the auditory processing evaluation is to outline areas of auditory processing that a child may have difficulties with, rather than diagnosing them with a central auditory processing disorder.
The APD evaluation assesses the ability to use auditory information for language and academic learning. It is different than typical tests of hearing as it involves evaluation of listening and understanding information, specifically in challenging acoustic situations.