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Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Children, who struggle academically, without obvious explanation, are often found to have an Auditory Processing Disorder. Upon analysis of a child’s auditory abilities a range of deficits can often be determined. Difficulties ranging from short term auditory memory, auditory sequencing, spatial listening, speech integration and speech in noise amongst other issues can be identified. Once identified appropriate interventions can be devised, implemented and then re-evaluated to determine success or the necessity of modification in approach. #CAPD

The Listen and Learn Centre is a specialist diagnostic and treatment centre for individuals experiencing Central Auditory Processing Disorders. Interested readers will find a wealth of relevant information on their website at http://www.listenandlearn.com.au/auditory-processing-disorder/

What is Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)?

CAPD is the most common abbreviation to describe a range of learning difficulties, although it is relevant to note that a processing disorder is not necessarily always of a central origin. Put simply a child suffering from Auditory Processing Disorders can encounter significant difficulties accessing the academic curriculum and to succeed educationally. This leads to a lot of frustration in the child and can be confronting to educators not familiar with the techniques that can help these children perform optimally.

Symptoms and effects of CAPD

Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) usually affects 5% of school-aged children. The children who have this disorder encounter difficulty processing and thus interpreting what they hear.

Quite often children affected with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) fail to hear things being said in noisy places more so than others. The poor acoustics, overcrowding and now the advent of open plan classrooms diminish audibility and are disabling combinations for these children. They may often fail to discriminate between the similar sounding speech sounds or be unable to process sound efficiently in competing noise environments. Spatial hearing difficulties, recently identified in the literature, is another form of CAPD that can be assisted with specific therapy and improving acoustic environments.

Tests and treatments for CPD

Today a significant range of specific Auditory Processing Assessments are available for Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD). Standardization of these test permits statistical comparisons of performance more specifically for children 7 years of age or older, although it retains reasonable face validity in some younger children. The assessments are conducted in sound booths to ensure purity of the presented materials. A test battery approach is used to determine which areas are likely problems before proceeding to focus into specific deficits to ensure efficiency and to not overtax the child.

The Listen and Learn Centre provides a Screening Assessment for individuals who suspect they may have a Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Further details can be obtained at their website on http://www.listenandlearn.com.au/auditory-processing-screening-assessment/

The treatments are spread across 3 primary areas:

  • Changing the communication or learning environment to improve access to auditory information. Usage of assist listening, a different approach by teachers to facilitate delivery of information or alternate methods of learning could be adapted to address the issue.
  • The compensatory strategies can be applied effectively to strengthen cognitive skills, memory, concentrations and problem-solving. This technique will also teach the children to take the responsibility of their own progress, while they could also be treated with active listening and problem-solving techniques.
  • The direct treatment of Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) involves several ways of remediating the disorder. Your children could go thorough one-to-one therapy sessions, while they could also be given computer assisted treatments inclusive of auditory training. A few of these are home-based treatments, while others require your child to attend therapy sessions in school or clinic.

The early diagnosis ofCentral Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is beneficial to facilitate its early remediation. Children who are undiagnosed can misbehave in class and become frustrated by their inability keep up with the class mates and long term can suffer academically even though they may be very bright.

It is important that comprehensive evaluation of peripheral hearing ability is conducted by an Audiologist initially who may then refer your child to a specialist service for a more detailed Auditory Processing evaluation.