CENTRAL AUDITORY PROCESSING DISORDER (CAPD)
CAPD is a disruption in the brain’s ability to effectively and efficiently use auditory information, thus having a profound influence on the individual’s ability to listen and learn.Individuals with Auditory processing disorders come across as though they have a hearing loss when in fact, their hearing is often within normal limits.
CAPD has been noted to co-exist with a number of other disorders like ADHD, autism, language impairment, dyslexia and learning disability.
Children with CAPD might exhibit the following:
- Is easily distracted by background noise/difficulty hearing in noisy situations.
- Difficulty following long conversations.
- Difficulty taking notes.
- Easily distracted by other sounds in the environment.
- Does not listen carefully to directions and often need instructions to be repeated.
- Forgets what is said in a few minutes.
- Has difficulty recalling a sequence that has been heard.
- Experiences problems with sound discriminations.
- Says “huh” & “what” a lot (at least 5 times in a day)
- Does not pay attention to what is being said.
- Difficulty with reading and/or spelling.
- Difficulty with organisational skills.
- Has a history of hearing loss.
- Has a history of ear infections.
- Day dreams a lot.
How to help a child with Auditory Processing Disorder?
A multidisciplinary approach is crucial for accurate diagnosis. Members of the team typically include a Speech Language Pathologist, Psychologist, Teacher, Parents and Audiologist. The Audiologist performs a comprehensive test that are specific to the person’s age, language, auditory problems and cognitive abilities. Treatment options are as outlined below.
- Use of specialised computer based programmes that are specifically recommended by the Audiologist depending on child’s needs.
- Use of an assistive listening device such as a personal FM system or sound field system. This allows the child to hear the teacher’s voice directly even if there is other distracting background noise.
- Speech in noise training.
- Direct therapy in the form of Phonologic/Auditory awareness training.
- Breaking instructions into simple steps.
- Sitting close to the teacher in the classroom so that the child can hear the teacher's voice louder.
- Written instructions can be given to get the message through.
- Acoustic modifications.
- Reduce noise in the classroom.
- Quiet study place at home.
- Encourage the child to ask the teacher/parent to repeat what has been said if they haven’t understood the instructions.
- Gaining attention prior to speaking.
- Generous use of positive reinforcement.
- Teachers and parents to check on child’s comprehension
- Pre teaching new information or vocabulary.
- Provision of a note taker.
- Avoidance of auditory fatigue.
The Audiologist who performs the assessment would discuss the options based on what is best suited to the child’s needs. At Agape we perform a comprehensive Auditory Processing Assessment in a professional yet friendly manner at the child’s own pace.