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Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)

CAPD is an abnormality in the way auditory information is processed in the brain and it is not related to hearing loss although it can occur with it. Children with CAPD in general, have normal hearing sensitivity, but have difficulty understanding speech in background noise and following instructions.

Children with CAPD may display the following behavioral symptoms:

Difficulty understanding spoken language in competing messages and or in noisy backgrounds environments

  • Misunderstanding messages and inconsistent or inappropriate responding
  • Frequent requests for repetition and taking longer to respond in oral communication situations as well as difficulty following complex auditory directions or commands
  • Difficulty paying attention and being easily distracted
  • Difficulty localizing sound
  • Difficulty with reading and/or spelling
  • Difficulty remembering spoken information

How is CAPD diagnosed?

CAPD is diagnosed by an audiologist. There are many different behavioral tests which assess different aspects of auditory processing, such as auditory discrimination tests, auditory temporal processing tests, etc., however, we are at JISH using the (SCAN-A, and SCAN-C) screening tests at this time until we develop our own Arabic version.

Management of CAPD

Intervention strategies directed toward enhancement of signal to noise ratio such as altering the acoustic environment to enhance the listening situation. This can be achieved by, better seating in the classroom and manipulation of the home environment so that the child is placed in more favorable listening situations. Altering the acoustic environment may include equipping the classroom with sound-field speakers to provide amplification of the teacher’s speech. However, in other cases, when the severity of the CAPD is great, the use of FM system may be more appropriate.

The main challenge in managing those with CAPD is to help them in overcoming their difficulties in understanding speech in noisy background environment. Furthermore, children with CAPD may also benefit from auditory-training therapy directed toward improvement of the ability to process auditory information and development of compensatory skills.

Because children with CAPD often have concomitant deficits (deficits occur together) in speech, language, attention, learning and cognition. Treatment for memory, vocabulary, comprehension, listening, reading and spelling are necessary. Moreover those children who have been diagnosed with such conditions such as dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, language disorders, pervasive developmental disorder, or developmental delay may display some of the above symptoms. CAPD can co-exist with these conditions. However, generally if your child shows some of these symptoms and has one of the above conditions, the symptoms are most likely due to that condition, and not to CAPD

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