Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)
Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is a disorder of the central auditory nervous system. Individuals with CAPD often complain that they cannot hear, even when their hearing test suggests normal hearing. Children and adults with CAPD will often find themselves asking “what?” or “huh?” The difficulty is made worse in the presence of background noise or when conversing with unfamiliar speakers. Other symptoms of CAPD may include difficulty understanding jokes or sarcasm, difficulty remembering multi-step directions, difficulty locating sound, and difficulty remembering things heard.
CAPD may be acquired as an adult (often through head trauma or stroke) or may be present from birth. Symptoms of CAPD often overlap ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and/or Learning and Language Disorders. Because of this, a CAPD diagnosis is best made in conjunction with a neuropsychological or educational-psychological evaluation to rule out or confirm any simultaneously occurring disorders.
When an individual is seen for a CAPD evaluation, a hearing evaluation is completed first. Then a battery of tests is used to try and determine what auditory difficulties exist. Testing generally involves evaluating different auditory processes such as listening in noise, distinguishing between different pitches, or listening for gaps or pauses in noise. Treatment for CAPD is usually provided through a speech-language therapist using a variety of training tools. Often, modifications to the classroom environment will also be suggested and sometimes, use of an FM system may be warranted.
Contact The Hearing Center for more information about Central Auditory Processing Disorder and evaluation.