Everything You Need To Know About Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Central Auditory Processing Disorder | CCHAT Center Sacramento

Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is a condition that children can be born with or develop over time. Occasionally, CAPD can be confused with Autism or ADHD, but it’s only after a careful and accurate evaluation from an audiologist that you will have a reliable diagnosis.

As a parent, it’s important to completely understand the issues that can arise associated with CAPD. It’s also important to know that with treatment, children who have CAPD can learn to cope and lead perfectly healthy, productive lives.

The CCHAT Center aims to provide answers to parents regarding CAPD. Let’s take a look at what CAPD is, how it’s diagnosed, and how it’s treated so you can help your child live their best life.

What is Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)?

CAPD, also known as auditory processing disorder (APD), is a condition that causes the ears and brain to stop working cooperatively.

People who have CAPD experience normal hearing detection, but their brain has issues processing the sounds they’re picking up.

A child with CAPD may have trouble:

  • Distinguishing the difference between similar sounds
  • Figuring out what is said to them
  • Blocking out background noise
  • Knowing where a sound is coming from

What causes Central Auditory Processing Disorder?

It’s unknown what exactly causes CAPD. It’s a common disorder for children who are on the Autism spectrum, and sometimes it’s seen in children with ADHD. But it also often occurs in children with other comorbid diagnoses.

What are the symptoms of central auditory processing disorder?

The first symptoms of CAPD are often noticed when a child goes to school. Parents and teachers may observe:

  • Difficulty understanding discussions in a classroom, especially if it’s noisy
  • Struggling with spelling
  • Having a hard time reading out loud
  • Asking parents and teachers to repeat what they say

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, CAPD is possible. It’s a good idea to bring them to a trained professional to get a proper diagnosis and begin treatment so they can get back to learning in school. 

How is Central Auditory Processing Disorder diagnosed?

In regard to testing for CAPD:

  • Your child must be older than age 6 -- children younger than 6 don’t have a fully mature auditory system and diagnosing CAPD might be difficult
  • Testing is completed in a sound booth and includes a standard hearing test to rule out typical hearing loss 
  • Testing includes listening to speech that has been degraded in various ways, which is designed to tax the auditory system and determine if the brain is processing normally
  • Testing takes about 2 hours depending on the age of the child

How is Central Auditory Processing Disorder treated?

Treatment is planned with each individual child in mind, meaning your child’s treatment may be completely different from another’s. 

Treatment can include:

  • Listening skills training
  • Using a device that helps make speech louder while reducing background noise
  • Working with a speech or language therapist

As your child’s hearing continues to develop, it’s important to continue working on these skills to help them cope with CAPD. 

The CCHAT Center performs CAPD evaluations for anyone who is interested. Please note: Insurance does not always cover the cost of this testing, so it is recommended to contact your insurance company first.

If you have any questions about CAPD or want to get in touch with one of our audiologists, feel free to call us at (916) 361-7290 or contact us on our website.

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