Not all hearing-related problems are caused by the inability to hear. In some disorders, people can hear sounds fine, but have a reduced ability to process subtle differences in sounds, like hearing “chair” and thinking “stair.”
People with central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) receive “distorted” signals from their ears that make it difficult to concentrate, identify the meaning of spoken words, or remember instructions. Rather than the result of a learning disorder or other cognitive impairment, these behaviors are caused by the lack of clear auditory processing between the ear and brain.
Regular vs. Inhibited Hearing
The process of hearing and comprehending sounds is a five-step cycle: receiving auditory information, paying attention to it, processing it, comprehending it, and encoding it to memory. CAPD causes a breakdown in the processing phase, which further throws off the comprehension and memory phase. Not only do people with CAPD have difficulty understanding information in the moment, they’re also affected by poor memory due to mis-processed information.
Symptoms of CAPD
Diagnosing CAPD can be difficult because its symptoms are like ADD or ADHD. In fact, many people diagnosed with CAPD are also diagnosed with learning disorders, due to CAPD’s effect on memory. Despite the challenges this presents, audiologists have identified a suite of tests that help them narrow down a person’s unique set of symptoms to correctly diagnose and treat CAPD.
Every case of CAPD is different because symptoms manifest themselves differently for every person. That said, these are a few of the symptoms associated with a CAPD:
· Difficulty following multi-task directions
· Difficulty distinguishing between similar sounds
· Language and/or speech delays
· Needing repetition or clarification (as if having difficulty hearing)
· Difficulty understanding abstract information
· Having a poor memory for words and/or numbers
· Seeming to “tune out” when a conversation is complex or involves too many people
At Hearing Doctors of New Jersey, we take a personalized approach to testing for CAPD. Our comprehensive testing protocol will identify CAPD and provide individualized strategies and treatment plans.
Once comprehensive testing has identified CAPD, our Doctor of Audiology will create a personalized treatment and care plan. Our strategies often involve collaboration with speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists, as well utilizing school resources. At Hearing Doctors of New Jersey, we believe a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to treatment of CAPD is the most effective one.
Many children with Central Auditory Processing Disorder struggle with their ability to hear and understand speech when there is background noise present. This can make a variety of situations much more challenging.
In the classroom, they may struggle to hear the instructions from their teacher. They may also struggle socially. They may have complaints that their friends make fun of them for not being able to participate in the conversation. Imagine being 13 again and trying to whisper inside jokes with your friends in the hallway but you can’t hear 50% of what they’re saying because there is too much noise going on in the background.
Low-gain Amplification has shown promising results for our patients with CAPD and other attention-based disorders who are struggling with their ability to focus and understand speech in noisy environments. The technology utilizes the advanced noise reduction of hearing aids without providing any of the amplification, making it an excellent part of our treatment program for our patients.
It helps our patients be a part of the conversation again; It allows them to be social with their peers, and expend less effort to keep up in the classroom. Contact our office today to see if low-gain amplification is a treatment option for you or your child struggling to hear in noise.
“Our younger daughter was diagnosed with auditory processing disorder by Hearing Doctors of New Jersey. She started speech/language therapy and has made so much progress in school, and at home, with her communication skills that it has been remarkable. We are so grateful to these two teams for spending time to make the right diagnosis and give her the support she needs. Thanks to them she’s made tremendous strides over the past year.”
– Michelle N.
Schedule an CAPD Evaluation Today
If you think your child or a loved one may have a central auditory processing disorder, call Hearing Doctors of New Jersey now to Schedule an Appointment.
Does your child suffer from attention issues that are affecting their success at home and at school?