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.
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.