Central Auditory Processing Disorder

by | Mar 7, 2022 | News

You may understand the needs of people with dyslexia, various developmental delays, and autism spectrum disorder — but have you ever encountered someone who can’t understand speech in a noisy room even though you know his or her hearing is fine in other situations? According to Nemours Children’s Health, central auditory processing disorder affects as many as 3-5% of school-aged children, and its symptoms are not widely known to many teachers, parents, and professionals who work with these students.

CAPD is not synonymous with hearing loss. It is a disorder that affects how the brain processes sound information. Read about CAPD below to gain a better understanding of the symptoms and associated delays, and learn how to get help for a child or adult with this type of disorder.

What Causes CAPD?

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, CAPD may be caused by a brain injury or lesion, and at times the condition’s origin may be unknown. Several prenatal factors, such as low birth weight and premature birth, may affect the brain’s ability to process sound. Some neurological diseases and delays, as well as seizure disorders, are also linked to CAPD.

What Are the Symptoms of CAPD?

CAPD may range in severity from relatively mild symptoms that cause some difficulty in noisy environments to severe cases that interfere with nearly every aspect of a person’s daily life. Below are just a few of the many symptoms of CAPD:

  • Difficulty understanding another person’s speech in a noisy background environment
  • Difficulty understanding someone who is speaking quickly
  • Having trouble paying attention 
  • Having learning delays
  • Asking other people to repeat what they said

Learning concepts in school, focusing during conversations, and understanding instructions when at work are made more difficult when a person’s brain is not able to convert the sounds he or she hears into coherent information. Those who struggle with CAPD symptoms may not want to speak up about what they don’t understand for fear of looking lazy or unfocused.

How Is CAPD Diagnosed?

There is no gold-standard tool used to pinpoint CAPD; instead, several paths to diagnosis are used by practitioners. In cases of suspected CAPD or learning delays, the client is first screened for any ear-related hearing deficits. If none exist, the client may see an audiologist, who looks for brain-related hearing issues, or a speech-language pathologist, who evaluates the client for issues in processing linguistic information.

A client may visit one or both of these professionals for an evaluation, answer several background questions about family health history, risk factors (such as brain injury or epilepsy), and any other details that may be relevant to the patient’s hearing and comprehension status. Children may be screened for behavioral problems that are often associated with CAPD such as poor attention in school, irritability, trouble responding to verbal communication, and frequent requests for repetition.

Get In Touch With HEAR Center

If you or someone you love is struggling with their hearing or comprehension, you don’t have to face these challenges alone.

Contact us today to learn more about our services or to make an appointment:

Call or text: (626) 734-6555

Email us at: appointments@hearcenter.org 

Chat us: https://direct.lc.chat/13342371/

Also, for more information about CAPD please visit our webpage: https://www.hearcenter.org/services/central-auditory-processing-disorder/