Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)

What is Central Auditory Processing Disorder?

Auditory processing is the hearing that takes place beyond the ability to sense or detect the presence of a sound. Basically, what the brain does with what we hear. When a person’s brain is not able to filter and interpret sounds appropriately and accurately then they may have what is called Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). With this condition, the problem lies in the brain, meaning that the ears themselves are functioning well.

Here are some common things that someone with CAPD might have difficulty with:

  • Hearing in noisy situations
  • Hearing conversations on the telephone
  • Paying attention to teachers and/or parents
  • Remembering spoken information (i.e., auditory memory deficits)
  • Taking notes
  • Frequently asking for repetitions (“what” or “huh”)
  • Maintaining focus on an activity if other sounds are present child is easily distracted by other sounds in the environment
  • Following multi-step directions
  • Directing, sustaining, or dividing attention
  • Reading, writing, and/or spelling

How Do You Test For CAPD?

At HEAR Center our audiologists and speech pathologist work together to diagnose Auditory Processing Disorder. We will use the Scan-3 in conjunction with a comprehensive speech-language evaluation to determine auditory processing deficits and make recommendations for management.

Candidacy for Testing

CAPD can look like a hearing loss, ADHD, and many other diagnoses. When children have other disorders, they can sometimes not perform well on CAPD tests, leading to an inaccurate diagnosis of CAPD. That is why it is important to rule out other problems before beginning to test for CAPD.

Your child must be at 7 years old, have no other diagnosis, and no hearing loss. Their first language should be English as there are no test batteries in any other language

You must have the following, prior to ANY CAPD tests:

  • A hearing test showing NO hearing loss
  • A test to rule out Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD) such as an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) or a present acoustic reflex. ANSD is another disorder that can look similar to CAPD.
  • A Psycho-Educational Evaluation to rule out attention deficit disorders as well as other learning disabilities.

For more information on Auditory Processing Disorder, see the link to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s website: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/disorders/understand-apd-child.htm


My child has autism, but no hearing loss. Are they a good candidate for CAPD?


My child has other disorders, but no hearing loss. Are they a good candidate for CAPD?

Varies, it depends on the case. Please reach out to us so that we can take a look at your case.

Questions about CAPD or want to schedule an appointment? Please email bortega@hearcenter.org.