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Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is a hearing disability unrelated to hearing loss.

Central Auditory Processing Disorder

To a person with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) the sounds of speech are muddled together because the speech processing centers of the brain are unable to distinguish one speech sound from another. Even if their hearing is normal, people with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) have difficulty understanding speech. The problem is especially pronounced in situations with background noise.

Their brains have difficulty discerning and processing the sounds. In other words, the brain cannot hear, even as the ears are fully functional.

People with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) experience no immediate benefit from using a hearing aid. However, assistive devices, such as FM equipment may alleviate some problems. Auditive training programmes may also be of benefit.

Researchers estimate that Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is present in 3-5 percent of the population. The cause of Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) may be genetic, but may also be associated with trauma at birth and middle ear infections resulting in temporary hearing loss. Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) may be associated with diseases, such as aphasia and Parkinson's.

Children with CAPD

Children with auditory difficulties are often wrongly diagnosed or seen to have learning disabilities.

Typical behavioral signs in children with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) may indicate the need for closer examination. A child with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) often:

  • has trouble listening and paying attention in a group
  • is easily distracted when there is background noise
  • needs statements or instructions to be repeated and ask many questions
  • has difficulty understanding oral instructions, particularly in noisy conditions
  • has difficulty carrying on a telephone conversation and understanding loudspeaker messages
  • needs visual clues
  • shows delayed reactions
  • suffer from reading difficulties

Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) may be hard to identify.

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