An Introduction to Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) Diagnosis and Treatment Protocols in Children

There are many reasons why Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is hard to diagnose properly. The problem isn’t because the youngsters can’t hear words being spoken to them, but because their brains lack the ability to process the words and grasp them, which means that standard hearing tests don’t always identify CAPD. Also, kids who have Central Auditory Processing Disorder often establish coping behaviors to conceal or disguise their condition; they can’t truly comprehend the words people are saying, however they figure out how to read their lips or their facial expressions to pretend to understand.

CAPD treatment is tough for the same reasons that the diagnosis is tough. Anyone treating a child with CAPD needs to be mindful of these characteristics. At present there is no known cure for CAPD, and no treatment protocol that works equally well across all children with the disorder, so treatment must be highly individual and fine-tuned for the limitations of each patient. But there are treatment protocols that seem to be effective, which can significantly boost the future prospects of children with CAPD.

These methodologies are usually described using three broad categories – environmental change, compensatory strategies and direct treatment.

Compensatory Strategies – The group of methods including attention, problem-solving, language improvement and memory skills is called compensatory strategies. The main objective of the compensatory strategies is to coach skills that generally strengthen academic success while also training CAPD learners to take responsibility for their own learning. Such techniques often include lessons in “active listening” and games or activities based on the solving of word problems.

Environmental Change – Because background noise drastically hinders an individual with CAPD’s ability to comprehend speech, lowering the level of environmental noise via soundproofing (acoustic tiles, curtains and wall hangings) will help. Increasing the volume of selective voices in the classroom can also be effective; the teacher dons a microphone and the CAPD pupil wears a tiny receiver that raises the instructor’s voice to make it more distinct from other speakers or sounds. An additional environmental change is improved lighting. A properly lit face is easier for a person with Central Auditory Processing Disorder to read for clues.

Direct Treatment – Direct treatment refers to the use of computer-aided learning programs and 1-to-1 sessions to capitalize on the brain’s natural plasticity, its ability to reinvent itself, and construct new ways of processing and thinking. These treatment options commonly consist of, in therapy sessions, at home or in the classroom, the usage of Hasbro’s “Simon” game or Scientific Education’s “Fast ForWord” software to help students to improve the discrimination, sequencing, and processing of acoustic inputs. Some professionals use dichotic training to cultivate the kids’ ability to hear many sounds in different ears and process them the right way, while others use the “Earobics” program by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to improve phonological awareness.

So if your youngster is identified as having CAPD, rest easy realizing that there are therapies available to treat it, but bear in mind that an early accurate diagnosis is vital to effective treatment. If there is a way we can help with this, please be sure to email or call us. Allow us to add our many years of hearing expertise and relationships with local Central Auditory Processing Disorder experts to helping your child learn effectively.