Assessment of Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)
Auditory Processing Disorder Symptoms
Children and adults with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) have problems comprehending speech. The concept of APD is often difficult for parents, educators and other professionals to understand. This is because individuals with auditory processing disorders (APD) have normal hearing but parts of the brain, which analyse and interpret the sensory information from the ears, do not function appropriately.
No one really knows why this deficit in sensory processing in the brain occurs. Birth and developmental histories are often unremarkable and there is no evidence of brain damage. There are auditory processing disorder symptoms. In some children, ear infections have been implicated as a factor. Neuromaturation of the auditory system is often delayed in many children with APD.
APD becomes more apparent in poorer listening environments such as open classrooms and background noise. Children may not show the problem until they begin school and have to actively listen in order to learn. Not all APD children have the same problems. Some have problems sequencing speech sounds; others have problems understanding speech in background noise, and in some the timing appears off. This does not mean that children with central auditory processing disorder are unable to function.
In order for children to adequately decode speech they need to be able to process auditory information in less than 100 milliseconds (msecs). Many children with APD have processing speeds in excess of 400msec and sometimes as slow as 700msecs. Thus central auditory processing skills are not optimal. These children have great difficulty processing the order of sounds and hence spelling and comprehension will be compromised.
A common presumption is that a child who has APD should have a language disorder. While this can occur, it is often not the case. However, what is most striking is a child of normal intelligence working far below their ability at school and having difficulty at home. The first course of action is to determine the severity of auditory processing disorders through an auditory processing assessment. From there, an auditory processing disorder procedures can be implemented.