Central Auditory Processing

What is CAPD?


 

Central Auditory Processing Disorder, or CAPD, refers to the way that the central nervous system uses auditory signals. In other words, CAPD has to do with how the brain uses sounds that the ears hear. CAPD usually presents itself more clearly in complex listening environments, such as noise, or in a classroom where there are multiple speakers, or a teacher with an unfamiliar accent or manner of speaking. About 5% of school-aged children are affected by CAPD.

There is no single agreed-upon definition of CAPD. However, the following guidelines are universally accepted:

  • With CAPD there is breakdown in receiving, remembering, understanding and using auditory information
  • With CAPD there is usually adequate hearing
  • There is a neurological basis to CAPD
  • CAPD impairs a child’s ability to listen

A child with CAPD often seems like a child with a hearing problem, and this is why it is very important to rule out hearing loss before testing. However, CAPD can also occur in conjunction with hearing loss. A child with CAPD can often be confused with a child with ADD, however, the treatment for ADD will not be effective on a child with CAPD.

How Do We Diagnose CAPD?


 

This testing is performed at our premises by an Audiologist from Graaff-Reinet, Izienne Van Jaarsveld whom travels to Port Elizabeth to perform the tests.

Appointments must be scheduled directly with Izienne Van Jaarsveld: 082 856 3654 or iziennevj@gam.co.za

1. Case History:


We meet with the parent or parents to discuss the child. Topics that may be covered include:

  • Your pregnancy and the birth of your child
  • Your child’s medical history
  • Your child’s developmental history
  • Your child’s academic history, and strengths and weaknesses
  • Your child’s social behavior
  • Your child’s personality
  • Any other assessments and therapies that your child has received

Be sure to bring any reports or results of other assessments that have been done. Also bring school reports if you have them. The more information we can use, the better we can diagnose and assist your child.

2. Assessment:


Before testing your child for CAPD, we screen their hearing using Otoscopy, Tympanometry (a middle ear measure) and Oto-Acoustic Emissions. This can confirm that your child has normal hearing, and normal functioning ears, before we attempt to assess the brain. For the CAPD assessments, your child is tested using our standardized testing techniques. The testing may include:

  • Auditory Closure: How well your child can ‘fill in the gaps’ when listening, or cope with a speaker they are not used to.
  • Auditory Figure-Ground: How well your child can cope in listening environments where there is competing sound or background noise.
  • Binaural Integration: How well your child can listen with both ears and integrate the sounds between the two. This will influence how a child copes in a multi-speaker situation.
  • Binaural Separation: How well your child can ‘tune in’ to one ear or the other, and ‘tune out’ of the opposite ear.

The testing will also identify if your child has a stronger and weaker ear, and which ear is the stronger. The results of the testing are processed and compared to age related norms. A report is compiled of the test results.

3. Results:


We meet with the parent or parents of the child to discuss the results. Any questions are addressed at this time, and the results will be explained in detail. A treatment plan will be recommended that has been custom designed for your child’s individual needs.

How Do We Treat CAPD?


 

There are three main approaches to the treatment of CAPD. Each child will require an individualized approach, tailor-made to their test results and the child’s history. Not every child will need all three techniques.

1. Classroom Modification:


An altered classroom set-up may be recommended. You will be advised on the best place to seat your child. Some children will benefit from sitting in the front row, and some will do better to the left or right of the classroom. We may also recommend an altered schedule, or the implementation of special procedures for the child. For example, a child with CAPD may need more regular ‘sound breaks’ in order to recover from Auditory Fatigue.

2. CAPD Therapy:


We may recommend that your child receive Auditory Processing Therapy. We usually recommend between 6 and 12 sessions, but your child may need more. Therapy usually involves weekly sessions of 30 minutes, working primarily on various computer programs designed to stimulate the auditory system. Your child will work in a one-on-one situation with an Audiologist. The therapy is focused specifically on your child’s individual needs. Your child’s progress will be monitored, and a reassessment will be recommended after a certain number of sessions.

3. Assistive Listening Devices:


We may recommend that your child receive Auditory Processing Therapy. We usually recommend between 6

and 12 sessions, but your child may need more. Therapy usually involves weekly sessions of 30 minutes, working primarily on various computer programs designed to stimulate the auditory system. Your child will work in a one-on-one situation with an Audiologist. The therapy is focused specifically on your child’s individual needs. Your child’s progress will be monitored, and a reassessment will be recommended after a certain number of sessions.

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Port Elizabeth

45 Lloyd Road

Walmer

Grahamstown

Dr Gainsford & Partners, Specialist Clinic

120 High Street