Monday, November 1, 2010

Can You Hear Me Now? The Basics of Central Auditory Processing Disorders

Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD) is a learning disability that is not very well known and is often under-diagnosed and misdiagnosed.  CAPD is also confusing because there are many signs and symptoms that are often attributed to other disorders, especially Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or severe anxiety.  Below are some of the most common signs that can suggest CAPD.  An individual with CAPD may…

  • have poor expressive or receptive language
  • have difficulty with reading comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, and/or foreign languages
  • have difficulty following long conversations
  • have difficulty following verbal directions, especially when involving multi-step directions
  • need extra time processing information
  • have decreased comprehension in noisy environments
  • have difficulty with phonics or speech sounds
  • talk less than peers
  •  “tune out” or seem to be in a “world of her own”
  • be less social because of comprehension problems

It is very easy to determine the presence of CAPD.  Many audiologists are trained to identify CAPD.  It is also very important to consider having a psycho-educational assessment completed by a psychologist to rule out the presence of other issues (e.g., ADHD, anxiety, other learning disabilities, etc.).  These professionals are also likely to help you determine the best approaches for intervention.  Some excellent books about CAPD are When the Brain Can’t Hear: Unraveling the Mystery of Auditory Processing Disorder – Teri J. Bellis, Ph.D. and Like Sound Through Water: A Mother’s Journey Through Auditory Processing Disorder by Karen J. Foli & Edward M. Hallowell.  

Dr. Barrie Morganstein is a psychologist at Southeast Psych who sees a wide range of clients and has a specialty in the assessment and treatment of central auditory processing disorders.