Central Auditory Processing Disorder or CAPD refers to having difficulty with the understanding and processing of verbal or auditory information.
It can occur in:
- Children with normal hearing
- Adults prior to evidence of hearing loss by pure tones
- Adults with a history of hearing loss, particularly if untreated with hearing aids over many years.
In children, it frequently co-exists with other learning disabilities such as speech and language disorders or delays, dyslexia, attention deficit disorders with or without hyperactivity, and social and/or emotional delays.
In younger adults, it is common to experience symptoms of early or high frequency hearing loss including difficulty hearing and understanding speech that is faint, from a distance, in the presence of background noise or in groups and yet have normal hearing test results. With older adults, central auditory processing skills are more significantly compromised in individuals who pospone the use of hearing aids compared with individuals who actively wear hearing aids early on.
CAPD is assessed through the use of special tests designed to assess the various auditory functions of the brain. The tests are often broken down into four subcategories including monaural low-redundancy, dichotic speech, temporal patterning, and binaural interaction tests. UTests typically are not normed for adults. It is most common to determine the presence of CAPD in adults by case history, hearing test results and hearing aid assessment.
For children to adults, there are listening programs and training to improve CAP skills, listening skills and reduce efforting.