Diagnosing Central Auditory Processing Disorder, or CAPD, is difficult for several reasons. The disorder isn’t because the youngsters can’t hear words being directed at them, but because their brains lack the ability to interpret and process the words and grasp them, which implies that conventional hearing tests don’t always detect CAPD. Furthermore, kids who have Central Auditory Processing Disorder frequently establish coping behaviors to conceal or mask their disorder; they can’t truly comprehend the words people are speaking, but they figure out how to read expressions or their lips to pretend to understand.
CAPD therapy is challenging for the same reasons that the detection is difficult. Any person working with children to treat CAPD must be aware of these traits and work around them. Presently there is no recognized cure for CAPD, and no treatment that works well for all kids with the disorder, so therapy must be individualized and adapted for the limitations and capabilities of each patient. With that being said, there are a range of treatment methodologies that can vastly improve the developmental abilities of kids with Central Auditory Processing Disorder.
These methodologies are usually described using three broad categories: environmental change, compensatory strategies and direct treatment.Direct Treatment – 1-on-1 therapy sessions and computer-assisted learning belong to the category of direct treatment. These methods rely on the brain’s natural plasticity and capacity to establish new neurological pathways and capabilities. Computer software and games such as Scientific Education’s “Fast ForWord” software or Hasbro’s “Simon” game are used as therapy resources. These exercises help learners enhance discrimination, ordering and processing of auditory inputs. Some direct CAPD therapy uses dichotic training which trains the brain on hearing multiple sounds in different ears and analyzing the combined inputs correctly. The “Earobics” program by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is also employed by some professionals to improve phonological awareness.Compensatory Strategies – Compensatory strategies focus on supporting the CAPD sufferers with improved skills in language, attention, memory, problem solving, and other vital daily living strategies. The main focus of these types of training are to coach children both to take responsibility for their own educational success, and to give them the enhanced techniques and skills they need to do well. Such techniques routinely include sessions of active listening and games or activities based on the solving of word problems.
Environmental Change – Within the category of environmental change one tactic is reducing the amount of background noise via soundproofing and installing wall hangings, acoustic tiles or curtains because ambient noise is known to make it more difficult for an individual with CAPD to comprehend speech. Another strategy is augmenting the voice of the teacher in a school room. The instructor wears a microphone and the CAPD student wears a tiny receiver. This pairing helps make the instructor’s voice more distinguishable from other voices and sounds in the room.Some benefits are from improved lighting, because lips and expressions are easier to read on fully lit faces than on poorly lit faces.
The good news is that there are therapy possibilities for kids with CAPD. Having said that, early and accurate diagnosis is crucial to the success of many of these approaches. If there is a way we can assist with this, be sure to phone or email us. Let us add our many years of hearing experience and partnerships with local Central Auditory Processing Disorder specialists to helping your child learn effectively.