Central Auditory Processing (CAP) Information
Tammy Riegner, Au.D., Jessica Godovin, Au.D. PA-Newtown Square/Philadelphia: Jessica Loson, Au.D. NJ-Voorhees/Deptford: Jenna Pellicori, Au.D.
According to the American Speech and Hearing Association, central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), is a complex problem affecting approximately 5% of school-age children. These children may not be able to process the information they hear in the same way as others because something adversely affects the way the brain recognizes and interprets sounds, most notably the sounds composing speech. The behaviors of other disorders, such as a learning disability, language delays, and attention deficit disorder can mimic the signs and symptoms of a CAPD; consequently, it is recommended that these disorders be ruled out prior to conducting a Central Auditory Processing evaluation. Multidisciplinary testing is very important in determining not only evaluation candidacy but potential contributing diagnoses.
Risk factors associated with auditory processing disorder, may include but are not limited to:
• Severe Prematurity
• Reoccurring Ear Infections
• Traumatic Brain Injury
• Family history of CAPD
• Lead Exposure
Further evaluation may be warranted if the following auditory behaviors and characteristics apply:
• Difficulty recalling short or long term information
• Mishears information (i.e.: “nose” for “toes”)
• Says “huh” or “what” frequently
• Difficulty following verbal multi-step instruction
• Confuses similar words or sounds
• Unusually bothered by loud or sudden noises
• Requires repetition of auditory information
• Struggles with phonics, spelling, or writing
• Difficulty in the presence of background noise
• Does opposite of what is requested
Candidates for CAPD testing must meet the following criteria:
• Developmental and chronological age of at least 7 years
• Normal peripheral hearing sensitivity (No significant hearing loss)
Contraindications to testing include: cognitive deficits, non-verbal or non-native English speaking, global developmental delays, below average scoring on IQ testing, severe or unmanaged Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), low functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD), or significant receptive and/or expressive language disorders.
Courtesy of Neumors Pediatric Hospital (Wilmington, DE).