and Central Auditory Processing Disorder? (CAPD)

Central Auditory Processing (CAP) is best described as “What the brain does with what the ear hears” (Terri James Bellis – 2001). The brain must accurately decode what the ear tells it to attach meaning to the sound coming in. A Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is an inability to attend to, discriminate between, organise, recognise or understand aspects of the auditory signal that does not result from an impairment in hearing sensitivity or low cognitive functioning. CAPD is not limited to children and is in fact more prevalent in adults.

Language is learned through listening. To learn a language, one needs to be able to attend to, listen to, and separate important speech from all the other noises of daily living, at home, at school and socially. When one’s Central Auditory Processing skills are weak, the child or adult may experience auditory overload, making communication and learning a real challenge. This can impact listening and speaking, reading and writing and in turn, doing.

As part of our wide range of assessments and services at Heidi Allan’s Practice, we also offer professional testing and guidance to individuals with CAPD.


    Hearing Assessment
    Hearing Aids
    School Hearing Screening
    CAPD Assessment
    Speech Therapy

    “Kindness, a language deaf people can hear and blind see.”

    – Mark Twain

    More about diagnosing CAPD…

    CAPD can only be assessed by an audiologist. This assessment takes part in a soundproof booth using specialised and calibrated equipment. It is a team-based assessment and previous assessment reports and input from other professionals are essential to obtain the best overview of the CAP skills of the child.

    Based on the findings of the assessment, previous assessment reports and information from the parents, the audiologist will be able to identify or describe the weakness in CAP and provide remediation and management strategies for the parents, the teachers, the child and the therapists working with the individual. A differential diagnosis is very important as each child requires different strategies based on their strengths and weaknesses.

    It is also important that the child knows and understands how his/her brain works best and how to make learning and communication work best for them. In some cases, the child will benefit from using a personal FM amplification system in the classroom to assist with learning.

    Signs that you, or your child has CAPD:

    Central Auditory Processing Disorder can present itself in a similar manner to a number of other conditions. Here is a checklist of some of the behaviours that may be seen in a person with a CAPD – he or she may:

    1. be doing poorly in reading, writing and spelling
    2. not pay attention or is daydreaming in class
    3. have problems learning a foreign language
    4. learn through the auditory channel but does better with visual stimuli
    5. not be able to write from dictation
    6. “mishear” words
    7. not participate in class discussions
    8. misunderstand homework assignments or fail to follow directions
    9. not be able to tolerate a noisy room or is fidgety in noisy places
    10. have trouble understanding stories read aloud
    11. take cryptic and insignificant notes
    12. not get the salient points /relevant facts
    13. have trouble depicting directions embedded in other information
    14. have trouble with math word problems
    15. appear to have a latency of response or delayed response to a question
    16. have difficulty learning songs, or sings the wrong words to songs
    17. often say “huh” or “what” or asks, “what do you mean?”

    If you recognise these signs, it might be helpful to have a CAPD assessment conducted by a professional.

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    “You know it’s very difficult to be an actor, and to have people depending on you to say the right line, at the right time, and to not be able to hear your cues! I can’t tell you how many times I would’ve had to have said What? if I didn’t have my hearing aids. So my hearing aids have allowed me to practice my craft.”
    – Actor Leslie Nielsen