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News: CAPD and Keeping Up In The Classroom

CAPD and Keeping Up In The Classroom

CAPD and Keeping Up In The Classroom

03/02/2017 - Audiologists, Central Auditory Processing, Treatment

Could your child have a Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)? It’s one of the most common classroom hearing pathologies.

Early identification of Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD) is vital to ensure your child’s learning abilities are not impaired in the long-term.

The National Acoustic Laboratories state that CAPD could affect up to 5% of children. This could be giving them auditory fatigue when trying to concentrate in the classroom.

Common signs of a potential Central Auditory Processing Disorder in children include:

  • difficulty following instructions
  • poor listening ability in noisy places
  • difficulty with learning at school, and
  • being distracted or easily fatigued at school.

Sadly for some kids it’s easier to just stop trying to listen. We then end up labelling them lazy or withdrawn. “Acting out” can also be a symptom of CAPD as kids try to divert the attention away from their difficulties listening and paying attention in class.

What is CAPD?

Central auditory processing refers to the efficiency and effectiveness with which our brains and auditory areas decode and use the information we hear. It’s really how well the ear talks to the brain and how well the brain can understand what it’s being told.

When our brain and auditory system works normally we can pick out the important parts of the sounds we hear, filter out noise, and fill in gaps to make sense of what we have just heard. This complex process help us make sense of the sounds we hear. Sounds like locating the buzz of our alarm clock in the morning, focusing on a conversation in a busy café, and clearly understanding a teacher in a noisy classroom.

When something goes wrong in our brain and auditory system the ability for us to make sense of the sounds becomes impaired. We can still ‘hear’ the sounds but we can’t work out what they are.

It’s often difficult to identify the causes of CAPD. Everyone’s auditory system organisation is different, which means CAPD can affect everyone differently. Conditions, like chronic ear infections in a child’s early years could also mean they are at a greater risk of developing a CAPD.

Read more about what CAPD is and isn’t…

What are the effects of CAPD?

Children with CAPD are more likely to have behavioural, emotional, and social difficulties. Problems communicating and learning difficulties can impact the development of self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. While you might notice these signs early on, it isn’t until children are 7 years of age that we can accurately diagnose a potential CAPD.

The first step in testing for an auditory processing disorder is to conduct a hearing test. This is to establish whether the presence of a hearing loss may be a contributing factor. After determining the child’s hearing thresholds we then test more complex auditory processing skills.

Clarity offers a screening test of your child’s spatial hearing abilities that mimics a classroom situation. Once we have the result of this test we can then investigate your child’s auditory processing abilities and identify any potential presence of CAPD.

What can be done to treat CAPD?

While there is no single ‘cure’ for CAPD, there are several remediation strategies for children. You can discuss these with your audiologist. These may include:

  • listening strategies for the classroom
  • active communication techniques for daily life
  • listening exercises or computer software programs to improve auditory processing skills; and
  • assistive listening devices such as Bluetooth microphones.

Early identification and remediation of CAPD may potentially lessen the likelihood that any secondary problems may emerge.

Read more about how to deal with CAPD…

If you are concerned, schedule a consultation with your audiologist now. They can rule out or identify the nature of any issues. You can request an appointment with Clarity using the button below.

Request an appointment today!



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