Are there any treatments for CAPD?
How we treat and manage CAPD, once diagnosed, is the most important question patients and parents have. Treatment and management will vary depending on the results of the individual tests in the test battery.
In general, the audiologist will discuss potential options that may include the use of software training programs, strategies to assist at home, work or school, the use of FM devices, and if there is a need for referral to other professionals such as a speech pathologists or educational psychologists.
The National Acoustic Laboratories have identified several management strategies, treatments and assistive devices that can all help a person suffering from CAPD. The selections of strategies and devices will be dependent on the individual’s results and our audiologist will discuss what will best support the individual in question. Many of these are targeted at children but can be equally effective for adults.
- Provide notes prior to lessons – By having lecture notes in advance, the child can become familiar with the new topic before a lesson; this allows him/her to focus on listening in class.
- Pre-teach new vocabulary and concepts – Pre-teaching enables the child to gain familiarity with the new topic, which in turn aids comprehension and learning in class later.
- Provide a quiet conducive work area at home – Arrange a quiet corner, away from the television or radio when studying at home.
- Gain the child’s attention before speaking – Call the child’s name, remind him/her to listen, make sure that you have the child’s attention (e.g. eye contact) before speaking.
- Stand close and keep still when talking – Standing close by and keeping still at the child’s eye level helps him/her to hear better and be less distracted by movements.
- Speak in a clear and audible tone of voice – Speaking slowly and using simple words and sentences may be especially helpful.
- Give clear, unambiguous instructions – Use simple sentences and make all instructions clear and concise.
- Allow the child some time before responding to your questions – Be patient and positive.
- Complementing of auditory instructions with visual cues – Pictures, graphs and illustrations can be helpful in reinforcing auditory information.
- Check for understanding – Make sure the child understands what is being said: observe his/her facial expression and ask him/her. Alternatively, request for the child to rephrase or repeat given instructions.
- Provide ‘listening breaks’ – A child with problems hearing in noise may often feel over-loaded with auditory information. Keeping instructional periods short and giving the child breaks between learning will improve his/her attention and retention of auditory information.
- Be positive and encouraging – Be sensitive to the child’s feelings and give praise generously. Be positive about the child’s learning and celebrate all progress made, no matter how small.
These skills aim to have the child self-monitor and regulate their own learning comprehension. The child must first recognise that they can make a difference in their own listening and learning.
- Whole-body listening approach – Have the child to sit up straight in an alert mode, incline the upper body and head to the speaker, maintain eye contact and keep attention on the speaker.
- Self-regulation and problem solving – Alert the child to his/her listening strengths and weaknesses, identify potential situations where listening may be difficult (e.g. in the canteen) and encourage the child to think of possible solutions to improve his/her listening (e.g. move to a quieter corner) and then evaluate its effectiveness in the circumstances.
- Verbal rehearsal – Encourage the child to repeat information to him or herself to remember it better.
- FM Transmitters – By using an FM transmission system we can amplify the teacher’s voice to the child. In other words, an FM system makes the speech of the or the person the you are is trying to hear, louder than the background noise.
- Auditory closure and vocabulary skills – this allows the patient to improve their ability to use contextual cues to fill in missing sections of auditory information.
- Auditory training – train the brain to be able to use the different directions of arrival of the wanted and unwanted sounds.
Read more about Central Auditory Processing Disorder: