There are several good reasons why Central Auditory Processing Disorder, abbreviated CAPD, is difficult to diagnose correctly. The disorder is not because the youngsters cannot hear words and phrases 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 do not always identify CAPD. Furthermore, children who have CAPD frequently establish coping mechanisms to conceal or mask their condition; they can’t really understand the words people are speaking, however they learn to read their lips or their expressions to pretend to understand.
The same characteristics that make CAPD difficult to diagnose also make it tricky to treat; any individual treating a child with CAPD needs to keep these traits in mind at all times. There is presently no sure-fire cure for CAPD, and treatments for the disorder must,out of necessity, be personalized and modified to the limits of each CAPD patient. Nevertheless, there are a variety of treatment protocols which are greatly boosting childrens’ developmental prognosis.
There are three major categories of CAPD treatments – environmental change, compensatory strategies and direct treatment.
Direct Treatment – Direct treatment means the use of 1-on-1 therapy sessions and computer-assisted learning to capitalize on the brain’s natural plasticity, its capacity to reinvent itself, and establish new ways of processing and thinking. These treatment options commonly consist of, at home, in therapy sessions or in the classroom, the use of Scientific Education’s “Fast ForWord” educational software or the “Simon” game by Hasbro to help learners to enhance the discrimination, sequencing, and processing of acoustic events. Some direct CAPD therapy uses dichotic training which trains the brain on hearing multiple sounds in different ears and processing the combined inputs correctly. The “Earobics” program by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is also employed by some professionals to develop phonological awareness.
Compensatory Strategies – The set of methods including attention, language improvement, memory and problem-solving skills is called compensatory strategies. These strategies give pupils enhanced everyday life techniques and skills that enable them to do well at learning, and also teach them to be accountable for their own academic success. Techniques and strategies of this type include exercises in “active listening” and solving word problems.
Environmental Change – Within the category of environmental change one strategy is minimizing the quantity of background noise via soundproofing and putting in acoustic tiles, wall hangings or curtains because background noise is proven to make it harder for a person with Central Auditory Processing Disorder to comprehend speech. In some classrooms, the teachers wear a microphone and the CAPD students wear small receivers, so that the instructor’s voice is amplified and clarified, making it distinct from other sounds or voices. Even improved lighting may help, because a dimly lit teacher’s face is not as easy to scan for cues as a fully lit speaker’s face.
Fortunately there are therapy possibilities for kids with CAPD. Having said that, early and accurate diagnosis is crucial to the success of many of these strategies. Don’t forget that our skilled hearing experts are here to assist you in any way possible and to refer you to other respected area specialists for the very best Central Auditory Processing Disorder diagnostic and therapy options.