How Central Auditory Processing Disorder Might Affect Your Child And What You Can Do

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Central auditory processing disorder is a hearing condition that affects children at a young age. It interferes with the brain's ability to interpret sound, so understanding what's being said is often difficult. This condition has different causes, and while it might not be cured, your child can learn to manage their condition so they can succeed in school and in their social life.

Here are signs of central auditory processing disorder, how it's diagnosed, and treatments that might help. 

Signs Your Child Might Have CAPD

When your child has this hearing disorder, they hear volume normally. However, when there are background noises as can happen in a cafeteria or classroom, your child might not be able to follow conversations. If you notice your child doesn't seem to hear you when there is background noise, but their hearing seems okay in a quiet room, that could be an indication of central auditory processing disorder.

In addition, your child may have trouble pinpointing the direction where the sound comes from. They might also have difficulty interpreting tones, such as being able to tell the difference between a command and a question. Your child may ask you to repeat yourself often or seem to ignore you when you speak.

Testing For CAPD Is Done By An Audiologist

Even though young kids can have central auditory processing disorder, they might not get tested for it until they start school since children younger than that have such a wide range of normal development. When your child starts school and you suspect they have a hearing issue, you should have your child tested by an audiologist to find out if they have CAPD or a hearing problem.

Testing for CAPD can take a few hours, so the test may need to be done in sessions. The audiologist has to determine if there is a hearing problem and then figure out if it's CAPD by doing a series of tests in a soundproof booth and with background noises. They may also ask your child to point where a noise originates.

Treatments That Could Help Your Child

It's important to teach your child coping strategies so their language development won't suffer and so they can still do well in school. You can teach your child to look at the person speaking and to repeat what they heard when instructions are important. Your child may need treatment from a speech therapist, and they might need to wear a hearing device that blocks out background noises.

You'll probably need to work with your child's school so the teacher is aware of your child's hearing condition. Your school may have a protocol they can follow for ensuring your child gets the best education with their hearing issue. By learning listening skills and speech lessons, your child can have a successful childhood without serious limitations as long as they get the support they need from family and their school.