There are a number of reasons why Central Auditory Processing Disorder, or CAPD, is hard to diagnose properly. The condition isn’t because the youngsters can’t hear words and phrases being directed at them, but because their brains have an inability to process and interpret the words and comprehend their meaning, which implies that standard hearing tests do not always identify CAPD. Another reason it is hard to diagnose is because children often develop advanced coping mechanisms. These children can be experts at reading lips or using expressions to hide their problem.
These traits of CAPD also make therapy for the disorder difficult, because any person wanting to enhance the child’s speech comprehension must continuously keep them in mind and find methods to work around them. Regrettably there is no definitive cure or therapy for Central Auditory Processing Disorder that works consistently across all kids. Each treatment plan is highly individualized and adjusted based on the patients’ limitations. But there are treatment methodologies that seem to work, which can considerably improve the prospects of kids with CAPD.
There are three major categories of Central Auditory Processing Disorder treatments: compensatory strategies, direct treatment and environmental change.
Compensatory Strategies – The group of methods including attention, problem-solving, language improvement and memory skills is called compensatory strategies. The main focus of these forms of training are to teach kids both to take responsibility for their own learning success, and to provide them with the enhanced skills and techniques they need to thrive. Such techniques frequently include sessions of active listening and activities or games grounded in solving of word problems.
Environmental Change – Within the category of environmental change one tactic is reducing the amount of background noise via soundproofing and installing acoustic tiles, wall hangings or curtains because background noise is known to make it difficult for an individual with CAPD to comprehend speech. Another technique is selectively augmenting the voice of the teacher in a school room. The teacher wears a microphone and the CAPD student wears a small receiver. This pairing helps make the instructor’s voice more distinct from other sounds and voices in the room.Some benefits are from improved lighting, because lips and expressions are easier to read on fully lit faces than on dimly-lit faces.
Direct Treatment – Computer-aided learning and 1-to-1 sessions fall under the category of direct treatment. These methods make use of the brain’s natural plasticity and capacity to construct new neural pathways and abilities. Such approaches include the use of the “Simon” game by Hasbro or the “Fast ForWord” educational software from Scientific Education to improve students’ ability to order, discriminate between, and process the auditory inputs they hear. Some therapists use dichotic training to cultivate the childrens’ ability to hear many sounds in different ears and process them correctly, while others use the “Earobics” program by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to increase phonological awareness.
The overall message is that therapies are available if your child is diagnosed with CAPD, but bear in mind that the first step is identifying the disorder, and doing so early. Should you have further questions regarding CAPD diagnosis and treatment options, please feel free to ask us. In the event that our terrific team can’t assist you we can help refer you to the top local resources.