Central Auditory Processing Testing

 “Why can’t my child listen?”

“I feel like I have to repeat myself over and over again.”

“I give my child a set of instructions to go upstairs brush his teeth and comb his hair. He will go upstairs and not even remember what I told him.”

“I don’t know if there is a problem, or if my child is just lazy.”

The quotes above came from parents of children about to undergo testing for Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD).  Please be aware, adults can also have an auditory processing disorder.

What is CAPD? It is the inability to understand spoken language in a meaningful way in the absence of what is commonly considered a hearing loss is called a Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) disorder. In simple terms one may describe CAPD as how well the ear communicates to the brain and then how well the brain understands what the ear is saying. It is a condition that affects 2% of the general population.

Through a battery of tests, we can evaluate hearing and identify possible processing problems. These tests involve listening to different types of speech under a variety of difficult listening situations. CAPD problems can affect learning, particularly in the areas of spelling and reading.

If you would like to be assessed for CAPD please book an appointment in Amherstburg by calling (519) 730-1030 or in Essex by calling (519) 961-9285. The cost of the testing ranges between $300.00 and $400.00 depending on the tests that need to be conducted. Testing takes 2 hours to complete and occurs in the morning.

Please watch the video below to learn more about Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

What are the symptoms of possible auditory processing difficulty? 

Children with auditory processing difficulty typically have normal hearing and intelligence. However, they have also been observed to:

  • Have trouble paying attention to and remembering information presented orally
  • Have problems carrying out multi-step directions
  • Have poor listening skills
  • Need more time to process information
  • Have low academic performance
  • Have behavior problems
  • Have language difficulty (e.g., they confuse syllable sequences and have problems developing vocabulary and understanding language)
  • Have difficulty with reading, comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary

Central Auditory Processing Evaluations include: 

The CAPD Test Battery is performed by our Doctor of Audiology/Audiologist and Speech & Language Pathologist and includes:

  • Detailed case history
  • Pure tone air and bone conduction testing (hearing test)
  • Tympanometry and acoustic reflexes
  • Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions
  • Listening and repeating speech in a quiet
  • Listening and repeating speech in background noise
  • Language assessment
  • Electrophysiology (if needed)

A proper diagnosis can be made only after the completion of the battery of audiometric tests, language assessment and psychological assessment.

What Treatments Are Available For Auditory Processing Difficulty?

Individualized remediation programs are available to help strengthen auditory processing skills in diagnosed children and adults.  A team approach to diagnosis and management may include an audiologist, psychologist, speech-language therapist, occupational therapist, and neurologist. A person is more than just a pair of ears or a brain; looking at the whole person and the areas of difficulty will assist in diagnosis and allow for more meaningful treatment.

Please note, a referral from your family physician or school is NOT required.  However the patient must:

  • Be 8 years old or older in order to be evaluated for CAPD
  • Typically developing with no associated diagnosis such as ADD, ADHD or ASD
  • Have normal hearing in both ears.  This includes no middle ear issues such as fluid in the ear, ear infections, perforated ear drum, etc.
  • The patient must be able to take a test in English. English must be the primary language spoken at home.
  • The patient must demonstrate intelligible speech (no severe phonological speech or articulation disorders)