Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) describes a breakdown in the hearing process whereby our brain cannot make sense of what our ears hear because the auditory signal is distorted in some way.

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CAPD describes when a person’s auditory system has an impaired ability to process and apply meaning to sound. It can manifest in an inability to utilise directional cues embedded in sound in order to separate the speech we want to hear from background noise. People with CAPD struggle to comprehend information that is highly detailed, is delivered quickly or in a noisy environment because they haven’t developed the ability to separate speech from noise and focus on sounds but suppress the noise.

CAPD can present inconsistently. Information that is readily processed some days, may not be understood on others.

CAPD is distinct from:

  • Hearing – People with CAPD generally hear sound well but have difficulty applying meaning to it
  • Intelligence – CAPD is a deficiency with a specific auditory function and is not caused by or directly related to intellectual capacity

CAPD is often present from early childhood, and becomes more noticeable as the child grows older and conversation becomes more complex and is delivered more quickly. The condition is common in children with a history of ear infections and in people with a permanent hearing loss.

CAPD is often accompanied by and exacerbates other conditions such as Asperger’s syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, development/learning delay, dyslexia and dyspraxia.

If you need any more information on CAPD or available assessments and treatments, please contact our friendly local staff directly on (07) 4952 4649 or email us at listening@mackayhearing.com.au.

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