CAPD under the magnifying glass ...
CAPD Is a growing problem affecting about 5% of school aged children.
These kids cannot process the information they hear in the same way as others because their ear and brain are not fully coordinated. The brain cannot properly recognize and interpret sounds, most notably speech.
Kids with CAPD do not often recognize the subtle differences between sounds in words, even when the sounds are loud enough to be heard.
These problems usually occur when there is a lot of background noise such as children in a classroom or sitting at a mall or restaurant.
How to detect CAPD:
The child has no problem picking up pure tones delivered in a sound proof booth, as it’s a processing problem so once listening conditions are not ideal the brain has a problem interpreting the message heard. So, most kids with CAPD do not have a loss of hearing sensitivity, but have a hearing problem in the sense that they do not process auditory information normally.
If not detected in time or managed early, many of these kids will have speech and language delays and academic problems.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can take on many forms.
1. Is your child easily distracted or unusually bothered by loud noise or sudden sounds.
2. Are noisy environments upsetting to your child?
3. Does your child’s behavior or performance improve in quieter settings?
4. Does your child have difficulties following directions, whether simple or complicated?
5. Does your child have reading, spelling or writing or other speech- language difficulties?
6. Is abstract information difficult for your child to understand?
7. Are verbal math problems difficult for your child?
8. Is your child disorganized and forgetful?
9. Are conversation hard for your child to follow.?
10. Does your child often say “huh”?
These question are also similar to the questions asked about a ADHD child thus the 2 disorders are often confused or the child might have both.
It is also possible to have CAPD and specific language impairment or learning disabilities.
Causes are unknown, but there is evidence to link it to chronic ear infections, lead poisoning and head trauma.
What to do if you suspect your child has CAPD:
Find an audiologist that can determine and has experience with CAPD as it is not evident during a routine hearing test – only audiologists can perform auditory processing testing and determine if there is a real problem.
Once correctly diagnosed the child will most probably need to work closely with a speech and language therapist and return often for evaluations.
This problem once identified can be overcome if all parties involved with the child such as teachers and parents are informed.
With out identification the child can withdraw and struggle to cope with school- work and social events and they cannot properly identify noise and its source.
I urge all parents that if they have had a child with reoccurring ear problems or have a child that has been diagnosed with ADHD to have your child properly screened for CAPD.
Source of information: www.kidshealth.com