Central Auditory Processing Disorder
Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is a term to describe how the brain interprets sounds that we hear, for example, the difference in pitch between two sounds.
Auditory processing disorder (APD) is a hearing problem that affects about 3%–5% of school-aged children.
Children and adults with this condition can detect sounds at normal levels, but cannot process and understand what they hear in the same way other people do. This is because their ears and brain don’t fully coordinate. Something interferes with the way the brain recognises and interprets sounds, especially speech.
When CAPD occurs in children, it can lead to learning difficulties and sometimes behavioural issues as they struggle to process sounds and maintain concentration.
A parent, specialist or teacher may suspect a child with CAPD if they have:-
Difficulty following instruction
Difficulty understanding speech in the presence of background noise
Difficulty learning in background noise
Difficulty with direction of sound (localisation)
Difficulty with reading and spelling
Becomes easily distracted
Poor verbal skills
Behavioural and self-esteem issues
What age can we assess for Central Auditory Processing Disorder
Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) tests can only be performed on children from 7.5 years old and on adults.
Assessing Central Auditory Processing Disorder
If a child or adult is suspected to have CAPD then he or she can be assessed over two appointments:
First appointment, 30-45 minutes: Taking a case history to learn about the said clients learning and hearing skills and performing a CAPD hearing test to rule out any undetected hearing loss.
Results of the first appointment will determine whether the second CAPD assessment appointment is required. If yes, a questionnaire will be sent home with you to complete in-conjunction with the teacher/specialist. The questionnaire is emailed back to us before the second appointment so our audiologist can prepare the CAPD assessment.
Second appointment, 90 minutes: Performing a series of Central Auditory Processing Disorder Assessment. Intermittent breaks are provided to ensure the child/adult remains alert and energised.
CAPD assessments for children are performed in the morning only as this is when they are likely to be more energised and alert. For adults, it can be the morning or early afternoon. The first and second appointments must be conducted within 3 weeks of each other.
Management of CAPD
Management of CAPD involves a team approach with other professionals. For a child, these include Speech Pathologists and Teachers. This typically involves three approaches:
Environment modifications such as seating the child away from distracting noises
Using a FM system to direct important sound directly to wearer and reduce unwanted background and speech noise
The use of intervention programs designed to improve auditory processing in children
Teaching compensatory strategies so the child can cope better in daily listening environments
$175.00 – First appointment for CAPD Hearing Test, Consultation and Report. Appointment approx 30-45 minutes. Payment at appointment. $500.00 – Second appointment for CAPD Intensive Assessment and Report. Appointment approx 90 minutes. Payment at appointment.
Medicare: No rebate for CAPD testing.
Health Fund: Check with your Health Fund if you have audiology cover and at what level, as CAPD appointments may be covered under your policy. Receipt with the clinician’s provider number will be provided for you to lodge a claim with your Health Fund, as no HiCAPS is available.
Central Auditory Processing Disorder assessments are available at the below locations by Audiologist trained in CAPD. You can request a free, 15 minute phone discussion with an audiologist to advise whether CAPD testing is required for your child/you.
Signe – Neutral Bay
Dr Ally – Bondi Junction
Michael – Caringbah and West Pennant Hills
Monday - Friday, 9.00-5.00pm
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