Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Although we are familiar with hearing loss, a significant and often misunderstood auditory challenge is Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD).  A CAPD is a condition in which one has difficulty processing or interpreting auditory information when in a less than optimal listening environment.

Individuals with CAPD typically have normal hearing acuity but are unable to efficiently process or interpret speech when placed in a minimally-noisy environment. Children and adults with CAPD often report that they are confused or become flustered in busy listening environments.  Settings such as a classroom environment, the work place, and social gatherings are often very difficult for them because of confusing verbal stimuli. 

It is important to understand that CAPD may occur in persons with other disorders such as autism, ADD/ADHD, sensory integration dysfunction, learning disabilities, speech and language deficits, traumatic brain injury, or other neurological conditions.  Central auditory processing disorder may also appear as an isolated dysfunction.