Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) can only be diagnosed by an audiologist and a standardized test battery.
Diagnostic tests which are sensitive and specific to the central auditory nervous system (CANS) provide information about the auditory system's ability to understand and prioritize auditory information. This information is valuable to individuals, parents, families, educators, etc. and provides better understanding of impact of an auditory environment for the individual with CAPD. This information is also validating to many individuals with CAPD, regardless of age.
The CAP evaluation is completed while wearing headphones in a sound-proof room. Clients will be asked to complete a variety of listening tasks which may include repeating what is heard in one ear while ignoring the message presented to the opposite ear, repeating words presented to both ears, and repeating words presented in the presence of background noise. Picture-pointing paradigms are available for younger and nonverbal clients.
An individual must have a receptive language age of 3 years or above and normal to near-normal hearing in the speech frequency range. The ability to wear headphones and comply during testing is also required.
Occupational therapists, optometrists, psychologists, speech pathologists, etc., evaluate individuals that may present with multiple conditions. Audiologists can evaluate these same individuals. A CAP evaluation that utilizes cross-checks of performance and age-appropriate norms will provide valid outcomes, regardless of whether other comorbidities exist.
Screening measures are very easy to pass despite having CAPD and should be used with caution. Screening measures cannot be used to rule out CAPD. Similarly, if an eye chart is made big enough, there is a point when even those with visual challenges can pass testing. Individuals who pass insufficient test batteries may not recieve proper support for their CAPD and be continually misunderstood.
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CAPD can impact academic performance, work performance, self-esteem, relationships, overall well-being, and quality of life. CAPD may also influence how individuals feel in noisy environments and should be considered when there are concerns and indicators to do so.Contact Us