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Central auditory processing disorder affects the way the brain processes auditory information. The structure and function of the outer, middle, and inner ear are usually intact. However they show deficits in the processing of information, which leads to difficulties in recognizing and interpreting sounds.

What Is CAPD? - by The Center of Development

CAPD stands for Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Many people now refer to it as APD. When an educator or professional is concerned about APD in a child, they are concerned about whether a child can actually PROCESS what is heard. Auditory processing is a crucial aspect of integration, combining sensory input, language, memory, attention and timing to draw conclusions from information that has been heard.

Since the auditory mechanism is located so closely to the movement center of the brain, it becomes clearer that learning is not all in your head. The basic sensory systems, especially movement, play a key role in learning, according to the latest in brain-based research.

There are several preventive measures you can take with APD children

  • 1 Allow children additional time to process what has been said
  • 2 Make eye contact ALWAYS and talk slowly and rhythmically
  • 3 Don't give more than 2 step directions usually
  • 4 Give visual cues and demonstrations as often as possible, don't teach just with verbal information.
  • 5 Obtain advice from your educators and professionals on treatments for this disorder. At Center of Development we can help start the treatment by doing Therapeutic Listening Program.

Classroom Management Strategies for Children with Auditory Processing Disorders

  • 1 Seek classroom placement to avoid settings that are noisy or reverberant and avoid open classroom placements
  • 2 Provide the child preferential seating near the place where the teacher spends most of his/her time giving auditory instructions, and away from distracting auditory and visual "noise"
  • 3 Teach the child to use visual information (look and listen)
  • 4 Encourage teachers to gain the child's attention before giving auditory instruction
  • 5 Check the child's comprehension of auditory information by asking the child to re-tell the instruction
  • 6 Rephrase and restate important information to provide auditory redundancy
  • 7 Counsel teachers and parents regarding the child's auditory needs
  • 8 Use FM systems if recommended by the audiologist to enhance the speech to noise ratio for the child
  • 9 Teach compensatory strategies depending on the child's individual needs
  • 10 Teach listening skills, including when to listen for meaning rather than exact repetition. Teach the child to wait until instructions are completed before he/she begins a task
  • 11 Give the child time to think and respond to auditory instructions or questions
  • 12 Use attention devices such as calling the child's name, saying "listen" and "Are you ready?" before giving assignments
  • 13 Limit the amount of information in each instruction
  • 14 Provide in-services to help teachers and parents understand auditory processing problems
  • 15 Allow a "buddy system" that the child can use to check on homework assignments or other instructions
  • 16 Consider the use of tape recorders for some children who need a repetition of directions, spelling words, or lectures.
  • 17 Ask teachers to provide pre-printed lecture notes or outlines to minimize the need to listen and write or take notes. This allows the child to listen while watching the teacher and taking advantage of all visual cues.

Any remediation program should be directed not only at arranging for the management of the child but also should recognize the child's responsibility in his/her own remediation. When the child learns to take care of his/her own needs through better organization, asking for repetition, double-checking assignments, and other self-help behaviors, he/she will experience more academic success and develop a better self-image.

© Parent-Child Services Group, Inc. 5/97
Lynne F. Harmon, M.A., CCC-SLP
Permission to copy for educational purposes