Does your child have trouble distinguishing speech in noisy environments? Are they performing poorly at school? Do they frequently show signs of fatigue? These are all symptoms that could point to Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). Also known as Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), CAPD is an auditory dysfunction whereby sounds are incorrectly processed between the auditory system and the brain. This can affect your child’s speech, behaviour, and even their learning experience. So, what are the key CAPD symptoms? And when should you seek the help of an audiologist?
What is CAPD?
The relationship between the auditory system and the brain is key to the way in which we hear and interpret sounds. To simplify the explanation: sound waves are picked up by the delicate structures in the ear and translated into electrical signals. These signals are then sent to the brain, which processes and interprets the signals into sounds we recognise. With CAPD, there is a breakdown between what the ear hears and what the brain processes. Somewhere along the way, the sound signals become distorted. This results in problems interpreting sounds, especially in high noisenoisy environments.
What are the key CAPD symptoms?
Due to similarities in symptoms, CAPD can often be mistaken for other learning difficulties. However, with CAPD the distinct difficulty is in how sounds themselves are processed. Key CAPD symptoms include:
- Difficulty distinguishing speech in noisy environments: This is one of the biggest problems for children with CAPD, and one that can affect a lot more than just hearing. In the classroom environment, for example, kids may have trouble understanding their teacher over background noise, a problem that could potentially impact their learning experience and academic performance.
- Fatigue: Children with CAPD often suffer from tiredness due to the constant strain of trying to hear. This can also lead to temperament issues such as increased irritability.
- Language development: As a result of difficulties understanding speech, children suffering from CAPD can also have problems with speech development.
- Reading and spelling problems: Children suffering from CAPD may also have difficulty associating sounds with their written symbols, tending to spell words phonetically or reading slowly (showing signs of poor reading comprehension).
The importance of early diagnosis
If you suspect your child may be suffering from CAPD, early diagnosis and identification is key to ensuring they receive the treatment they need. If you’ve noticed your child is having difficulty processing sounds, you should organise a consultation with a qualified audiologist who can evaluate and diagnose their symptoms. At The Art of Hearing, our experienced hearing specialists are trained in relevant CAPD treatments and can help your child get the help they need.
Recognise CAPD symptoms in your child? Organise a consultation with our Perth audiologists today.