What Is CAPD?
In simple terms, CAPD is defined as when a hearing person hears
words spoken, but their brain can not process the words normally.
Children with CAPD may exhibit the following symptoms:
Have trouble associating sounds with their meanings
Verbally indicate that they don't understand
Not respond consistently to the same sounds
Misunderstand a lot
Want things repeated a lot
Be easily distracted
Have trouble following oral directions
Not receive or express language well
Have a slow response to verbal instructions
Make mistakes repeating things that are said to them
Have trouble remembering things they hear
The actual diagnosis is made by an audiologist, who determines that
the child can indeed hear although the child may appear to have a
Central Auditory Processing Disorder:
When a hearing person is deaf or vice versa
Question: When is a hearing person like a deaf person?
Answer: When they have a condition known as
central auditory processing disorder (CAPD).
WHAT IS AUDITORY PROCESSING DISORDER OR CAPD
by Becca Lynn; parent of ASD child, CAPD sufferer
AUDITORY PROCESSING - is the ability to listen, comprehend, and
respond to information that we hear through our auditory channels.
This includes the detection of sound by the external ear and the
transmission of sound through the auditory pathways to the brain.
Central Auditory Processing Problems
Strategies and Accommodations for Auditory Processing Difficulties
Consider the following:
o Minimize auditory distractions
o Isolate in separate part of room
o Give preferential seating
o Use "pretuner" words such as "listen, read, begin"
o Ask student to repeat directions
o Use a visual approach to correct spelling errors
o Use flash cards for vocabulary and spelling words
o Use a high degree of visual cues and examples along with auditory
o Keep directions brief
o Explain the meaning of vocabulary, check for understanding
o Use visual maps
o Highlight important information using colored highlighters
o Present only one or two tasks or directions at one time
o Use semantic story organizers and story maps
o Provide an overview of the "big picture."
o Use manipulatives whenever possible
o Demonstrate learning through projects, skits, discussions
o Act things out, create physical representations or make models
o Present vocabulary after concrete presentation/example
o Give short breaks from listening
o Allow study buddy to interpret directions
o Use small groups to facilitate acquisition of knowledge
o Allow to doodle in order to listen
o Consider using a microphone/amplification system
o Give "alert" cues when you are about to deliver input instructions
o Strengthen sight vocabulary
o Ask short questions
o Give visual cues/aids whenever possible
o Have student paraphrase directions
o Increase length of orally presented material as student demonstrates
o Accept yes, no, maybe responses and increase length of response
o Teach vocabulary, idioms, sarcasm, etc.
o Teach paraphrasing, questioning, summarizing
o Select a peer scribe
o Vary pitch, tone, speed to help students listen closely
o Use overhead projector
o Develop use of consistent attention getting devices before giving an
o Use word processor with spell checker
o Use books on tape when reading
o Use note taker in class; tape lectures, write notes later
o Provide written directions
o Keep directions brief
o Write assignments down for student (peer or teacher)
o Have students underline words they believe are misspelled
o Check calendars before student leaves class
o Have student write directions and teacher or peer checks for
o Use highlighter during reading assignments
o Read test directions, circle key words
o Use data/information cards (e.g., for job applications)
o Teach SQ3R approach (skim reading, skim questions, read, recite,
o Use daily assignment calendar
o Teach how to develop and maintain an organized notebook to aide in
o Teach outlining techniques and cognitive mapping
o Practice cumulative reviewing
o Practice sequencing dates, parts of essay, steps in math problems,
o Use flash cards to study
o Have student write when memorizing
o Write directions given orally, teacher checks
o Teach differences between extraneous noises and what needs to be the
focus of attention
o Use frequent and tangible reinforcers
o Use ADD (Auditory Discrimination in Depth) program
o Teach visualizing and Verbalizing program
o Teach sound-symbol relationships
o Check for understanding in conversations
o Develop an individualized communication system (such as a private
signal) for use when the student is frustrated or needs assistance
o Teach the use of key words and phrases such as who, what, where,
when, why, and how much, therefore, in addition, consequently, next,
finally, in conclusion, etc.
o Teach ability to describe disability, how to ask for accommodations
o Avoid foreign languages
Auditory Processing involves the ability to segment, analyze, and
synthesize speech sounds. This type of processing deficit is often
present in students who have spelling difficulties, as spelling
requires phonemic segmentation (the ability to attend to the detailed
sequence of sounds in words). Also, students with poor phonemic
awareness are slow to develop word identification skill in reading. In
addition to affecting the acquisition of reading decoding and spelling
skill, severe auditory processing deficits may cause difficulty in
interpreting lectures, understanding oral directions, and perceiving
speech under distracting conditions.
Intervention strategies appropriate for a deficit in this area
Referral to the Speech/Language Clinician for a more comprehensive
Depending upon age, language, and reading achievement level, the
student may benefit from specific training in phonemic segmentation
and sound blending.
For young students, encourage the use of games that manipulate the
phonological structure of words, such as rhyming games and nursery
Develop skill in phonological awareness through counting activities
that progress from counting the number of words in a simple sentence,
to the number of syllables in a word, to the number of sounds within a
If the auditory processing deficits are not remediable, recommend a
nonphonic reading approach.
In severe cases, the student may need to be excused from foreign
language study in elementary school and, if possible, be waived from
the foreign language requirement at the secondary level.
Provide visual outlines and graphic organizers for tasks involving
Give clear, direct instructions for all tasks, limited in length and
Do not penalize the student for difficulties in reading decoding or
Allow extra time for reading and writing activities.
Emphasize sound/symbol associations in teaching decoding and spelling.
Provide study guides for listening activities.
Provide assistance with note taking.
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