Are you worried about your child’s listening and ability to follow instructions? What are the signs to watch for?


CAPD Assessment


Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)

or Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

Central Auditory Processing refers to the brain’s ability to recognise and interpret sounds – especially speech.

Are you worried about your child’s listening and ability to follow instructions?
Does your child display any of the following signs?

  • Difficulty hearing speech in a noisy environment – such as a classroom
  • Often asks for information to be repeated
  • Has difficulty maintaining attention
  • Has poor listening skills
  • Has a problem locating where the sounds is coming from
  • Has difficulty following directions
  • Displays distracted or inattentive behaviour
  • Has difficulty learning to read or spell
  • Is exhausted at the end of the day

Your child may have an Auditory Processing Disorder. If you are concerned, call the clinic to make an appointment.

CAPD & APD – Can they hear?

A person with CAPD has normal hearing but their brain has difficulty processing and interpreting the information it receives – especially in background noise.

Teachers are often the first to notice a child with CAPD. These are the students in primary school who struggle to pick up the teacher’s instructions in the usual background noise of a classroom.
They lag behind. They often watch what the other students are doing and then follow their lead. Which book to get out? Which page to turn to? Are we using colour pencils or paints? Am I in the right group? What are we copying from the board?

It can be confusing for a young child when the instructions are a blur of noise.

CAPD Assessment is important

It’s important to have a hearing test performed first of all – to rule out a hearing loss.

Then we’ll perform a group of tests that are designed to check your child’s ability to listen and process information when there is competing noise. This is all done using headphones with recorded voice at comfortable listening levels. The testing involves an assessment of:

  1. The ability to process different information being presented to both ears at
    the same time. This is called ​Binaural Integration. F​or this we use the LISN Test
  2. Another temporal processing skill that we acquire is ​Temporal Resolution which is​ ​the capacity of the auditory system to detect the occurrence of two consecutive auditory events and the ability to record them as two different and separate events. We use the Gaps In Noise Test for this part of the assessment.
  3. We also include ​Dichotic Listening​ testing with the Dichotic Digits Test and the SSW. With these we are testing ​Binaural Integration​ using verbal stimuli i.e. words and numbers

CAPD Testing is available for children from the age of seven. [There is no normative data for children who are younger.]

The testing is lengthy – up to 1.5 hours. We prefer a parent to be present and we advise them to bring a drink and a snack for their child to have during breaks. The child should wear comfortable clothes. Preferably this assessment should be performed in the morning rather than after school when the child may be tired and distracted. It should be noted that CAPD Testing is not a test of intellect.

The Report:

A detailed report is provided for parents, teacher and the referring doctor. The results are evaluated and compared with normative data for children aged between 7 and 12 years.

Testing may show normal results which may indicate the need for further clinical investigation.

  • There may be behavioral issues and consultation with a Psychologist may be required.
  • There may be receptive speech problems and a Speech Pathology assessment may be advised.
  • There may be excessive “screen-time” at home.

Strategies and therapies

If a Central Auditory Processing Disability is diagnosed, then classroom strategies will be recommended. These can include:

  • Using a listening device with blue-tooth headphones or earbuds connected to the teacher’s microphone.
  • A “buddy system” may be advised.
  • Preferential seating is usually implemented.
  • Recording of lessons and reviewing teacher’s lesson notes can be used as back-up.
  • Auditory Integration Activities (listen and do) are also beneficial e.g.Twister, Play School activities and gymnastics.

If you require an appointment for a CAPD assessment, a Hearing assessment will be arranged as well.

Please contact the clinic for information regarding the fees for these tests.