Saturday, 7 April 2012

Signs your child may have central auditory processing disorder (CAPD).

Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) is a learning disability which affects about 5% of school-aged children. These youngsters often have normal intelligence and hearing. Their ears receive the sounds and words, just as other children's do, but their brains cannot process them readily. Already in the primary grades, children with CAPD may have been labelled as lazy, disobedient, poor listeners, or misdiagnosed as having ADD (attention deficit disorder).

The problem is not with the ears. Although the child hears sounds and words normally, his brain has difficulty recognizing, organizing, understanding and remembering what they mean.

CAPD is to the ears what dyslexia is to the eyes. Children with dyslexia see numbers and letters upside down, jumbled, or moving around. Children with CAPD hear sounds, words and sentences jumbled up, out of order, and with some distortion.

The following are some signs and symptoms which may lead you suspect that your child has central auditory hearing disorder:

* The child is unusually bothered by sudden and loud noises. Noise upsets him. He prefers to be in a quiet place. His behaviour and performance improve in a quiet atmosphere.

* He is easily distracted by background noise, and cannot concentrate in a noisy place. He has difficulty listening to one voice when many people are talking, as is the situation in some elementary school classrooms.

* He frequently misunderstands spoken directions, and has problems following even simple orders at times. He often forgets instructions.

* He finds information which is relayed verbally difficult to understand, and often asks to have it repeated. He says "What?" or "Pardon?" frequently.

* He has difficulty following conversations either in person or on the telephone.

* He has difficulty with Language skills: Phonics, Reading, Spelling, and Vocabulary Development.

* He has poor listening skills. He has trouble focusing and sustaining his attention on a speaker for any length of time.

* He may be forgetful and disorganized.

* He has difficulty taking notes.

* He will have difficulty learning a foreign language and with music appreciation.

* Processing information given verbally may be so difficult for him that, eventually, he just gives up trying. At this point, he may start to have behaviour problems.

A central auditory processing disorder can be a congenital or an acquired condition. It can be inherited and tends to run in families.

It may be caused by a brain injury, trauma to the head, or ear infections. It has also been linked to environmental factors, such as turmoil in the child's home life.

The first step in treating this learning ability is to recognize that there is an actual physical problem. Scolding and nagging your child to do better is useless. He is not doing poorly on purpose. He probably does not even realize he has a problem, much less know how to deal with it.

You are the parent; he needs you to be his advocate and look for ways and means to help him overcome his disability. Help is available. It is your responsibility to get out there and find it. Your child will be forever grateful.

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