Central Auditory Processing and Learning (CAPD)

What Is CAPD?

CAPD is a problem with the understanding and processing of verbal information by someone who has normal hearing. The prevalence of CAPD in children is estimated to be between 2% and 3%, with it being twice as prevalent in males. It often co-exists with other disabilities. These include speech and language disorders or delays, learning disabilities or dyslexia, attention deficit disorders with or without hyperactivity, and social and/or emotional problems.

What Causes CAPD?

Many neurocognitive functions are involved in the processing of auditory information. Some are specific to the processing of acoustic signals, while others are more global in nature e.g., attention, memory, language representation. CAPD can be defined as a deficiency in any one or more of the functions listed above.

Symptoms of CAPD:

  • Difficulty hearing in noisy situations
  • Difficulty learning a foreign language or challenging vocabulary words
  • Difficulty remembering spoken information (i.e., auditory memory deficits)
  • Difficulty taking notes
  • Difficulty maintaining focus on an activity if other sounds are present child is easily distracted by other sounds in the environment
  • Difficulty following multi-step directions
  • Difficulty with reading and/or spelling


Central Auditory Processing Evaluation (CAPD)

CAPD is assessed through the use of special tests designed to assess the various auditory functions of the brain. The tests are often broken down into four subcategories including monaural low-redundancy speech tests, dichotic speech tests, temporal patterning tests, and binaural interaction tests.

Who Can Test for CAPD

Audiologists are the professionals responsible for the diagnosis on CAPD

Management of CAPD

In general, the approaches to remediation or management fall into three main categories:

  1. Enhancing the individual’s auditory perceptual skills via auditory training
  2. Enhancing the individual’s language and cognitive resources
  3. Improving the quality of the auditory signal via environmental modification and assistive devices

Useful links:

Understanding CAPD in Children

CAPD in Adults

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