top of page

Central Auditory Processing Evaluations

What is Central Auditory Processing? 

Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) is a condition in which the ears and the brain do not work well together. People with CAPD can hear, but the brain has trouble processing and understanding the sounds it hears.

"Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) is a hearing problem that affects about 3%–5% of school-aged children." (Nemours, 2021)


Children with this condition have difficultly understanding what they hear in the same way other kids do. This is because their ears and brain are not working together as they should. Their brain has a harder time processing the sound information that they are taking in.

With the right strategies, kids with CAPD can be successful in school and life. Early diagnosis is important. If the condition is not identified and managed early, a child is at risk for listening and learning problems at home and school.



Mishears sounds or words


Trouble following directions


Preforms better in quiet settings


Difficulties  with spelling




A person or child with CAPD may exhibit difficulty with auditory processing in the following ways:

  • Poor listening skills

  • Difficulty following oral instructions or classroom discussions

  • Frequently say “huh?” or “what?”

  • Difficulty with phonics or letter-sound correspondences, sound blending or segmentation

  • Difficulty decoding unfamiliar words

  • Poor spelling

  • Slow fluency of reading

  • Poor reading comprehension

  • Difficulty understanding in the presence of background noise

  • Poor attention, daydreaming, high distractibility (may seem like an attention disorder)

  • Give slow or delayed responses to oral questions

  • May be prone to behavior problems due to frustration or boredom (inability to follow the class)

  • Avoidance of reading or other difficult tasks

How is CAPD Assessed?

CAPD diagnosis, testing and therapy have seen significant advances in the last 60 years with the development of research-based testing protocols. Prior to testing for CAPD, it is mandatory to rule out hearing loss to ensure the individual has typical peripheral hearing. 

CAPD testing can be conducted on children as young as 7 years old. It is advisable for children suspected of having CAPD to get tested as early as possible, as it can greatly improve their academic and social success.

There are different testing protocols currently in use for CAPD testing – Buffalo model, Terri Bellis model, to name a few. The purpose of these tests is to assess CAPD using a series of tests that target auditory decoding, integration, tolerance fading memory and organization difficulties. 

During an CAPD test, the client or child is presented with a series of tests to determine how their brain identifies and uses sounds and words in both quiet and noise. The stimulus (sounds) used in these tests target specific centers in the brain for language, speech, memory, and comprehension. In addition to regular CAPD testing, both children and adults can also be assessed using an interactive test called Acoustic Pioneer, which is available as an iOS application on Apple-related devices such as an iPhone or iPad. The application was designed and validated by an audiologist named Matthew Barker, and is a great tool to use for diagnostics and also for measuring progress with therapy.

How Does CAPD Testing Help?

CAPD assessment using a formalized testing procedure is highly beneficial in the following aspects.

  • It provides information about comprehension and expression of spoken language

  • It can be used as an aid to address issues associated with articulation, spelling, oral language, speech understanding in noise, distractions, sequencing, short term memory, and other auditory based tasks

  • It helps to identify academic and communication difficulties

  • It helps in diagnosing CAPD from other disorders, such as ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities and depression

  • It prevents misdiagnosis and provides possible prognosis of therapy

  • Psychological effects of CAPD can be minimized

  • Appropriate identification of children with CAPD will allow insightful educational planning

  • Allows for further steps and interventions to be take in the child's school environment. 

  • It provides additional information that helps in understanding benefit from other therapies

Benefits of CAPD Therapy

The results and outcomes of therapy are long lasting and are achievable in a short period of time. APD therapy is most helpful in improving:

  • Outcomes of other therapies children who are hyperactive, distractible or have short attention spans

  • Focus in a task

  • Sequencing abilities

  • Ability to extract signal from noise without getting distracted

  • Calmness in noisy situations

  • Academic performance at school

  • Social communication and helps to ease frustration

Any questions?
Please contact us for more information.

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page