Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), also known as Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a complex hearing problem affecting about 5% of school-aged children. Children have normal ability to hear sounds, but have difficulty understanding what the sounds mean. Children can’t process the information they hear in the same way as others because their ears and brain don’t fully coordinate. If CAPD is not identified and managed early most of these kids will have speech and language delays and academic problems.
Central Auditory Processing Disorder treatment should be individualized; there is no cure-all method of treating CAPD. But several technologies are available to help children with CAPD. It is best to get specific recommendation first from an audiologist before trying it at home. These technologies are designed to help children become better listeners and readers, learn faster, improve memory and become better thinkers.
Technologies that can Help Children with CAPD:
– Assistive Listening Device (ALD) is any device or product, including hearing aids, which improves or “assists” hearing. It is typically used for specific listening environments like theaters, at church, in conference rooms during meetings, in schools or with televisions and radios.
– Specialist assistive technology – personal frequency modulation listening devices allows wearer to hear one voice via microphone directly into their ear through a FM receiver. This is sometimes called remote microphone.
– Possible Extrinsic AT Software are voice output, web browser, and text editor programs intended to help individuals with learning disabilities to read, write, study, and comprehend text more effectively.
– Personal Listening Systems (Auditory Trainers) usually consist of Frequency Modulated Systems have the ability to increase the volume of a particular sound source and deliver it directly to an individual without increasing the amount of background noise.
– Digital Voice Recorder can be used for recording class lessons and verbal instructions. It is less expensive compared to software and other devices.
– Direct Audio Input is an Assistive Listening Device that is compatible with a hearing aid. An induction loop is usually worn around the neck that allows for hook-up to a TV, radio/stereo, microphone, CD player, FM system or other assistive device.
– Activity Table designed for younger children. It is good for auditory stimulation combined with visual cues treating auditory limitation by using its functional visual capabilities.
– Electromagnetic Induction Loop is used for amplification it is a special cable typically wired around public places. These cables emit electromagnetic signal to the person’s ear either by wearing headphones or hearing aid.
– FastForWord is a computer based program with games that teaches processing of speech sounds and works on short term auditory memory and auditory sequencing.
– TV Listening Systems one popular version of this type of ALD is called TV Ears. It is designed to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the television (or radio/stereo) over other environmental or background noise.
– SAMONAS Sound Therapy and The Listening Program (TLP) – specially produced music that is available on CDs effective tool in stimulating the brain’s processing regions and engineered to have a calming effect on the body.
– Telephone Assistive Devices phones that have specially-designed receiver that amplifies sound. It has a built-in telecoil and picks up the telephone signal without causing feedback (whistling) or interference from background noise.
– Infrared Systems uses light waves instead of radio waves. The receiver usually a headset turns the signal into sound. Infrared Systems are commonly used in personal listening devices, and can also be used in large areas such as meeting halls, theatres and churches.
Hearing technology holds great promise for helping children with CAPD. It is not an over-the-counter commodity; avoid internet and mail-order purchase. The government requires that children be seen by an Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) physician for medical clearance, then by an audiologist, not just a hearing technology dealer. Consult a physician then an experienced audiologist before making a purchase.