What Is APD or CAPD?

Posted January 27, 2022, under APD, Blog

APD, or (C)APD is an abbreviation for central auditory processing disorder, a type of hearing loss. Auditory processing is a term used to describe what happens when your brain recognizes and interprets sound. It has been said that auditory processing is “what you do with what you hear”. The disorder of auditory processing indicates something is adversely affecting the processing of sound.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA, 1996; 2005) defines APD as “a deficiency in the perceptual processing of auditory information in the central nervous system as demonstrated by poor performance in one or more of the following skills”;

  • Sound localization and lateralization
  • Auditory discrimination
  • Auditory pattern recognition
  • Temporal aspects of audition; including temporal resolution, temporal masking, temporal integration, and temporal ordering
  • Auditory performance with competing acoustic signals
  • Auditory performance with degraded acoustic signals

Children who have APD may exhibit a variety of common auditory behaviors, such as;

  • Behaving as if they have a hearing loss
  • They may respond inconsistently to speech
  • They may often misunderstand what is said, or respond at a slower pace
  • Have difficulty listening or paying attention in noisy environments
  • Make frequent requests for repetition, asking “What?” or “Huh?”
  • Exhibit poor memory for verbally presented information and
  • Seem confused or have difficulty following long directions

Children with APD present with a variety of characteristics that affect academic performance (Baran, 1998), such as;

  • Poor expressive and receptive language abilities
  • Poor reading, writing, and spelling
  • Difficulty taking notes
  • Poor phonics and speech sound discrimination
  • Poor ability to memorize
  • Problems following a sequence of instruction

In addition to academic and spoken language difficulties, some children with APD are likely to display behavioral, emotional, and social difficulties. The development of self-esteem and self-worth can be negatively affected by the communication deficits and learning difficulties associated with APD (ASHA, 2005). 2

Pamela Best, Au.D, CCC-A
Doctor of Audiology & APD Specialist

APD Specialty Group
Comprehensive & Effective APD Treatment

2 “American Speech & Hearing Association”, 2005; Published APD Guidelines