WHAT IS CENTRAL AUDITORY PROCESSING EVALUATION?
Central auditory processing (CAP) refers to how we use information that we hear. Many people have GOOD HEARING but do not use information efficiently or quickly enough to meet the demands of classroom or everyday listening. The CAP evaluation goes beyond standard hearing testing to examine skills related to auditory attention, discrimination, analysis, synthesis, association, and organization. These tests minimize the influence of language, cognition and other sensory skills on understanding while maximizing the auditory systems capabilities from the ear to the brain. Tests include: puretone hearing test, word recognition in quiet, recognition of degraded/distorted speech, recognition of competing speech, listening with both ears, and recognition of tonal patterns.
WHO SHOULD BE REFERRED FOR CAP EVALUATION?
Patients age 4.5 years and older who display three or more of the following complaints are candidates for a CAP assessment.
- difficulty understanding in noise or trouble hearing in groups
- difficulty following directions and/or needs frequent repetition
- seems to hear but does not understand, needs frequent clarification/repetition
- history of ear infections/other otologic problems, history of neurologic problems
- distractible, does not listen, short attention span, poor focus/concentration
- speech and language problems, weak memory skills
- poor localization skills
- problems in phonics, reading, spelling, written language
HOW ARE CAP TEST RESULTS USEFUL TO ME OR MY CHILD?
Testing can determine whether a hearing problem exists and to what extent, the extent to which apparent auditory processing problems are related to true central auditory deficiency, and the nature or type of the CAP disorder, if present. This information is useful to parents, teachers and other specialists for developing deficit~specific environmental modifications, compensatory strategies, and therapeutic programs. The data also may serve as a baseline for measuring progress and skill development.