Central auditory processing skills are evaluated to diagnose a disorder known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). CAPD is different than hearing loss, but results in difficulties understanding auditory information. Children who have difficulties understanding speech in noisy environments, following directions, face challenges in school, or a variety of other complications may be referred for an evaluation with our auditory processing team at the Eckelmann-Taylor Speech & Hearing Clinic. The collaboration between multiple professionals gives us the opportunity to develop an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan for the children and caregivers.
Overview of Appointment
- Paperwork will be required from caregivers, educators, and physicians for the team to review prior to appointments being made. This screening process is necessary to ensure the referral is appropriate. At times, a multidisciplinary consultation may be recommended instead.
- After the initial screening process, two separate appointments will be scheduled. One with the speech language pathology team for 2 hours and one with the audiology team for 3 hours.
- Services will be provided by a graduate level student clinician under the supervision of a certified audiologist (CCC-Au.D) and certified speech language pathologist (CCC-SLP).
- The battery of tests involve evaluation of peripheral hearing, as well as auditory processing function and evaluation of the child’ speech and language.
- Interpretation of results and recommendations will be reviewed at a later appointment. Our office management is available to provide information regarding insurance policies.
Graduate clinicians will review documents received prior to the appointment, as well as asking for further details during the appointment regarding primary concerns, hearing health, communication abilities, and other developmental milestones. Communication difficulties at school and home will be addressed.
Assessment of the outer, middle, and inner ear systems will provide information to eliminate any possibilities of hearing loss. Behavioral testing will be conducted in a sound-treated booth. For more information regarding methods, refer to the comprehensive hearing evaluation page.
A battery of tests requiring listening to various speech and signal tests assesses central auditory processing skills. Speech in noise understanding, integration and separation ability, and other temporal processing tasks are evaluated and require a developmental age of at least 7 years. Breaks will be offered throughout the appointment due to the large amount of attention needed throughout the assessment.
Interpretation & Recommendations
The team of professionals will discuss the audiological, speech, and language results and determine a diagnosis. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled with the caregivers to discuss any clinical findings and treatment/therapy opportunities available, dependent on the child’s needs. Due to many considerations with diagnosis of CAPD, treatments are highly individualized based on the type of auditory deficit. Resources and encouragement will be provided to the caregivers.