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Dr. Elizabeth Fagan, SLP.D
Speech-Language Pathologist

What is CAPD?


Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is colloquially referred to as a “listening disorder”. It should not be confused with a hearing loss that refers to a loss of acuity as a result of ear pathology. CAPD is a disorder of the auditory centres in the brain. There is a deficit in the way auditory information is being processed or interpreted by the brain. One way to describe auditory processing is “what we do with what we hear”.

CAPD is a complex disorder. It can arise as part of a neurological or disease process such as head injuries, tumors, degenerative disorders, viral infections, surgical compromise, hyperbilirubinemia, concussions and hereditary factors. It can also co-exist with other disorders such as attention deficit disorder, speech and language delays, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, pervasive developmental disorder, sensory integration disorder, visual perceptual deficits and hearing loss.

Central auditory processing is a complex set of skills. It is not surprising that an individual who has difficulties with central auditory processing can have difficulty in a wide variety of areas. CAPD may be manifested in one or more of the following symptoms: