Central auditory processing disorder is as challenging to diagnose as it is to treat.
This is because the presenting symptoms so often overlap with a variety of similar disorders, especially in children.
The good news is that once diagnosed, a central auditory processing disorder can be positively addressed with speech therapy for children.
So, if your child has been recently diagnosed, consider booking an appointment with us at Sol Speech and Language.
But if you find yourself wondering, “what exactly is a central auditory processing disorder anyways?” you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs to central auditory processing disorder: what it is, how it can affect your child, and how a speech therapist can help.
Now, let’s find out more.
What Is Central Auditory Processing Disorder?
Your central auditory processing ability is your ability to process perceived auditory information in your central nervous system.
In simpler terms, it’s how your brain makes sense of the sound you hear.
A central auditory processing disorder refers to any deficit in the neural processing of auditory information.
In this case, it’s not an issue with a developmental disability or higher order language difficulty.
Instead, it may lead to or be associated with such difficulties.
This makes diagnosing a central auditory processing disorder tricky because there’s often a mix of presenting symptoms.
Symptoms Of Central Auditory Processing Disorder
There are a number of symptoms associated with central auditory processing disorder.
This is because there are multiple different types of deficits that may cause a central auditory processing disorder.
As a result, there are a variety of possible symptoms that will vary depending on the type of deficit.
Symptoms of a central auditory processing disorder may also be associated with other disorders, such as a learning disability or a language impairment.
This is what makes it so particularly tricky to diagnose.
Symptoms may include:
- Difficulty recognizing where sound is coming from
- Taking a long time to respond to oral communications
- Frequent requests for repetitions
- Difficulty understanding complex, rapid speech
- Inappropriate or inconsistent responding
- Being easily distracted
- Difficulty paying attention
- Poor musical and singing skills
As you can see, the symptoms of a central auditory processing disorder can be rather vague and correspond with multiple other types of conditions.
What Causes Central Auditory Processing Disorder?
There are a number of possible causes and risk factors for central auditory processing disorder.
That being said, it can be difficult to say with complete certainty what the direct cause is.
Some conditions, such as aphasia, are attributed to the onset of central auditory processing disorder.
Additionally, a 2020 study by De Groote et al. found that people with Parkinson’s may experience auditory processing issues due to a drop in dopamine.
Other possibilities include:
- Age related changes to your central auditory neural system
- Neurological damage or disorders
- Exposure to neurotoxins like heavy metals
- Being born premature
- Having a low birth weight
Boston Children’s Hospital highlights several additional risk factors for central auditory processing disorder.
Screening For Central Auditory Processing Disorder
Now, when doing a speech and language evaluation for a central auditory processing disorder, the goal is to identify whether your child needs a comprehensive central auditory testing battery.
What’s a testing battery?
It’s a series of tests designed to understand your child’s abilities in any given subject area.
This screening will include a variety of questions designed to consider auditory behaviors related to academic achievement, listening skills, and communication.
If we find your child needs a more comprehensive central auditory test after the testing battery, we usually refer to an audiologist to make the proper diagnosis.
There isn’t a universal diagnosis associated with central auditory processing disorder, and the variety of its symptoms that overlap with other disorders does add to the overall challenge of diagnosing it.
This is why you’ll often be working with an interdisciplinary team during this process, which will often include an audiologist, an Austin speech therapist, and special educators who together gather the required assessment data which contributes to the audiologist’s diagnosis.
It is also possible that this assessment data may identify the presence of similar disorders.
How Can Speech Therapy Help With Central Auditory Processing Disorder?
A central auditory processing disorder mainly affects your listening, communication, academic success, and social skills.
As a result, speech therapy early intervention is key.
Getting your child screened and treated early will help them get the best results in their speech and language development.
The goal of speech therapy for central auditory processing disorder is to improve your child’s communication ability in order to be more effective in every facet of their life.
In order to accomplish this, we take an individualized look in order to decide which approach, frequency, and intensity of treatment will be best suited to them.
We’ll take a look at how their central auditory processing disorder affects them the most, and put together a treatment plan designed to address that.
This approach also includes an understanding of your cultural background, values, preferred language, and the severity of their disorder.
Your speech therapist may also recommend strategies designed to minimize the impact on your child’s language and cognitive skills.
One example of this is to focus on the improvement of memory and attention skills.
The improvement of these skills will inherently improve their listening and communication skills.
This will also show in an improved academic performance, which is integral to the development of your child.
Finally, your child’s speech therapist will encourage family involvement in your child’s therapy.
This way, you’ll be able to help your child practice what they learned at therapy in the comfort of your own home.
If you suspect that they might have a central auditory processing disorder, you should have your child screened sooner rather than later.
Early diagnosis will help to ensure that if they do have this or any similar disorder, they can sooner access the specialized therapy required to help them succeed.
Book Your Appointment With Sol Speech And Language Therapy Today
A central auditory processing disorder can be a challenging condition if not addressed right away.
It often takes a large amount of testing and work with an interdisciplinary team in order to diagnose.
But once treatment begins your speech therapist is a great asset to supplement the development of your child.
Has your child been recently diagnosed with a central auditory processing disorder?
Are you interested in hearing more about our services and how we can help?
Book an appointment with Sol Speech and Language Therapy today to get started.
Book your appointment with Sol Speech And Language Therapy today to find out more about how our services can help your family.
6448 E Hwy 290 Suite E-106,
Austin, TX 78723
Sol Speech & Language Therapy
555 Round Rock W Dr E-221,
Round Rock, TX 78681
Sol Speech & Language Therapy offers personalized skilled intervention to those struggling with their speech and language skills. Services offered include screening, consultation, and comprehensive evaluation. We also provide one-on-one and/or group therapy for speech sound disorders, receptive/expressive language delay/disorder, stuttering/cluttering, accent reduction, and much more.