Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) can be explained as a disorder that affects a child’s ability to process auditory information that he/she hears. Often times, children with CAPD can be misunderstood and labeled as “behavior” problems or as children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). As a result of their processing difficulties, they also have decreased expressive and receptive vocabulary, which also makes following directions difficult for them.


A child with CAPD may exhibit one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Difficulty understanding speech in noisy situations
  • Difficulty hearing in groups
  • Trouble listening
  • A short attention span
  • May become anxious when required to listen
  • Easily distracted
  • Difficulty following simple and complex oral directions
  • Confuses or forgets directions when several are given at one time
  • Has difficulty with delayed directions
  • Appears to hear, but not understand what people say - especially with more complex sentences
  • Finds abstract information difficult to understand when presented orally
  • Difficulty retaining what was said
  • Poor speech or language skills
  • Poor reading or phonic skills
  • Poor spelling skills
  • Displays discrepancy between verbal and performance scores on IQ tests
  • Demonstrates impulsive behavior
  • Is disorganized
  • Has poor peer relations
  • Has poor self esteem
  • Unusually tired at the end of the day
  • Pragmatically inappropriate due to difficulty following conversations     

Helpful links:

Games for auditory processing and phonological awareness. Hearbuilder offers tryout games on their website. They are helpful and fun for children who have difficulties with auditory processing (phonological awareness, following directions, auditory memory, sequencing):




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