- Is your child easily distracted or bothered by loud or sudden noises?
- Are conversations difficult for your child to follow?
- Are noisy environments upsetting for them?
- Are verbal (word based) maths problems demanding?
- Does your child have difficulty following directions?
- Is abstract information tough to interpret?
- Does your child struggle with reading, spelling, writing, or other speech-related language difficulties?
The symptoms in each individual can range from mild to severe and only a trained professional, such as a speech-language pathologists and an audiologist who specialise in CAPD, can determine if your child actually has a central auditory processing disorder.
If your child does have central auditory processing disorder and finds it difficult to concentrate and follow directions, there are numerous strategies that parents can implement for their child.
What was I supposed to do again?
To help a child with CAPD follow directions, try reducing background noises, always have the child look at you when you are speaking and use simple, expressive sentences. Speaking at a slightly louder volume and at a slower tempo will also help significantly. Have your child repeat the directions back to you aloud a few times and be certain that they understand the directions they are repeating and not just mimicking your voice.
I left my book at school.
A student with CAPD will thrive on routine and structure. Teach your child how to focus and cope in chaotic environments. Before going home for the day, for instance, have the child check his or her assignment book and list what he or she needs to take home that day.
I can’t concentrate; it’s too loud in here.
At school the child should sit towards the front of the room facing the teacher with his or her back to the windows, doors, and other sources of distraction. The teacher can periodically touch the child’s shoulder to remind him or her to focus or get ready for a transition.
Teachers should also use lots and lots of visual aids jotting down instructions or key words on the board, and providing simple written outlines. For younger students a picture or drawing may work better as a reminder.
At home, provide the child with a quiet study place. If you want them to concentrate better, be sure to keep the TV turned off and keep any possible outside stimuli far away.
Make sure the work desk is kept free of clutter and well organised. Maintain a peaceful, organised lifestyle that encourages good eating and sleeping habits and keeping a neat room and desk.
Teachers and parents both need to remember that central auditory processing disorder is a real condition. The symptoms and behaviours are not within the child’s control. Children with CAPD are not being defiant or being lazy.
Help them build a strong self-esteem and learn to advocate for themselves, as they get older. Keep it positive and keep life fun!