Aug 012013

Is your child barely making progress in a traditional school environment? Did you know homeschooling is often an ideal solution due to your ability to implement noise control?

Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is a learning disability that can cause a child to have significant issues with learning, particularly in a typical classroom where auditory input and background noise is difficult to control. Conversely, homeschooling enables your child to receive her education at home, with background noise that is much more limited and easier to control, which often leads to better educational outcomes.

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is defined as follows by the National Institute of Health as: “Auditory processing disorder (APD) describes a condition in which people have trouble making sense of the sounds around them.”

“Auditory processing is a term used to describe what happens when your brain recognizes and interprets the sounds around you. Humans hear when energy that we recognize as sound travels through the ear and is changed into electrical information that can be interpreted by the brain. The ‘disorder’ part of auditory processing disorder means that something is adversely affecting the processing or interpretation of the information.”

“Children with APD often do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words, even though the sounds themselves are loud and clear. For example, the request ‘Tell me how a chair and a couch are alike’ may sound to a child with APD like ‘Tell me how a couch and a chair are alike.’ It can even be understood by the child as ‘Tell me how a cow and a hair are alike.’ These kinds of problems are more likely to occur when a person with APD is in a noisy environment or when he or she is listening to complex information.”

Children with Central Auditory Processing Disorder often exhibit difficulties with language-based learning tasks. Such tasks include listening to instructions or lectures, reading, communicating with or understanding others. Needless to say, CAPD can make many aspects of daily learning seem confusing to the child.

CAPD often causes difficulty with learning how to read, but there are programs to help your child at home or school. The primary two programs that come to mind are FastForword and Earobics .

**Earobics is an inexpensive program that can be used at home in a home school or tutorial environment pretty easily. It is best used with headphones to provide clarity. Our kids used this program and like it quite well. There are different levels for different ages, and for older children, you’ll want to be certain to get the version for adolescents and adults. Earobics uses a game-based format that is entertaining, which makes it easy to get kids to use.

**FastForword is an expensive program which must be administered by a ‘clinical’ professional. If you go to the web store as a Family, there is little available. However, if you go in as an Educator (and you are if you homeschool), you can see Educational versions of FastForword for sale. I don’t know of anyone who has ever bought the products for home use, but if you can, FastForword is a well known product with a good track record. SciLearn (the company) also provides a product called “Reading Edge” that is for K-2 students. This program helps with initial reading skills, phonemes, and auditory skills.

If your child has CAPD, you might want to consider teaching him or her American Sign Language as well. In many states, ASL can count for Foreign Language credit on a high school diploma and ASL will open doors of communication that might otherwise be limited for your child. For additional information on this, you might find the CAPD page on the Deaf Bilingual Coalition’s site of interest.

Below, we’ve gathered a list of uplifting resource sites about dealing with Central Auditory Processing Disorder and for specific methods of remediation which may be of interest to you. Before going to these other sites, you may want to bookmark this page so you can find your way back easily.

CAPD Info Sheet – National Center for Learning Disabilities
CAPD Tests
Center for Hearing, Speech, and Language
Center for Central Auditory Research
Educational Audiology Association
National Coalition on Auditory Processing Disorders
National Institutes of Health – C.A.P.D. Information
Nat’l Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders

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