How is Auditory Processing Disorder Diagnosed?

Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) is a difficult disorder to detect and diagnosis. Since it usually looks like other learning issues, it is often overlooked as a possibility. A person can have multiple diagnosis (ADHD and CAPD are often found together), but sometimes CAPD is not detected as it is overshadowed by the more familiar diagnosis.

girl wearing headphonesDisorders often confused with CAPD:

  • Autism
  • Asperger's Syndrome
  • Language Processing Disorder
  • Dyslexia

Tests Performed to Detect CAPD

There are no specific-measure tests, like an MRI or blood test, which can detect the presence of CAPD. In order to determine if a person has CAPD, a series of tests must be administered by an audiologist. These test rule in or rule out specific auditory processing abilities. Then the audiologist can make a diagnosis.

[note]There is no standard battery of tests for diagnosing APD. 
The following information is based on a generalized standard used by audiologists, but no association, organization or governmental agency has established a standard series of tests for APD diagnosis. If you know of a published standard, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can update this page.[/note]

There are four types of tests that audiologist will use:

  • HEARING: The first tests will be basic hearing tests to rule out any hearing loss. This is especially important for children since an estimated 11% of school-age children suffer from some form of hearing loss.
  • NEUROLOGIC: The second group of tests measure how well the brain responds to various sounds. The technical term is Electrophysiologic tests. Administering these tests involves the use of electrodes, which measure brain response to sound stimuli.
  • BEHAVIORAL: The third group of tests are considered behavioral tests. They involve presenting spoken information with portions of the words purposely missing. A person without CAPD can fill in the gaps and understand what is said, while an individual with CAPD cannot.
  • DICHOTIC: The fourth group of tests are called dichotic speech tests. These involve presenting specific numbers or words alternatively in each ear, and the patient must repeat all that has been said in both ears.

Find an audiologist with a CAPD specialty

Many audiologists are not trained in the area of CAPD. It takes many years of studying and assessments to recognize the patterns that are exhibited by an individual with CAPD. While there are several screening tests that any audiologist could perform, it is essential for a definitive diagnosis that you find an audiologist who specializes in assessing and diagnosing CAPD.

At CAPDsupport we have a directory of audiologists who specialize in CAPD diagnosis.


APD Book Now Available!

41B1MaCKobL15 authors share their stories of living with auditory processing disorder. Their stories share the struggles and triumphs with diagnosis, accommodation and therapies that helped.

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