Is Your Child a Poor Listener? Does Your Child Misunderstand
Speech or Have Difficulty Following Directions?
"Class, before we begin our next lesson,
Please take out your science assignment from yesterday and put it
on the left corner of your desk for me to review."
Tom takes out his social studies book and stares into space.
Why didn't Tom follow the teacher's direction? Not
listening? Not paying attention? Or maybe Tom hears the sound,
but has problems processing what he is told; particularly when
the language used is complex and spoken rapidly.
Children with central auditory processing problems are unable
to understand spoken language in a meaningful way, often in the
absence of what is commonly regarded as a hearing loss. Central
auditory processing problems can particularly affect learning in
areas such as spelling and reading. It is important to identify
problems early and help your child obtain strategies to
An audiologist will evaluate a child's hearing and
identify possible processing problems and monitor any changes in
hearing status. A speech pathologist will evaluate the
child's perception of speech and understanding of expressive
language and recommend changes to help a child with CAPD.
Changes encouraged at home and in the classroom often
- Select seating away form auditory and visual distraction
to help maintain focus and attention.
- Structure the environment using a consistent routine.
- Before speaking gain the child attention and then give
- Avoid asking the child to listen and write at the same
- Speak slowly and clearly by using words that make sequence
clear such as "first," "next", and
Parents who suspect a central auditory problem should contact
an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist or audiologist as
soon as possible so that the professional can evaluate and
suggest treatment methods.
For more information on central auditory processing
problems, consumers may call the ASHA HELPLINE at