Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Some people have trouble understanding what they hear, but they do not have a hearing loss. They may have central auditory processing disorder, or CAPD. Audiologists can test for CAPD and suggest a plan for treatment, often working with a team that includes speech-language pathologists, or SLPs.


Audiologists are health care professionals who provide patient-centered care in the prevention, identification, diagnosis, and evidence-based treatment of hearing, balance, and other disorders for people of all ages. SLPs are professionals who engage in professional practice in the areas of communication and swallowing across the life span. Visit ASHA ProFind to locate a professional in your area.

About Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Central auditory processing disorder, or CAPD, leads to difficulty understanding the sounds you hear—including what people say. If you notice this problem, you should first have your hearing tested by an audiologist. If there is no hearing loss, it could be CAPD.

A person with CAPD may seem like they have a hearing loss and may have trouble in school, at work, and at home. They may not follow directions, or they may give the wrong answers to questions. CAPD often occurs with attention, language, or learning problems.

To find out if you or your loved one has CAPD and to develop a plan of action, you may see a team of professionals that includes

  • an audiologist,
  • a doctor,
  • a psychologist,
  • a speech-language pathologist (SLP), and
  • a teacher.

Testing and Treatment

An audiologist will choose tests based on factors such as age and specific complaints. An SLP will test speech and language skills. Treatment for CAPD is available, and it may include

  • receiving training in specific listening skills;
  • making classroom or other environmental changes, such as changing seating placement; reducing classroom noise, or adding visual cues;
  • using a listening device or FM system; and/or
  • learning to use skills such as active listening and written cues.


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