Help, my 6 year old son has Central Auditory Process Disorder.

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by greek mama of three, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. greek mama of three

    greek mama of three Well-Known Member

    My 6 year old son, Niko was just tested for CAPD last week and it came out positive. Not the end of the world, but it does explain alot of his attitude towards school and the hard time he has had this year in Kindergarten. I don't know anyone else who has gone through this. Any advice form someone who has would be appreciated.
    Thanks, kathy

    Moderators please link to 6 to 12 board, thanks
  2. greek mama of three

    greek mama of three Well-Known Member

    My 6 year old son, Niko was just tested for CAPD last week and it came out positive. Not the end of the world, but it does explain alot of his attitude towards school and the hard time he has had this year in Kindergarten. I don't know anyone else who has gone through this. Any advice form someone who has would be appreciated.
    Thanks, kathy

    Moderators please link to 6 to 12 board, thanks
  3. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Hi Kathy!

    Here is a descent article about CAPD. It looks like your next step is to talk to the 504 coordinator at Niko's school. There you can document a plan to help him--like preferential seating, and any other accomodations he may need.

    Good luck, and feel free to ask questions!
  4. JenJefLog

    JenJefLog Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure that Renee (mod in 6-12) and one of her sons both experience this, so I'm sure she will be able to share some info with you.
  5. niftywriter

    niftywriter Well-Known Member

    Hi Kathy,

    Jennifer is right. My oldest son and I both have central auditory processing issues.

    The link that Sharon provided gives some great information.

    It's a good thing that you have pin-pointed Niko's challenge early. You will be able to help him to find the quiet he needs to concentrate on his school work.

    I'd be happy to discuss more specific details with you if you can provide a little more information. How did you begin to suspect that this was a problem for Niko?

    ETA I'd like to add that the link provides some very useful information but I think the concluding remarks are a little bit pessimistic. "can go on to a successful life" sounds a bit tenuous. [​IMG] After an early stint in a remedial class, I managed to achieve honours in high school and I now have two university degrees. My son also struggled in the early years (far more than I did, because he has grown up in the era of "open classrooms" with the chaos and noise involved in them. However, kids with CAPD can and will develop coping strategies (especially with your help!). MY son quietly hums or whistles to create his own personal "white noise" which he uses to focus on the task at hand. IT also took years for him to be able to do that...he had to train himself to ignore his own white noise to concentrate, too...but at least by making a constant repetitive sound himself, he was gradually able to train himself to focus on it to block out the hundreds of other noises around him every day...and from there to ignore the "white noise" to focus on whatever he was reading or doing. His grades now in high school are solid As and Bs...though he is occasionally reprimanded for humming or whistling in class and talking out of turn.

    If Niko's problem is like Jack's and mine, then you cannot underestimate how many little sounds there are in every day life and how disruptive they can be to him. People who do not have CAPD can become irritated with him because he will find even the sound of clothing rustling as someone walks past him as he works to be a distraction. Sounds which people with normal hearing processing simply do not notice, are all impossible not to notice for someone with CAPD. THat means, the sound of the furnace cutting on in the basement, the sound of the refrigerator humming, the hum of a streetlight outside the window, the clicking of someone's pencil, the scratching of a dozen pens on paper (in testing), street traffic outside a window (even a hundred yards away), the faint whirring of an air conditioner (no, it doesn't fade away or slip into "background noise" for a person with CAPD) ; If you can imagine being at a wild party with music, a dozen conversations all at once, a dog barking, engines roaring and fans whirling...all at once and at top volume...then you can have a fair idea of the amount of stimuli which is bombarding Niko at every moment. Even though the sounds are not wild, or at top volume, or anything else, the number of auditory stimuli which are present for any of us at any time number about the same...the difference is that normal hearing filters out most of that noise, while CAPD causes a person to be unable to filter it out.

    Neither I nor my son had any speech difficulties. However, we were both raised in quiet homes with little electronic noise. Television, radio and other electronis noises compound the hearing processing difficulties. Try to keep it confined to one area of ht ehouse, so that Niko can talk to you or do his homework completely out of earshot of radios, TVs and such. THe telephone might also be problermatic. Speechw hich Niko has no difficulty understanding in person may suddenly sound like a foreign l;anguage to him over the telephone. The voice transmission over telephones is achieved by converting voice signals to digital data and then reconstructing it at the receiving end. When data is being transmitted, decontrasucted nad reconstructed electronically, there are always tiny differences in the sound bits conveyed. People with CAPD, with their extremely sensitive hearing, wind up having difficulty understanding the reconstructed data because they also hear all of the subtle distortions. SImilarly, if Niko is watching a program on TV and someone in the room is talking, he will probably not be able to make any sense of either the person talking OR the program on TV. THis is obviously a problem if his school uses films and TV a lot in instruction. Kids whispering, footsteps in the hallway, traffic noise outside and the general shuffling and cooughing which people always do in theatres will all interrupt his concentration pretty much constantly a d make it very difficult for him to even hear the film properly let alone process what he hears.

    Well, I have started to go into a lot of detail...I will stop here and let you post again! [​IMG]
  6. LeslieLu

    LeslieLu Well-Known Member

    I read this post and felt compelled to respond. My 4 yr old daughter (almost 5 and will be starting kindargarten next school year) has had some difficulty (ok, a lot of difficulty) the past yr or so that has manifested itself into behavioral issues. I've searched the net endlessly to try to figure out what the problem could be, how we can help her, etc. I took her to the county to be evaluated a few months ago (thought maybe it was a learning disability) and was hoping to qualify for EI, but we did not. They said there was nothing wrong with her. To be frank, I disagree. Not that there is anything "wrong" per se, but that she struggles in many areas...she has ZERO letter or number recognition, she didn't even know what her name looked like in writing! The thing that concerned me most was her inability to process verbal information. For example, I would say something (what I thought was very simple) and she would stare at me blankly as if, as pp said, I was speaking a foreing language. I tried speaking it slower and still, blank stares. Something simple like "go put your pajamas on". Almost like there was a disconnect somewhere. As I read this post, I felt like you all were describing my daughter...exactly everything I've told the pedi, everything I told the county, and they all looked at me like I was crazy, even like I was fishing for something to be there that wasn't! My pedi (old pedi needless to say) LAUGHED at me when I expressed my concerns..told me she was just being her normal stubborn self! I didn't belive it then, I don't believe it now. Let me give another example..we've had problems getting her to flush the toilet and that is SUCH a pet peeve of mine so to be honest, I was getting really ticked off that she refused to flush the day I was cleaning up her bathroom and I flushed the toilet while she was standing there and she covered her ears as if she were in pain. I asked her if that hurt her ears and she said yes, that's why she doesn't like to flush it. She listens to the tv at an extremely low volume, to the point where even I can barely hear it. When we go somewhere if I have the music on in the car, she is always telling me it's too loud..I always have the babies with me so I keep it down pretty low anyway. I guess after all of this my question is, is there a way to get her evaluated BEFORE she starts school?? I read in that article posted above it's not usually diagnosed until 8 or 9 years of age and that concerns me. My oldest has ADHD and struggled soooo much until the end of 2nd grade when he was diagnosed and I just don't think I can watch another one of my children struggle that long. The ordeal with my son was heartbreaking to say the least and it did a number on his self esteem. Then, let's say she is diagnosed with something like this, what can be done? It seems, if I understodd this correctly, it's an issue of training her to block out noises? I feel excited and nervous all at the same time that POSSIBLY I could have a starting point now and I would like to be armed with as much information as possible when I take her to the new pedi. I'm sorry I don't mean to hijack, but this post has fascinated me!
  7. niftywriter

    niftywriter Well-Known Member

    Hi Leslielu!

    I'm sorry to hear that your older child has struggled with ADHD.

    If your 4 year old daughter does have CAPD, I doubt that you can get a diagnosis before she is in school, because most pediatricians do not like to categorize children at such an early age. However, your ped can probably help with eliminating possibilities, like ADHD, which are so often misdiagnosed in primary school aged children, because at that time, behaviours seem so similar (inattentiveness, distraction, frustration, etc). A big difference between the two is that a child with ADHD will have exhibited the more extreme inattentiveness and hyperactive behaviour from a very early age, while in CAPD, the symptoms often show up for the first time in school. In other words, the frustration and fidgetiness that develops in school in a child with CAPD is a reaction to her inability to process the confusing jumble of auditory stimuli she perceives, rather than a problem in itself ( in other words,these children are rarely considered "hyperactive" in early childhood and in quiet settings). With ADHD the fidgetyness and uncontrollable activity level ITSELF are problems the child is trying to deal with and which prevent him from focusing or paying attention. ADHD children are identified as hyperactive at a very early age regardless of the noise level in his life or the amount of auditory stimuli he is or isn't trying to process). Do you see the subtle difference? For teachers and other people who are newly introduced to your child in new settings, the difference is sometimes too subtle to catch. They see children who are unfocused, fidgety and distracted and they think "ADD or ADHD". It's an honest mistake and a reasonable guess, but in a few cases, like mine and my son's, it is incorrect. If your daughter also falls into this category, you will want to know for sure, because ADHD treatments are not effective for CAPD and may even be harmful.
  8. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Hi Leslie!

    I am sorry you are fighting this, but you CAN get her evaluated before school. What I would do is this: Call the school and self refer her for an evaluation. By law, they will have to hold a meeting where you state your concerns and they decide who and how to evaluate. One thing you should request--beyond the testing done at school, is a Neurodevelopmental evaluation. The school should pay for it--and make the appointment--they can usually get in quicker than you can on your own.

    This should get the ball rolling. Even if she doesn't qualify for special ed, per se, it will give them enough info to get her a 504 plan which would allow for modifications in her classroom, like preferential seating, maybe taking tests in a quiet room, etc. Good luck!
  9. Aurie

    Aurie Well-Known Member

    I am convinced more and more daily that my 4yo daughter has CAPD. I started suspecting it a year ago. But the more she grows, she is growing into the description of it. I have been told it is hard to get a diagnosis young for this disorder, because the children do not understand the directions of the testing.

    Anyway, I am involved in several parenting boards. I finally found a couple of other moms who actually went through this with older kids and had success.

    Here is the link to my thread:

    If it was inappropriate for me to post this and the link gets removed, PM me for the information.

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