Central Auditory Processing Disorder

A child with central auditory processing disorder listens to a secret.

Central Auditory processing disorder (CAPD) is a complex problem affecting about 5% of children. The most common complaints in children with central auditory processing disorder are difficulty listening or focusing when there is background noise, and difficulty understanding and responding to what is said orally. Nemours audiologists have the expertise to diagnose Auditory Processing Disorders in children and provide proven management strategies.

Read More About Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Some children with CAPD may experience challenges with attention, reading or writing, or expressive and receptive language skills. Screening tests may be performed at your child’s school or doctor’s office, but only an audiologist can diagnose a Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington

1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
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Hours: Monday - Friday: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
For Appointments: (888) 495-5218

CAP Team
  • Tammy Riegner MS, CCC-A
  • Jessica Loson AuD, CCC-A
  • Sarah Zavala AuD, CCC-A
What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
Returning Patients
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Forms & Resources
Returning Patients
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is the Delaware Valley’s only hospital-based referral for children with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). Most kids with CAPD do not have a loss of hearing sensitivity, but they do have a hearing problem in the sense that they do not process auditory information normally.

If the auditory deficits aren't identified and managed early, many of these kids will have speech and language delays and academic problems.

Diagnosing Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Central Auditory Processing (CAP) testing is for children age 7 and older, to evaluate what happens to an auditory signal once it leaves the peripheral system (cochlea) and travels to the brain. It is for children with normal intelligence and normal hearing, who exhibit difficulties processing information (i.e. trouble hearing in noisy places, difficulty following multi-step directions, poor reading, spelling, language skills, oral comprehension problems, etc.).

Testing takes about three hours and involves a thorough hearing test followed by the auditory processing testing. It is conducted in the test booth and requires the child to listen and respond to various exercises. Because the appointment is so long, children are encouraged to be well rested, and to eat something prior to testing. A short break will be given half way through the evaluation.

Treating Central Auditory Processing Disorder

If CAPD is diagnosed in your child, our audiologists will offer recommendations and/or therapy options related to the specific area of disorder that was seen during testing. Typically this will include auditory verbal therapy as well as teaching skill and strategies families can apply at home and at school that can ease some of the issues associated with central auditory processing disorder.

At this time, central auditory processing disorder is not categorized as a legally recognized learning disability. This means that your child’s school may or may not be able to provide your child with specific therapy or interventions based solely on a diagnosis of CAPD. However, you will be encouraged to work with your child’s school to ensure your child has access to the type of listening environment and listening strategies that will be most helpful.