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24 Nov 2017

Central Auditory Processing Test Procedure – (part 2)

Central Auditory Processing Test

Recently we posted about how to determine whether a Central Auditory Processing (CAP) assessment is appropriate for your child.  The following information is about what happens during the assessment.

At MAC (Melbourne Audiology Centre) we perform thorough diagnostic CAP assessments for children aged 7 years and over.  Younger children cannot be tested because the variability in brain function is so wide that test interpretation may not be possible. During the assessment process the nature and degree of the difficulty is determined.  This allows us to recommend a management and treatment plan to address the specific needs of each individual. 

An auditory processing assessment takes around 90 minutes and involves the following:

Case History

Our audiologist asks questions regarding your child’s learning and hearing skills.  Any previous reports from speech pathologists, educational psychologists, behavioural optometrists or school teachers can also be very helpful in filling in the picture. 

Hearing Test

A hearing assessment is performed to determine the softest sounds that can be heard by your child for each frequency (pitch) important for speech understanding. This information is plotted on a graph called an audiogram.  Tests to determine middle ear movement and the ear’s physiological response to sound (acoustic reflex testing) are also completed when possible. 

Auditory Memory Tests

This test assesses the ability to recall numbers and sentence material in sequence. This can help us to tease out the effect of memory on your child’s listening abilities, particularly if they have a tendency to forget instructions.

Auditory Processing Tests

  • Dichotic Digits Test:  assesses the child’s ability to listen to information presented simultaneously to both ears.  This has implications for listening in a noisy environment because in these situations our brains are constantly comparing the sound that arrives in each ear to filter out noise and concentrate on the important voice.
  • Frequency Pitch Pattern Test: assesses the child’s ability to detect subtle pitch differences in sound.  Pitch discrimination is strongly related to literacy ability, as when we read, write, and listen to the spoken word, we gain much information about individual phonemes (vowel and consonant sounds) by their pitch.
  • Random Gap Detection Test: assesses the child’s ability to detect two tones presented at different time intervals. The test is designed to determine whether small absences of sound, which are crucial to separating words and phrases from each-other, can be detected. 
  • LiSN-S Test: assesses the child’s ability to hear in a noisy environment, in a simulated class-room like situation under headphones.

By Fiona Savati one of Melbourne Audiology Centre’s APD specialist audiologists.

Please contact us at Melbourne Audiology Centre if you would like more information, or to book an appointment for your child.

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