Central Auditory Evaluation and Treatment


Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDPR): Audiology license #147.000281

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology

Jeanane M. Ferre, PhD

A Brief Guide To Central Auditory Processing Disorders

What Is Central Auditory Processing Evaluation?

Central auditory processing (CAP) refers to how we use information that we hear. Many people have good hearing but do not use information efficiently enough to meet the demands of everyday listening. The CAP evaluation goes beyond standard hearing testing to examine skills related to auditory attention, discrimination, analysis, synthesis, association, and organization. Tests minimize the influence of language, cognition and other sensory skills on processing while maximizing the auditory system’s capabilities from the ear to the brain.

Who Should Be Referred For CAP Evaluation?

Patients age 4.5 years and older who display three or more of the following complaints are candidates for a CAP assessment.

Jeanane M. Ferre, PhD
  • Difficulty understanding in noise or trouble hearing in groups
  • Difficulty following directions and/or needs frequent repetition
  • Seems to hear but does not understand, needs frequent clarification/repetition
  • History of ear infections/other otologic problems, history of neurologic problems
  • Distractible, does not “listen”, short attention span, poor focus/concentration
  • Speech and language problems, weak memory skills
  • Poor localization skills
  • Problems in phonics, reading, spelling, written language

What’s Involved In Assessment Process?

Diagnostic evaluation: Designed to rule in or rule out specific central auditory processing disorder and to clarify the nature of the deficit. Includes tests of puretone hearing, speech recognition, middle ear function, noise tolerance, auditory discrimination, temporal processing, and binaural processing

Pre-school assessment: Designed to provide a better understanding of a child’s strengths and weaknesses with respect to developing auditory processing skills. Assessment includes formal and informal tasks designed to look at "preschool precursors" of auditory processing.

How Are CAP Test Results Useful To Me Or My Child?

Testing can determine whether a hearing problem exists and to what extent, the extent to which apparent auditory processing problems are related to true central auditory deficiency, and the nature or type of the CAP disorder, if present. This information is useful to parents, teachers and other specialists for developing deficit~specific environmental modifications, compensatory strategies, and therapeutic programs. The data also may serve as a “baseline” for measuring progress and skill development.


Jeanane M. Ferre, PhD


Understanding the “process” of processing. May 2018: Evergreen Speech & Hearing Inc. Redmond, WA