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  • CAPD?

    My oldest daughter is 3 1/2 years old, and I've been on the lookout for a learning disability since she was born prematurely. When she was younger, she was extremely clumsy -- running into walls and falling down a lot, but with time, that seems to have cleared up.

    But lately, I've been noticing something troubling. She's always been a little delayed in her speech -- not pronunciating words correctly, inserting random words or phrases, and baby talk/gibberish, when when she doesn't know what to say, etc. But what I've been noticing more and more is that she doesn't seem to comprehend what is being said all the time. For example, today at the park, she wet her pants and when I told her that she needed to tell me when she had to go potty so I could take her, she said a line of gibberish. I told her she needed to listen more (doing the sign for it), and she nodded her head and repeated the line of gibberish.

    She seems to be doing this more and more lately. Or sometimes, I will tell her something like, she needs to put her shoes on so we can go, and she'll scream at me repeatedly, "No! I want to go! I need my shoes!" like she doesn't quite hear me or get it.

    I know she hears fine. She turns her head and responds, but I don't think she quite comprehends everything.

    I looked up Central Auditory Processing Disorder on the Internet and am thinking I'm on the right track, but am wondering if anyone can give me more information. The biggest thing is, I don't want to miss a chance to get therapy for a learning disorder -- but I also don't want to confuse normal toddler development for a learning disorder.

    Also, any tips on how I can make it easier to communicate with her? I use lots of hand gestures and sign language anyway -- always have since she was a baby. I also turn off the TV or go to a quiet room if I want her attention. She seems to have difficulty staying focused when there is anyone else around, or the TV is on, or any stimulus is happening. The biggest thing is when she gives me a line of gibberish or says something that is completely unrelated to what I asked about.
    Last edited by LisaL; 09-28-2009, 03:08 AM.

  • #2
    Hi Rita,

    I've done a lot of research on this as my daughter may be experiencing CAPD problems. I spoke with the audiologists at the local university and they explained that the auditory processing system continues to develop until a child is 6-7 and sometimes even older. They won't test for CAPD until the child is seven and the local children's hospital won't test until the child is 8.

    That being said, I've read of parents on message boards stating that their child, younger than 6, has been dx'd with CAPD. I don't know that they actually underwent audiologic testing or if the doctor treating their child went on symptoms, alone.

    In reading through what you've written, it sounds like your daughter may have a receptive language delay. In other words she hears you, she knows you are communicating with her, but she's not sure what your saying. Due to her age, a speech-language evaluation may be in order. Receptive language delays can go hand in hand with CAPD, but they can also occur independently of CAPD.

    My daughter had a severe receptive language delay and a moderate expressive delay. After three years of speech therapy and a language-based preschool program she is age-appropriate with expressive language and anly about a year delayed with receptive. She is very much a visual learner and strongly relies on visual cues in order to make it through her day. She'll be tested for CAPD next year, if things don't improve.

    Here's a link on language-based learning disabilities:

    Here's a link to the LD Online's speech & language portal:

    Since she's 3.5, you should be able to contact your local school district for a free evaluation - this will include speech & language, cognitive development, social development, motor development, etc. Was she ever seen by early intervention since she was born prematurely?


    • #3
      Hi Rita,
      I was also going to say the same thing about an auditory processing disorder (I have a family member who has this) or a receptive language delay. Your school district is required to give her a full evaluation at your request. I can't remember for sure (I used to work with birth to three year olds with special needs), but I believe they have 90 days from the date you request this to complete their evaluation and come up with an IEP (individualized education plan) for her if she qualifies for services...which it sounds very much like she would. You would be involved in this planning and it may involve speech therapy anywhere from a few times a month to several days a week, depending on her situation. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions about the process and I can see what I can do to remember/help you. I would definitely go for the eval have the right to decline services. And, its free. Good luck.


      • #4
        Thanks both of you. I have an evaluation scheduled this Friday with the speech pathologist at the local school.

        To answer your question on early intervention, Rachel was seen by a specialist for motor skills during her first 9 months, but then we moved out of the area served by this specialist. We had not contacted anyone locally here, as we mostly just waited to see if the concerns we had would resolve themselves...and most have.


        • #5
          clumsiness would suggest dyspraxia also

          its worth remembering that children/adults dx with any developemental disorder are likely to be dx with three, no idea why

          you might want to check out DANDA's website that has a great deal of info on all developemntal disorders