Auditory Processing Disorder (sometimes CAPD) mimics symptoms of autism and retardation, but it is not the same. Whereas autism is primarily a social disorder and retardation is primarily cognitive deficit, CAPD kids have the ability to be both social and smart. The processing of verbal information, however, is impeded, which delays their abilities in both social (communication) and cognitive areas.
My oldest son struggles with this and looking back on it now, these were the things that stood out to me most… some were just impressions that, now that I’ve known other APD kids, are common to feel.
- Couldn’t talk by 3 yrs old, or 3.5 when other kids who were slow to talk were catching up
- Couldn’t comprehend the simplest things said
- Didn’t make eye contact regularly; when asked to, eye contact actually seemed to impede comprehension
- anxious or distracted personality, high-need
- reacted to noise, enjoyed noise/sounds; but may not turn when spoken to
- May be eager to go away when spoken to, or may keep listening after the speaking is done
- Just doesn’t “get it”
- Acts as though they are ESL
- I could tell on the inside that he was bright and smart, especially as I watched him do puzzles or watch a video, but his eyes were glazed or clouded when I talked to him
- I used to feel like when I spoke to my him, that I “saw” cotton in his ears that I just wanted to pull out so he’d “hear” me!