Auditory Processing Disorder (APD / CAPD)


Will Davis methods help with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)?


Our experience has been that individuals  age 7 and over with symptoms of C.A.P.D., or “auditory dyslexia” do well with Davis methods.

The ‘diagnosis’ of C.A.P.D. is becoming more common for children and adults who seem to have problems with listening, either because they do not seem to be able to readily distinguish sounds in language, or have difficulty understanding what has been said to them. These individuals do not have any physical problem affecting their hearing, but seem to have difficulty in interpreting the words that they hear.

Symptoms of C.A.P.D. include:

  • Difficulty understanding verbal instructions/directions;
  • Delay in responding;
  • Says “Huh” / “What” a lot;
  • Forgetting what was said;
  • Speech problems (Confusing R & L sounds);
  • Problems with blending sounds and discriminating sounds;
  • Daydreamers/behaviour problems;
  • Frequent need for repetition of directions and information;
  • Use of gestures rather than verbal expression;
  • Inability to discriminate between words that sound alike;
  • Distractibility by outside noises;
  • Difficulty remembering names and places;
  • Difficulty repeating sounds, letters, & numbers in sequence;
  • Possible speech and language delays;
  • Possible history of ear infections.

All of these are recognized symptoms of dyslexia, as well. While it is sometimes useful to distinguish between patterns of symptoms, it is a mistake to assume that this particular set of symptoms stems from different causes than dyslexia.

We can readily see how the two major facets of dyslexia, disorientation and limited ability to think with words can lead to any or all of the symptoms of C.A.P.D.

There is one important distinction, however. To the extent that ‘dyslexia’ is defined as a problem with reading, it can rarely be reliably diagnosed in children under the age of 6; many young children simply are not ready for reading. Symptoms of C.A.P.D. are sometimes manifested much earlier, in children as young as 3.

If a pre-school age child shows significant delays in learning to speak or understand language, the parents should seek evaluation by a qualified Speech & Language therapist, as well as obtaining examination from a physician or audiologist to assess the child’s hearing.


(Answer by Abigail Marshall)


  • Grant S

    I was diagnosed with Dyslexia when around 6. At that time the problem was acute. I had remedial action including speech therapy, I still have issues with comprehension when people speak. I have also been diagnosed with Aspergers late in life, with “Auditory dyslexia.” however I have three tertiary degrees, including architecture i.e. very creative, and I am very good at music, hearing and improvising music and singing. Good on computers. So for those parents out there, concerned about a diagnosis, get intervention early and don’t set limitations on what your child can achieve. Once I caught up at school I was consistently a high achiever. Check your child for unusual musical and artistic talents, and consider that often dyslexia is also associated with some spectrum conditions.

  • Staci

    Would CAPD effect math (common core or mental math) in an 8 year old with Dyslexia?

    • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

      Disorientation and language processing difficulties can also cause difficulties with any type of math.

  • Lauren

    Is auditory processing disorder a type of dyslexia?

    • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

      Very often, yes. The diagnostic criteria for APD overlaps heavily with diagnostic criteria for dyslexia. If the person’s difficulties are chiefly related to making sense of language, then the underlying cause is likely to be tied to dyslexia.

  • Eva P

    My son was diagnosed with auditory processing disorder and therapy is not helping. He has all the signs above as well as memory loss. He is nearly 7 and has been having auditory therapy about 4 months now. I am wondering if it could be dyslexia too

    • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

      Symptoms of “auditory processing disorder” often overlap with dyslexia, and Davis Facilitators can generally help with that. However, a child under age 7 would be too young for a corrective Davis program. We do have a parent-participation program geared to younger children, called the Davis Reading Program for Young Learners, and that would include introduction to some Davis tools that may help with some of the auditory issues. A consultation with a Davis Facilitator might help clarify whether your son would benefit from that program.

    • Lib

      I am someone who has been diagnosed with CAPD and my mother had me in a state school for children with disabilities when I was 3, had to repeat 2nd grade and graduated speech therapy when I was 10 years old. I saw you said it’s only been 4 months, just be patient because it took me years.

  • Katy

    I am a middle aged adult with classic signs of C.A.P.D. dyslexia.
    I am interested in learning more in order to strategize and improve my life & relationships both professionally and personally.

    • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

      Katy, if you arrange a consultation with a Davis Facilitator, you would be able to discuss your specific areas of difficulty, and the Davis provider would be able to give you specific information about what Davis tools or program would be appropriate. See to find a facilitator.

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