Central Auditory Processing Disorder and classroom sound systemsMarch 8, 2017
The Federal Government’s National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) has extensively investigated auditory stream segregation deficits as one important cause of Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). Auditory stream segregation is the process by which a listener is able to differentiate the various auditory signals which arrive simultaneously at the ears and form meaningful representations of the incoming acoustic signals. Auditory cues such as the perceived spatial location of sounds, or the pitch of speakers’ voices, help this process of segregating the total stream of sound.
NAL research has shown that some children with suspected CAPD have an inability to differentiate sounds in the auditory environment because they have difficulty differentiating the physical location of the sounds, and therefore can’t concentrate on a target sound and ignore distracting speech (spatial processing disorder, or SPD). All the incoming signals seem to be “mixed up together” and so the children with this form of CAPD need the target signal to be much louder than the background noise compared to children who don’t have this disorder.
NAL has advised that if a child has SPD, a “sound-field amplification system can be used to improve the signal-to-noise ratio in the classroom.”
As part of the plans installed by educators for students with particular challenges, our soundfield technology can by considered.