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Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) and Placement

LD and ADD/ADHD Expert Advice from Eileen S. Marzola, Ed.D.

Q: My first-grader was diagnosed with expressive/receptive language disorder and transferred to a special-education class just after spring break. He seems to be doing great. He really needs the one-on-one and I'm very happy with the results, but most importantly his own self-esteem is so much better.

The psychologist told us that there's not much written about this disorder and since so few kids have it, the only way to help my son was to move him to special education, which involved changing schools and transportation.

Is this disorder really a form of CAPD? When I read what other parents say about their CAPD child, I do see some similarities. I also have concerns regarding my child spending his whole school day with mentally challenged children with deformities and disabilities. Will he begin to feel like them? On one hand, I love that he is being exposed to the differences in people, but on the other, I worry that he won't feel like he is a normal boy.

A: If your child truly has a Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), his needs may very well be accommodated in a regular-education classroom with appropriate supports. I would go back to your evaluator and ask him to clarify his diagnosis and then discuss this option with him.

For additional guidance and support, contact one of these parent advocacy groups:

Learning Disabilities Association of America at 1-888-300-6710
National Center for Learning Disabilities at 1-800-575-7373

They may have a branch in your community to help you. There are some excellent articles available on CAPD and other language disorders at the "LD in Depth" section of the website LD Online.

More on: Expert Advice

For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.


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