Resources for Adults with Auditory Processing Disorder

|How to Find Specialists in APD| Organizations on APDBasic information | YouTube Videos | Captioned TV, Videos, and Films | Using the Phone with APDMore Recommendations |

(Sub-pages): Finding Other People with APD Sign Language Resources |

This page was last updated/expanded on 9 November 2017. The resources under “Basic Information on (C)APD” may be helpful for people who are still figuring out if you might have (central) auditory processing disorder (C/APD) or not. Please note two additional pages:

  • Finding Other People with APD”  lists Facebook groups, a Listserver, Tumblr sites, Twitter, and other online places where you can connect with other people who have auditory processing issues. No, you do *not* need an official diagnosis to join these. 
  • Sign Language Resources,” for people who are thinking of learning sign language.

How to Find Specialists in APD

International Map of APD Practitioners
Looking for a specialist who can diagnose if you have auditory processing disorder? Or looking for a specialist who can offer therapy related to your APD? Search the map or enter your address in the search field. If your country is empty for now, it may simply be that people familiar with practitioners in your country have not yet submitted information for the map.

Organizations for/of/by People with (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder

The Auditory Processing Disorder Foundation
This organization works to raise awareness about APD among parents, teachers, and medical personnel around the world. Mostly targeted at parents and teachers of young children, but has some basic information on APD.

Auditory Processing Disorder in the UK
This organization promotes awareness of APD in the UK, particularly in education and employment.

CAPDsupport is working to gain awareness and recognition for Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) in the United States, while supporting and educating those who have APD. Check their “What is APD” section, “Communities” section, and “Resources” section for more information and links.

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Basic Information on (C)APD

Auditory Processing in Adults: Beyond the Audiogram
Provides guidance for audiologists in realizing the need to look beyond the audiogram in diagnosis of possible auditory processing disorder and considering approaches to identifying and assessing the disorder. Although meant for audiologists, some of the information may be of interest to people trying to decide if they might have auditory processing disorder, or wanting to educate their audiologist. Note that the article, dated 2008, is a bit old. 

Living and Working with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder
Provides information to help adults figure out if they might have central auditory processing disorder.

Answers some of the most common questions that people ask about Auditory Processing Disorder.

Auditory Processing Disorder: It’s Not Just Kids Who Have Them
An old (but perhaps still useful) article from The Hearing Journal about auditory processing disorder among adults.

What is CAPD?
Describes symptoms of CAPD and four different subtypes of CAPD.

What is Auditory Processing Disorder?
Summarizes some of what the experience of having APD can be like.

Additional Explanations About APD
Links to more explanations about what APD is.

Adults and APD: How Does Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) Affect Adults?
Describes some of the ways that APD can affect adults.

(Central) Auditory Processing Disorder
This technical report was developed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Working Group on Auditory Processing Disorders. Defines (C)APD, discusses screening, diagnosing, and intervention for (C)APD, and the need for further research.

Useful APD Links
A collection of many links that one user with auditory processing disorder feels are useful for people with APD. Meant to be “user friendly” for people with APD. However, I am not sure if it is “screen reader” friendly for people who need to rely on text to voice or braille software to read the web. Links are usually from pictures of animals, which are positioned above the text that explains what the links are.

Pearltrees APD Related Links
More APD-related links from the same user who created the “Useful APD Links” collection

Draggo APD Links
Links to research and journal articles and books about APD, collected by dolfrog, the person who assembled the “Useful APD Links”.

Living with (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder
The author of the “Andrea’s Buzzing About” blog shares her personal experiences with CAPD and provides some useful links at the bottom. Many more people with CAPD use the comments area to share their own personal experiences as well.

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YouTube Videos on APD

All videos listed here have captions for those of us who can’t understand videos without them.

Ask an Autistic – What is Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Provides an overview of what CAPD is, what makes it different from being deaf or hard of hearing, and some ways that other people can accommodate the needs of people with CAPD, including children. Although this video is targeted at autistic people and the people they know, the information is general enough to be helpful for non-autistic people, too.

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Sign Language Resources

Some people with CAPD decide to learn the signed language used in their country as another way to understand people and communicate. If this is something you are interested in, then check out the Sign Language Resources page for some background information and for a few useful web links.

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Finding Captioned Television, Videos and Movies

Many people with APD, similar to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, find it easier to understand television or films with captions. Read on below for guidance on finding movie theaters that display films with captions (usually with a caption device that you will need to pick up at the theater), finding YouTube video channels with captions, or using captions with your TV at home and elsewhere.

CaptionFish, for finding captioned movies in the U.S.
Depending on your country and region, some of your local movie theaters may offer special devices that allow you to see captions for the movie you wish to watch. There are two main types of captioning devices used: captioning “glasses” that you wear (used at Regal Theaters in the US), or a screen displaying captions that can be installed in the drink holder at your movie theater seat (used at AMC theaters in the US). The “Caption Fish” website allows you to plug in your U.S. zip code to find out what movies at which theaters in your area might be offering captioned movies. This is not perfect and may miss some captioned showings. Other countries may have similar technologies or similar websites for finding which theaters offer them for which movies.

Captioned Web TV
If you like watching videos produced for the web, then check this website for listings of regularly released web television programs on YouTube and elsewhere that are consistently made with captions. You can search by genre or topic, etc. This is not a listing of one-off captioned videos, rather it focuses on web TV channels and series.

Captioned Television, DVDs, Blue Rays, etc.

If you are in the United States, then federal law requires television sets 13 inches and larger be built with a caption decoder chip inside. Sometimes toggling the captions on or off may be as simple as using the caption button (cc for “closed captions”) on your remote. But sometimes you may have to do a lot of hunting through all the menus to find where the captions can be toggled. Even then, sometimes you may have to toggle on the caption chip in your television and your DVD player and whatever other devices you have hooked up to your television before the captions will finally appear on your screen. There also are U.S. federal laws requiring most broadcast and cable television to use captions. These laws, of course, do not apply outside of the U.S.–but if your country imports a lot of television sets and TV programming from the U.S., then you might still be able to turn on the caption decoder in your television to watch U.S.-imported programming. Your country might also have its own regulations encouraging captioned television, or else an active deaf community that has successfully pressured television stations and DVD/blue ray/video producers to use captions.

Note that, although US law requires the movie on DVDs, blue rays, and videos to have captions, the law does not require special features on the blue ray/DVD/etc to have captions. (The law was passed when people were still mostly using videos, before the concept of special features on dvds or blue rays were a thing.)  Therefore, captioning for special features will be hit and miss–sometimes they’ll be available, sometimes they won’t, and the only reliable way to find out is to try and see. This situation will probably not change until the law is updated to require that special features, too, should have captions.

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Options for Phone Communication

Similar to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, people with APD may find it frustrating and difficult to communicate on the phone. Various technologies are available that may help. An overview of options follow below. But this is not a comprehensive listing–you are encouraged to do your own googling on the various technologies that deaf and hard of hearing people use for phone communication, as many of these technologies might also be suitable for you. The listing of a particular company is not meant to be a recommendation, links are provided for informational purposes only.

Captioned Phone

If you have no difficulty with speaking and simply need help to understand what the other person says, then you may wish to consider a “captioned phone.” This technology, available in the U.S. (and maybe some other countries?), basically involves having a phone with a screen that shows captions for what the other person says. A live person transcribes the conversation. This person is always held to very strict regulations on confidentiality and will never speak about any conversation they transcribe or the identities of the people involved or any of its content with anyone.

  • Learn more about how this technology works.
  • Just a few examples of companies providing captioned phones include: CapTel, Clear Captions, CaptionCall, and others (please google for information on further options, including options that may work with your mobile phone).
  • One advantage of a captioned phone is that you do not have to tell the person you are talking with that you are using this technology–which means you don’t have to defend your use of this technology to people who are refusing to understand that your APD really does create difficulty in understanding them on the phone. You don’t need the other person’s cooperation to use a captioned phone, you just need to have the equipment in place.

Text Phones

If you have difficulty with both understanding and speaking, then you may wish to consider using a text phone, also sometimes known as a TTY or TDD). This technology, available in many (not all) countries, enables you to type what you say, then read what the other person types back to you. If the person you want to talk with does not have their own text phone, then in the U.S. and in many other countries (not all), you can use the TTY relay service, which connects you to a person who can transcribe for you what the other person says to you and can speak aloud what you type in the text phone.

Video Phones

For people with APD who use sign language as a primary mode of communication, you may wish to consider using a video phone. Although it is possible to have a special dedicated video phone just for that purpose (usually connected to a television set for the video portion), there are also various software options you could download into your computer or mobile phone. You could then use video relay services to communicate with people who only use voice. Video relay is available in the U.S.–and very recently became available in Canada as well. Not all countries have it available. A few examples of video relay services include Sorenson, the US federal government, ZVRS, Purple, and others (google to find more).

In the United States, people who say that they are deaf and use sign language as their primary mode of communication can apply to get a video phone (whether a separate device, or for your computer or mobile) for free.  This will usually be a video phone specifically designed for deaf people that does not offer the option of using voice, only visual (signed) communication. If you want a separate video phone device (ie, not in your computer or mobile), then you would be responsible for providing a TV to be connected to the video phone. The video phone would come with its own built in camera.If you succeed in receiving one of these free video phones and want to speak for yourself when communicating with people who don’t sign, then you would need to use a video relay service with a separate voice phone line.  In my limited experience, they don’t ask to see an audiogram from people applying for a free video phone. Depending on your tech needs, they might send a signing deaf person to your home or office to install the needed equipment or software, or (if you feel IT-competent) you may be able to install it into your computer or mobile on your own once they accept your application and give you a phone number.

These days, it is also possible to obtain video phone software for your computer, designed for hearing speaking non-APD people. However, I have no experience with these and do not know how well they work for people who sign. (I tried to google and saw one that seems to come with this really small screen that might not work well for people signing to each other, but maybe there are better options I haven’t discovered yet.) I also don’t know if it would be feasible to use these to dial a video relay service. For this, I’m afraid you will need to research further on your own. (But if you find good web links you think I should add here, please let me know!)

Skype, of course, has video capability. I am not aware of a Skype video relay service existing in the US, but there apparently is a Skype video relay service in Australia for people who use Auslan. Try google for your country.

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More Recommendations received from various individuals

  • I’ve been told that LDOnline has, or at least used to have, some kind of online support group for adults with CAPD. I have not had success finding it on their website, but if anyone else knows more please share your information in the comments area below.

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6 thoughts on “Resources for Adults with Auditory Processing Disorder

  1. One of the hardest things I find is my CAPD being sanctioned as a mental health issue. It’s happened to me at work and they transferred me and tried to terminate me. Now I remain silent about CAPD.

  2. Thank you so much for the video! Especially find useful the piece about neurodiversity, stress, and understanding. I’m sharing this with my clinical rehabilitation counseling masters students.

  3. Thanks for the video! One word for anyone out there who owns a cafe, bar etc, “reverberation”. I have difficulty discounting an echo so I process the same word 4 or 5 times when the acoustics are out. It also helps if you give me time to finish speaking before you say anything. If you interupt me then not only will I lose the thread of what I was saying but I will also be unable to process what you were saying – so end of conversation.

  4. I worked in a medical office setting for 18 years, I started just as a file clerk working with just one individual for about three years, then eventually I was switched over to a bigger warehouse with the same company, and that’s where the problems with multi-tasking began, phone’s ringing off the hook, non stop interruptions to my work flow, not to mention working with a lot more people which in turn caused a lot more problems for me. Consequently, I was moved into a private office by myself, doing monotonous work tasks, day after day for another couple of years, then I was moved again to do the same type of work in a busier office environment with a lot of noise for several more years. So finally I got tired of this, and gathered up enough courage to be trained to do front desk, customer service work, during their non busy evening times. This was okay for a couple of years, then they stopped having the evening shift there, so they moved me once again into another extremely busy office environment much farther away. Needless to say I did not make it there, because of so many interruptions, too much noise, confusion with learning too many things at once, and operating a lot more equipment which involved multi tasking, for example, watching two computer screens at once with new programs, quick learning, constant interruptions with phones, lines of people to check in, and people tapping my shoulder with more demands. Needless to say my new boss didn’t like my work performance and learning abilities, so I finally told her I had a disability, so she wanted proof, so I had a simple letter statement on my disability I gave her from DSHS/DVR. Two months later I was terminated from my job, that was three years ago, now I’m a home caregiver, I like my job, except the hours have proven to be quite unstable, unless I want to work crappy hours and weekends. So now I’m at a loss of what I should do, and now I’m a 55 year old women, that hates office work, and really always did.

  5. I too was diagnosed in the third grade with CAPD, i was pulled out of my home school and put into a new school where i was brain tested with goop and wires all over my head. I also was tested by a school psychologist who had typed up a report on me describing every little detail of me, how poor my attention span was and i appeared to stare into space a lot as if i was in a trans. My Mother said she noticed that and felt i was just day dreaming! They noticed i had hand tremors that never went away i still have them today at age 51. Before i was tested my academic life from kindergarten up to the second grade i had no clue i didn’t know how to read,spell or learn basic arithmetic. I was very shy and didn’t fit in well with my peers however the third grade was my favorite year! I had too female teachers that loved children and they both were so accepting of students that were not high achievers they treated us all equal. The school was maybe to easy for me and they moved me to another school with children a year older than me in my class and further along than I was. I remembered seeing penmanship on the black board all written out in script it looked foreign to me being i never learned it yet! I struggled my whole life living with CAPD being retested many times throughout my junior high school years and high school years. I was tested again three more times as a grown woman in my 30’s 40’s and recently at 51. I have no career with great pay no retirement to fall on in my 70’s , and out of a job for five months now. There’s no pill to help adults who suffer from central auditory processing disorder, no assistance from the state leaves me feeling very defeated. All my jobs have been low paying jobs that without my husband i wouldn’t be able to live on my own, we own a house and have no children just our three dogs that bring us great joy! I’m tired of feeling like a failure in life no self worth no exciting job that pays really well enough to make a living instead of pay check to by check with nothing left over for the fruits of our labor! I’m limited to what i can bring to the work force my math skills are beyond horrible and with hand tremor’s i can’t type. In spite of my debilitating learning disability i tried to over come it by cleaning houses for a living that would enable me to go into cosmetology school at age 31. I had to find study habits to help me retain the information i was learning, by making flash cards and going over them night after night! I failed many test in school that year but i was very determined to learn and took state board exams that weren’t easy, but i passed and got licensed as a hairdresser in the state of NY. After being in the industry for two years i realized i hated cutting hair! Now what i thought? I went to aesthetic school struggling again to pass exams and eventually i finished my hours to go for my state board exams, i was distracted to settle down and study due to loosing my brother and nine months later my Mother died. God sent me a very handsome man who was shy and very grounded, we met on a blind date and he and i were married a year later, were still married my learning disability doesn’t bother him it does however bother me!

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