by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A mother wrote:
Do most hard of hearing children also have auditory processing issues? It would seem to me that since most hearing losses are sensorineural that the processing would be difficult. Are hard of hearing children referred to as auditorily impaired?
Yes, hard of hearing people have auditory processing issues, but not in the way you are thinking.
We really have speech processing issues. For example, the reason we call ourselves “hard of hearing” is because hearing is “hard”. It is not easy to process the fragmentary sounds our ears hear, the speech movements our eyes see and put this together with what we know about language and the subject being talked about and come up with the correct answer. This speech processing takes a lot of brain power and leaves us tired.
But this is not what they call CAPD–Central Auditory Processing Disorder. There is nothing wrong with how our brains process sound–assuming we hear enough for them to process something!
You are trying to put too many labels on us. Incidentally, the term “impaired” when referring to us is not our favorite term by any means. The terms we like people to use when referring to us are “people with hearing loss” or “hard of hearing people”. Leave the impaired out of it. (I always think of a “hearing impaired” person as someone with normal hearing that gets pulled over by the cops for drunk driving!)