Dr. Chesnie Cooper

September 20, 2007 11:32 ET

Can medication cure all ills?

Maybe not – Dr. Chesnie Cooper focuses on remediation

Attention: Assignment Editor, Education Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - Sept. 20, 2007) - Attention Deficit Disorder, or as it's currently known, Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder, is a medical condition affecting approximately three to five per cent of the population according to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH).

However, many more children are being medically treated for AD/HD than this statistic implies.

*Children who have been in remedial programs for years.
*Those who have had occupational therapy recommended to them.
*Kids who have been told that they have ADHD, and been put on medication, only to discover that there's little or no improvement.
oOccupational or speech and language therapy isn't yielding the necessary results.
oThe prescribed medication doesn't help, the child is angry and there are behavioural problems at home around the issue of homework.

These children have been misdiagnosed.

Due to the similar symptoms, it is not uncommon for Central Auditory Processing Disorder/Deficit (CAPD) to be diagnosed as ADHD, behavioural difficulties, language and communication disorders, autism, dyslexia and learning disabilities.

The term Central Auditory Processing Disorder/Deficit or just Auditory Processing Disorder/Deficit is new to many people. Even for those parents, educators and professionals who are aware of this term, it is difficult to understand exactly what it is, how significant it can be, what the behavioural symptoms are and how it affects individuals academically, socially and in work situations.

In defining CAPD, The American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) 2005 includes the word "central" because part of the definition includes difficulties within the central nervous system.

The definition refers to difficulties in the processing of auditory information in the central nervous system (CNS) as demonstrated by poor performance in one or more of the following skills: sound localization and lateralization, auditory discrimination, and auditory pattern recognition.

"If an incorrect diagnosis occurs, the individual may either receive medication aimed at a medical issue, or receive therapy for behavioural issues, neither of which addresses the basic underlying auditory problem," says Dr. Deborah Cooper, Psychologist and Director of The Chesnie Cooper Educational Centre. "CAPD is not a medical problem. There is no pill that will cure it. CAPD can cause frustration, both with the individual and within the family, but family and behavioural therapy will not cure it either. Only appropriate remediation will."

Upon hearing the label CAPD, many parents are puzzled, since "auditory" represents hearing. Most people assume the term "auditory" deals only with the process of accurately detecting the presence of sound and its physical attributes.

However, it is possible for a person's hearing to test normal, and still have difficulty understanding conversations when background noise is present or when the individual they're speaking to is talking too fast.

This proves that hearing of speech goes well beyond the ear. The situation mentioned above can be explained as a breakdown in the translation system from the ear to the brain.

Once correctly identified with CAPD, the results are often similar to that of Johnny's, a student of The Chesnie Cooper Educational Center who was at the bottom three per cent of reading capability, and after a year and a half, can read anything he wants. "Thank you, Mommy, 'cause now I'm just like all the other kids. And I can read." IN: EDUCATION, HEALTH

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