Auditory Processing Disorder

Ever since I was a little child, my mom and dad knew something was off about my learning abilities. My parents sent me to a speech therapist to be tested and figure out what my difficulties were. Once I entered middle school, I was diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder. I am not able to process information I hear in the same way as others do because my ears and brain do not fully cooperate. This disorder adversely affects the way the brain recognizes and interprets sounds, most notably the sounds composing speech. People, including myself, who have this disorder experience problems with learning and behavior. Growing up I was extremely embarrassed for anyone to know I had this disorder. I would have to leave during the middle of class and attend speech therapy. I was allowed extended time on tests, and I would always have a note taker (which explains why the teacher asks for a note taker at the beginning of the class, thank you for the help :)). School has always been very difficult for me. There are many things I struggle with through out the day. I have difficulty distinguishing the difference between similar sounds, An example woule be seventy and seventeen. They sound very similar to me. Another difficulty is understanding spoken language, following directions and remembering details. I have difficulty listening when someone is talking to me. I have trouble remembering names and telephone numbers. I cannot follow multi-step directions. I have a hard time recalling stories or songs. I also have difficulty sequencing events, I get confused with lists, and I stuggle with remembering the correct order of a series of instructions. To sum it up for you, my brain does not process things as fast as the average person’s brain does. It took me a long time to accept the fact that I have this disorder and I have come to realize it does not make me any less of a person. I learn a little slower than other people and I am okay with that. I have realized over the years that this disorder is very difficult to get people to understand what it is and that it does make school very difficult for me. Take a minute and think of all the things I listed off and think if you had these difficulties to deal with everyday. Just think how it feels to be  given directions that are easy for everyone else to follow and for some reason you cannot figure it out what the directions are telling you to do. Try sitting down for two or three weeks straight and studying notecards over and over again and still fail a test because either a simple word, in a question, is worded differently. How about having relationships with people and you are listening to them and are very interested in what they are saying, but some reason you can’t remember a word they said. These are some of the examples I deal with everyday and I want more and more people to understand that this is a real disorder some people have to deal with everyday. So remember, the next time you are upset because someone may seem not to be listening think about this disorder and try to be patient.  

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