11 Things About Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) You Want to Know

1.       When we refer to Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), we are referring to primarily an “input” disorder that affects specifically the way auditory information is processed at a variety of levels in the central auditory nervous system.

2.    AUDITORY, specifically, the central auditory processing disorder that has a name for the first time, often explained as what gets into the ear somehow gets jumbled by the time it gets to the brain. What I hear someone saying, is distorted or muffled, like the person is mumbling. It is especially difficult if there’s a lot of noise around. Besides background noise, most have difficulty comprehending or remembering complex verbal information and frequently ask for repetitions.

3.       “If you can’t see it, it isn’t there”, ever heard this? It has led some to resolve that APD, very simply, is not real. “APD doesn’t exist and even if it did, there is nothing we can do about it anyway.” These statements are far less frequent today than even just five years ago. Simply stated, “what I do with what I hear.”

4.        I underwent a series of tests designed to quantify and qualify the many difficulties I am having. I felt vindicated but not relieved when I received all this information. I could now understand on an intellectual level why I was experiencing the many difficulties that had plagued me, but this knowledge didn’t seem to make me feel any better. For years I was trying to define and battle this beast.

5.        Expected following the diagnosis of a learning disorder, my first reaction was fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what would happen if I never improved in any area. Fear of living and working with a learning disorder. Fear of losing my job and not being able to support my family.

6.        Then came depression, it was a primary and immediate concern; emotional difficulties were linked to my auditory processing deficit. There seemed to be no light shining in from above. One of the most difficult decisions I had to face was the need to change the job setting. It seemed and was documented that I could no longer perform my job competently. I reached the final stage of grief: acceptance.

7.       To come home from work at the end of every day exhausted from having to spend so much effort just listening. And then spend several more tiring hours of effort to prepare that night for the next day’s work that others didn’t seem to have a need to do or in much less time. It took too much from family time.

8.       When dealing with APD, no two people are alike, and the impact of a deficit on one person’s life may be quite different from the impact of the same deficit on another. I  became a master at hiding the disorder. APD does not manifest itself until much later in life and, even then, sometimes not until the conditions are precisely right. In school, I learned to cope, I was not a star student or anything, but I got by just fine. I got an M.A. and was marketable for the corporate world.

8.  Fired, downsized? While the industry was based on selling to friends, I had the personality for that. However, when it moved to scientific selling, I lost my edge.  Big Pharma started the process of firing me. I’d never been fired in my life! I was becoming a liability and was on the verge of being fired. It was a potentially volcanic situation. I couldn’t have made a worse career choice given my particular auditory disorder.

10.   Accommodations? A program for managing APD in the work setting, address these issues and suggest methods of compensation for the disorder as well as strategies for changing the listening environment to make it more friendly for the person with APD. However, even with such strategies in place, I simply had to accept that I will have difficulty in some situations. The very nature of his job setting made any environmental changes impossible and rendered his strategies virtually ineffective, were linked to my auditory processing deficit.

11.   Many learning disorders either imitates APD or can coexist with APD, such as ADHD as a coexisting condition should not be taken to mean that all my difficulties can Instead, it is more often the case that the auditory disorder is merely one piece of the overall picture. APD in the context of larger, more global disorders that can affect a person’s daily life skills and coping strategies in a variety of ways.

 What’s next? I’ve learned to carry on with APD, dreading the return to job hunting. I love to write, learn new skills and it is a suggested career for one with this kind of learning disorder. Logically, I wanted to learn more about writing, how to start a website or blog, how to monetize it.  I found the platform I needed after researching different programs. Now, I write and can supplement my retirement and unemployment with the platform I chose to enroll Wealthy Affiliate.

Laura Lee

Does APD Qualify for Social Security Disability?


Auditory Processing Disorder does qualify for SS Disability. As I mentioned on ALL EARS Welcome page, I am not an expert on learning disorders, except that I live with it and all the obstacles that come with it. My recommendation is if you cannot function at work due to Auditory Processing Disorder, get an attorney to file the claim with SSD. Don’t waste time to do yourself. It doesn’t have to be an obstacle.

You can get representation from either an attorney or disability advocate who will help you apply for benefits. Since up to 70% of initial applications are denied, there is an excellent chance that you will end up with a need for representation for your claim eventually. An experienced professional will know how to avoid mistakes in the application that can delay or cause your request to be denied. Upon receiving your free case evaluation, you can ask the disability advocate or attorney how you can benefit from help with your claim.

When you apply for SS Disability benefits, they must decide whether you are disabled under the law. Their decision is based on the information you and your healthcare providers produce. So, focus on your symptoms, how does it limit you from working?

Again, look at the whole person, physically and mentally. Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is one of the newer and more uncommon learning disorders that the attorney may need to explain to SSD for an understanding of your disability.

Your medical condition must be severe enough to limit your ability to do necessary work activities.  Examples of physical disability would be having difficulty with standing, walking, or sitting.  Your disability must be expected to last for at least one full year.  Mental work-related functions are below.

The evaluation of Auditory Processing Disorder disability is based on one in nine categories (12.02) “Organic Mental Disorders,” and NO you are not crazy your brain is just wired differently or dysfunction of the brain.

Anxiety-related disorders (12.06) accompanied my list of conditions, along with ADD and depression (recurrent) among physical co-morbid conditions (lower back pain after surgery) that influence being able to stand for an extended period. Mental disorders require documentation, so focus on your symptoms. If you know you have a learning disorder, then you have seen a healthcare provider for the diagnosis.

What the attorney and SSD need to support a disability claim.

Your attorney will have you sign a form to acquire all the medical records:

Information from your physician that will help to determine the existence, severity, and duration of the person’s impairment(s). This is a thorough medical history, and all pertinent clinical and laboratory findings (both positive and negative). Provide the results of any mental status examination, like psychometric testing, or neuropsychological assessments for APD.

Records and detailed historical notes discussing the course of the disorder, including treatment and response, is very useful to SSD, their interest is in the impact of the illness over a period. Additionally, any information you can provide contrasting your medical condition and functional capabilities since the onset of APD, ADD, Anxiety, or Depression with that of your prior status.

Provide your physicians’ opinions about your mental functions and the reasons for his views, such as clinical findings and observation of the person. These opinions should reflect your abilities to perform work-related activities on a sustained basis (8 hours /day and five days/ week). Your descriptions of any functional limitations throughout the time your physician treated you. An example includes:

Brain Injuries. Mental Health. Medical Conditions. Learning Disabilities. Vision. Hearing.

*Mental work-related functions. The ability to process what is heard, understand, remember, carry out simple instructions, the ability to use appropriate judgment, the ability to respond appropriately to supervision, coworker, usual work situation, including changes in a routine work setting.

If you work with APD and ADD, you recognize these work-related functions! I had “coaching reports” from my sales managers documenting many of these, mostly I “do not listen” to customers or give “appropriate responses” were documented on our “work with” reports.

Effects of medication– there is no medication for APD, however there many different ones for depression, anxiety, and ADD, all with varying side effects which too could influence functions at work.

Work attempts – Information concerning circumstances surrounding termination of your work is useful in determining your ability or inability to function in a work setting. You can apply for SSD the day you are no longer able to work, with or without medical leave.

Mostly, the different healthcare providers submit notes from the talk therapy, assessments and a copy of a Letter of Accommodation written based on my position as a medical sales representative to the Big Pharma a year before I was nudged out.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: Information provided by my healthcare providers to SSD included:

The medical condition: Organic Mental Health and Learning Disorders; ADD and APD with a description of APD, mainly because it was uncommon. An illness or disease does not need to be listed in Social Security’s blue book to qualify for disability benefits.

Limitations of your ability to function effectively, concentrate on a sustained basis and pace, weakness and difficulty with a thought process when trying to take notes at an adequate pace, consistency to keep up with the conversation.

I have a problem with short term memory, with rapid speed, with sequencing things, with getting necessary information wrong, a need to write everything down to review, as a  reminder and then, of course, to process it.

ADD is distractibility and inattention disability, I seem to not “listen” when spoken to, makes careless mistakes, losing and forgetting important things at work. Also, difficulty taking notes at the pace required, following long conversations and instructions.

Treatments Received. Assessment tests for APD and ADD, regular evaluations for depression …effectiveness at work particularly with pace, with concentration…for integrating APD into the workforce…with the inability to function and to struggle to process …especially at times of increased stress and depression.

Get the idea? Provide documents and don’t be afraid to ask an attorney for help.


If you cannot work due to physical and mental disorders, get an attorney, and apply for SSD. I can say if you are diligent you will get it and can have more. I have found and needed to supplement disability, retirement, and unemployment by working from home, online, and register with a program to teach me online marketing perhaps can be an option for you and to fill in the gap in your resume, like taking a class online that teaches you how to monetize. If you are uneasy about a job loss and the future of the job market, being unemployed, need to supplement your retirement or Social Security, and want a legit program (tried and true) with a supportive community to get you started,  investigate Wealthy Affiliate. I give it a 5 out of 5 and regret it took me so many years to find.

I hope to meet you back here soon, to continue the insights and personal experiences of living with a learning disorder.

Laura Lee


Finding God In All The Chaos

In my previous two posts, you read I was disheartened yet humbled living with a learning disorder, Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). Yeah, it overwhelms me daily, and it causes a lot of frustration, for myself and for others. It hinders from almost everyday activities, communications, and frustrates the hell out of me.

I didn’t realize how frustrating it was until I recently spent a weekend with a friend at her beach house. Every question I asked or comments I made she would come back with huh, and I would repeat, everything, every time! I even started speaking louder to her as others do to me. Granted, she may have been overly occupied with redecorating. It not always about me.

She was not listening, or she didn’t care. I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter because I get it. I understand how others perceive me, and it is a crazy reality. However, this is not the subject of my post. I just wanted to acknowledge for the first time being on the other side of someone who I perceived as not listening, and it was not enjoyable.

God bless my family and friends for sticking with me. Which leads to the subject of this post, how God got my attention. Years of fear and finally begrudgingly nudged out of a comfortable medical sales position I held for 25 years, (read previous posts). My work life was overly preoccupied

Thankfully, I didn’t see just a pill prescriber, but a psychiatrist who also included talk therapy, a lost profession and now I see as one of those times that God was there, and I didn’t recognize it. I was emotional, my body exhausted, my soul drained and angry that I couldn’t stop the momentum. The only thing I had to keep from crying continuous was to reach out my sister, who was familiar with depression, and she daily reached back out to me.

One time, she told me to “let it go” and give it to God. I did not understand why God would help me; I certainly didn’t know him. I told my sister I didn’t know what she was getting at. She said some words I’ll never forget, “maybe it is His way of inviting you back to Him.” 

We were raised in the church, but I never understood the teachings of the church, neither protestant nor Catholic. The lessons seemed to be all over the place, and I could not put it together.  Besides, it was easier to ignore and continue living my life as I wanted too, there was less guilt. My parents took our family to church every Sunday, but for me, it was a social gathering.

However, I felt helpless and had worked 16 hours a day to prepare and keep up with my job, talking to a therapist, talking to others that had been fired before it was my departure. The friends that supported me also spoke to me about my spirituality. I usually blew them off.  So, when I got home, I found my Bible, didn’t know where to go in it, but I knew where to find it.

My sister recommended a few books (outside of the Bible), and I read them.





One book and author led to another one; I found many books and spiritual leaders from “other books you may like” on the internet. I found some authors that I could connect with and began to understand the teachings of the Bible. The approach I like is both the science and art of answering questions by using reason, evidence to defend Christianity.

That is what I need, reasoning, and not a “leap of faith” to believe something just because I visited church some Sundays, and never after I began college. I never thought I would say these words, “from where I started to where I am now spiritually was led completely by God, totally without a doubt.”

I’m not saying I was ready to leave the Big Pharma company, but I had exhausted my mind, soul, and body into taking an extended six months of medical leave. I was not released, I never returned, I retired. This was another one of God’s blessing I didn’t recognize at the time. I am amazed at how God’s reaches out when we are wavering around.

I had worked out a plan, maybe not the best one financially, but it let us carry on. Then, years later, I started looking into legit opportunities that I could do to supplement retirement. Writing and being able to monetize it was my path. Take being frustrated, embarrassed, and feeling helpless about being unemployed, fired, jobless, or disability and supplement it, investigate Wealthy Affiliate.

I was spending time with my daughter, who was a junior in high school and played volleyball, which I often missed while working. I got to be a mom instead of a working mom. I got to experience all the graduation plans, spend time looking for the right college, and even had a few “spend the night parties” with her on weekends while she was away at college. Another one of God’s blessing I didn’t initially recognize, and they kept coming, blessing after blessing. God was all over this situation.

Now, looking back on this time in my life, God was there, and he was leading me. I finally read the Bible with the help of workbooks, and I now know “I get Him” and believe the Bible is true. With reflections, I can see what God has done throughout my life, they were not coincidences, but for Him leading me right where I am, and includes writing this post.

In my next post, I will continue with what I learned about surviving financially, and other ways provided to me from the Great Leader and Provider had done in my life. Stay with me; I hope you will be back next week or so, it is not over yet.

Blessings from my site to your home.

Laura Lee


I am Laura, you have landed on my website ALL EARS, maybe to learn how to navigate living with Auditory Processing Disorder. I learn, process, and hear differently, do you? Frustrated, are you? I was pushed into early retirement for being different, you too?  You may be different too. In defense of not being reasonable, the shove out was the best thing that ever happened to me! Did I write those words?

This website ALL EARS at apdscriber.com is a place to share encounters of living, working, and struggling with Adult Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and anything else that you are labeled.

I will share with you personalized content, insights, experiences, stories as well as resources, hopefully in a humorous way. I do hope you find this website useful, a pathway for all who share and survive the misunderstandings of adult learning disorders and doing things differently. It’s great not to be ordinary!

My Short Story (Mini-Me)

For 25 years, I worked as a medical sales representative for a Fortune 100 Pharmaceutical Company, my dream job, and it was also my identity. For the first 20 years, I loved the job, and I had fun doing it. The last five years of that job was filled with anguish and torment. I lost time with my family and my sense of humor (which was the real tragedy) to intense stress while trying to meet the company’s unobtainable expectations. After a good fight, I retired. Now I want to help you feel you have others that “get it.” Let’s get started.

Laura Lee