EMBRACE THE CHAOS, LIVING WITH LEARNING DISORDERS ADD AND APD

At 45, I was finally diagnosed with two learning disorders: Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) coexisting with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), concentration, distraction, and focus, also anxiety and depression but not hyperactivity. You mean, I am not slow, lazy or a rebel? Please go to ALL EARS to find posts on different subjects I’ve written. This article I overview quirks and attribute I connect to living with a learning disorder:

Persistence. An attribute to ADD is persistence (hyper-focus). When there is something I really do want to get done, I will stay at it for hours (ignoring all other appointments or the time of morning), days, weeks, and even months. When something come my way and I want it, I don’t let go. So, starting and finishing tasks is a challenge.

Procrastination. I will wait until the absolute last minute to do something, and then run around trying to complete it. School research papers were the worst, with preparing for test were always a last-minute panic. Emotional, being easily flustered and stressed out, irritable or short, often explosive, temper. I would get mad at the smallest things. Emotions are a part of learning disorders and I am very emotional.

Disorganization. My house and my car are so messy, cleaning is a distraction nightmare. have a poor audio memory, short term memory problems and I am always misplacing my keys, phone, lists and always in search of something before I can leave the house or come back into the house to attain an item, and trying to find things I have put away but can not remember where. Too often, I have brought Christmas gifts out weeks after the holiday because I forgot I had them or I could not find them. I wish I could have just one day when I can find my phone, keys, glasses, purse, not walk around the house trying to remember what item I am looking for. Really, just one day!

Forgetfulness and poor working memory. Also a huge problem because I try to remind myself to do important stuff and next thing, I am trying to remember what I wanted to remember, huh? Make lists! I can toggle on the internet from one page to another and forget in that milli-second what the word or thought I had searched. To make it worse, I would get distracted on the computer and end up with 20 or 30 apps or pages opened and can not remember what my intentions were to begin with.

Easily distracted. I have trouble prioritizing, starting and finishing tasks a I mentioned above. I am easily distracted in conversation and concentration, particularly if there are any noises or distractions in the background. I seriously hear “blah, blah, blah” until I focus back into the conversation or any other activity I was doing that requires concentration or focus. Huh is common and a constant in conversation between me and anyone else. Too often, I may never understand what was said or asked to me that I can process and how to answer. ADD coexist with another learning disorder and in my case it is Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) and is when the ears hears but the brain misinterprets what it hears.

TimManagement. Too many unfinished projects and too many setbacks from this past year?            *Do Less.                              *Know Less. You don’t       have to now everything     about everything.            *Care Less about what others want me to do.                                                             *Forget Less. Write down what to do, put reminders on your calendar, timer, or alarm clock as reminders of how much time you have committed to a task.                                                                                                                            *Regret Less.

Embrace the chaos! Chaos is a friend of mine. I accept chaos, I’m not sure it accepts me. Remember, out of chaos God made a world.

Learning Disorders does not have to hold you back. Once you know you have ADD or APD, work it. Blame the ADD/APD not yourself.

Blessings,

Laura Lee

 

 

 

 

 

MEMORIES OF SCHOOL WITH LEARNING DISORDERS

 


I’m 61. When I was younger, learning disabilities did NOT exist, by name anyway.

I have been blessed with many talents, some as a result of Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) and Attention Deficient Disorder (ADD), some not. I’m a very positive person, fun to be around, have a great sense of humor, love storytelling and writing,(like this website of  writing about learning disorders to supplement my retirement), all probably to deflect focus on my learning disorders. As a child and young adult, I was always disorganized, forgetful and had trouble keeping focus on a task. However, I was also very eager to please, was humorous, upbeat and caring. I feel that these positive ADD qualities helped my teachers, peers and parents in disregard my so called “weaknesses.”

I was capable of great things “if only she had applied herself”, a direct quote from my teacher in elementary school. My parents were very concerned that I wasn’t getting a good education because my grades were not reflecting that I was. My grades, however, ranged from bad to awful.

So, mid year in third grade my sisters and I transferred to another school. Not just any school, Catholic School where my sisters and I were the only Protestants there, awkward! Not only was it hard to leave familiar surroundings and friends but to be put mid-year into an environment that put focus directly on us as “new kids” “non-Catholic”, “from the wrong side of town”. I cried by the end of the first day because everything was so unfamiliar.

The reason we went to this private school was to get out of the public-school system back in the sixties. I felt uncertain, uncomfortable, in an awkward and unexplored situation of a new school and new religion. Catholic is exceedingly different from my Methodist upbringing. Well, as you may guess, we converted Catholic well, tuition was less. If you were Catholic attending Catholic Church, you also attended Catholic School at a reduced rate. Within a year, our family were “converted Catholics”.

I want to blame my first year’s bad grades on the transition to a new environment of church and school. My sister was held back, but because of my size (chubby big girl) I proceeded to the next grade and caught up with the advance curriculum. St. Mary’s was doing multiplication tables in third grade and I hadn’t even heard of those tables.

However, with time the social aspect became comfortable and easy for me because I was fun to be around, a nice, sweet gal and had a good sense of humor. I possess the ability to laugh at myself, which makes life seem bearable during difficult times.

My short-term memory is a joke, especially for tests. Like I have said, my grades were average at best, but have also always struggled, especially in college but I persisted and even got a post graduate degree. I learn differently and finally figured out my learning style. Write, rewrite, and then rewrite again notes from class until I could comprehend, understand, and then answer questions on written exams. However, to verbal answer questions was a weakness. I needed a trigger to retrieve the answers.

I can remember my Mom always saying “you are not listening” when really, I did not process quickly to what I was hearing. So, my comeback now would be “I’m listening, I’m just not processing”.  Taking time to think something through was a sign that you were not listening.

Later while dealing with my daughter’s school problems, I recognized she had a distraction issue, it was established the she had ADD. Now, schools have special adaptions for learning disorders that helped her to take test and medication is helpful. I now think back and recognize my mother having similar ADD and Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) characteristics and that this family gene thing started to become clear. Luckily, the means to the end worked out for me.

Thank you for checking in. Please leave a message or question. I’d love to hear your stories. Please go to ALL EARS to read my other posts like  THINGS ADULTS WITH AUDITORY PROCESSING DISORDER DO DIFFERENTLY.

Blessings,

Laura Lee

 

Welcome

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