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. Please read my first post Things Adults With Auditory Processing Disorder Do Differently. 

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