Can you hear me now??
Wait…What?…You’re cutting in and out.
Recognize this conversation? Of course you do. We’ve ALL experienced a bad cell phone connection.
And it’s incredibly irritating, anxiety-provoking, attention-destroying, and short-lived. We lose our comprehension as we unsuccessfully try to connect the dots, so we hang up and try the call again.
But what if that’s what life were like for you ALL the time? Can you imagine how lost and anxious you would feel? Thankfully, a call back on a cell phone usually solves the problem. But for children and adults with auditory processing problems, this may be standard fare.
It’s Hard to Get the Message When
You Have A Bad Connection
Poor or inconsistent auditory input can affect, among other things:
- Following directions
- Articulation and pronunciation
- Conversation and social skills
- Intonation and verbal expression
- Sense of well-being.
What Do Auditory Processing Challenges Look Like in the Adult World?
We talk a lot about children with various learning and attention challenges.. But these same challenges exist for adults as well, often with equally or even more devastating ramifications.
Here are real stories shared with me by adults with auditory processing challenges:
Jesse is a manager at a mid-size corporation. He often has to attend meetings, but the strain of listening to the input from many different people is so taxing for him that he has to retreat to his office to take a nap on the floor. Jesse says, “A one-hour meeting is so exhausting that I’m pretty much done for the day.”
Katherine is a struggling small business owner. She loves what she does but is on-edge all of the time. Auditory input is so vague and unclear for her that she feels distracted and a little lost as she moves through her day. This impacts her ability to be productive and follow through, keep business associates and clients, and grow her business. In fact, it makes this very bright woman look spacey and not quite all there.
Jack, a young U.S. Naval officer and graduate of Annapolis found watch-standing, which is using information in a time-critical manner to perform tasks such as driving the ship through the water, near impossible. Running a division and managing the workflow, knowing what was going on, and doing the administration for a certain part of the ship was also a struggle. He started to be combative with fellow watch-standers to compensate for how much he was struggling and appeared apathetic and uncaring to those around him. He shared that the only reason his career survived before he could get help was due to the fact that the Navy doesn’t fire first year officers.
Marina talks non-stop. She drives her husband and friends away with her constant loud chatter. Marina has subconsciously compensated for her very weak auditory processing by talking all the time so that she doesn’t have to listen. Her poor listening skills affect her ability to self-monitor her volume and content. She seems to talk around and around things because she’s not really even listening to herself. Marina is often unintentionally abrasive because she doesn’t “hear” her tone of voice.
Counseling is Not the Answer
Adults struggling with relationships or in the workplace often turn to counseling for help. If the root cause of the problem is weak auditory processing, trying to talk through or manage the problem is not likely to be successful.
To improve listening attention, clarity of the message, and mental organization of auditory information, the auditory system needs to be stimulated and strengthened.
Brain and clinical research and our experience with thousands of children and adults with learning challenges over the last 30 years shows us that auditory processing can be developed. Auditory processing disorders do not have to be permanent.
Developing auditory processing skills so that the brain gets a clear, complete, accurate, and organized message paves the way for successful and lasting remediation of reading, spelling, speech, language comprehension, and communication skills.
Do you or someone you know struggle at work or school? While there are no simple, overnight solutions, most learning and attention challenges, including Auditory Processing Disorder, can be dramatically improved or completely corrected through targeted brain training and academic remediation. For more information:
JOIN US for a FREE Information Night.
Click here for details and RSVP http://learningdisability.com/parent-info-night/.
“Helping smart but struggling students dramatically improve or completely correct their learning and attention challenges by developing the underlying learning skills that are not supporting the learner well enough.”
We serve children and adults with diagnosed or undiagnosed learning and attention challenges including learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.
Jill Stowell, M.S.
Author: At Wit’s End A Parent’s Guide to Ending the Struggle Tears, and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities
Founder and Executive Director – Stowell Learning Centers