Living With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder

Thai Food

Andrea has written several posts about CAPD
– see the listing at the bottom of this page.)

I am walking across campus when someone stops me. While I am standing there desperately trying to figure out who this out-of-place person is, they ask me, “Are you going to the four-meter spa?”

I blink with confusion, and then realize that I am scrambling these sounds, so ask for a repeat, but it makes no more sense. Apparently this is an important question, so I ask for a re-phrase, and finally it all clicks: this is Elverta and she is asking me, “Are you going to tutor for me this fall?” This kind of auditory miscomprehension is a real problem; I end up answering the wrong questions, and sometimes the person and I do not realize that we are engaged in a dialog about entirely different subjects.

Sometimes although the other person knows what they mean, what I think they mean may not be what they are thinking of. Although I state that I understand the problem, neither of us is aware that we are “not on the same wavelength”. Then the problem continues, and the other person views this confusion as further proof of my inability to learn and perform well rather than as a mutual misunderstanding of the situation! The same scenario has happened a number of times, and been a source of problems with various managers and bosses.

Sometimes it’s the decoding where I bog down, where a conversation progresses normally, but has bad phonemic sectors, “Blah-blah-blah-blah mumble blah-blah-blah.” If I ask them to repeat, it just comes out “Blah-blah-blah-blah mumble blah-blah-blah,” again. It’s like have poor cell phone reception, where the signal gets static or drops out. The subtitles in my head, that mental transcript I mentally read to decode the meaning behind the words I have just heard, looks just fine during the blah-blah-blah-blah part, and then suddenly at the “mumble” section the letters go bad, like the alphanumeric characters on the ophthalmologist’s chart where the line is too small to read clearly. Foreign languages are especially hard to understand, especially French for not being spelled phonetically. I hate drive-through lanes, or pages and announcements at airports because I can’t understand half of what they’re saying.

I’ve had my hearing tested more than once, due to various difficulties with speech. No matter where I have lived, people have always asked me about my “accent” (actually a corrected speech impediment). However, my ears work excellently well; I hear things most people don’t, like computer hard drives and motors that are off-pitch. I have developed hyperacusis and tinnitus, and the latter only worsen my comprehension problems.

Over the years, my family, teachers, graduate school advisor, and employers have complained at me for not understanding what was going on, for forgetting what they told me, for taking things too literally, or for ignoring them. I do what I can in class and meeting situations: I sit up front, do the readings beforehand, and watch what the speaker is saying. But many times I am caught between an air conditioner fan or steam-heat radiators, flickering-buzzing lights, and a whining projector, and thus can barely understand the speaker despite the fact that I am just a few feet away. Sometimes I ask them to speak up, but it really isn’t their volume – it is me having difficulty discriminating between the voice and the background noises, plus my mental decoding of his discussion into these new words, plus my double-time processing of trying figure out what is being said in words and what it means in content. Often I cannot understand people when more than one person is speaking. I’ve tried recording lectures, but generally it’s not any clearer the second time around.

I had never realized just how much of television or movie dialog that I misunderstood until I watched television close-captioned (subtitled in English) with my hard of hearing husband. It wasn’t until later when I tried watching programs that weren’t captioned, that I realised the lapses in dialog comprehension and the strain on my attention the effort requires. I have especial difficulty on the phone or when I am not watching someone speak. When writing for newspapers and magazines I hated doing interviews, and have never been fond of carrying on extended telephone conversations. I really hate checking voice-mail, especially when I have to listen to the same rambling message three or four times just for the fast, slurred phone number at the end! Text messages work much better for me.

Verbal directions are hard to keep straight. A few summers ago I worked at a research farm, and the field boss Terry explained to me how to drive the tractor. At the time I had no trouble understanding what he was talking about, but the next day I was frustrated to find that I was unable to remember all the details and steps of what he had told me, and he was annoyed that a college student should have difficulty remembering something so simple!

Being able to identify or prevent these kinds of occurrences are problematic in school situations, and to my future employment. I needed some way of being able to explain to people how I can have such perfect hearing yet not understand what they’re saying, and that I am not being rude, uncaring, lazy or stupid. I needed better ways of dealing with problems than just “trying harder”. A hearing exam simply showed that my hearing is perfect; Auditory Processing Disorder (sometimes known as CAPD for Central Auditory Processing Disorder) is not readily diagnosable with an ordinary screening hearing exam. It requires specific testing. Once I found someone who specialised in this, the results were illuminating, and having this information has proven to be beneficial for both me and my employers.

This following is the main portion of a letter for instructors and employers describing how Auditory Processing Disorder affects me, and how I cope with it. APD is not a well-known problem, so I post this here for more people to better understand it.

Auditory Processing Disorder is an invisible disability, a developmental condition that interferes with the processing of speech. Although my hearing is perfect, I yet have intermittent problems with perceiving and decoding what people are saying. It’s like having poor cell phone reception, where the signal gets static or drops out. My difficulties have worsened with the tinnitus (a subjective, intermittent whine in my ears) that adds more “noise in the system”.

Testing by a licensed audiologist has revealed that under absolutely quiet conditions my comprehension (i.e., processing of spoken words) is 80% left ear and 86% right ear. Under noisy conditions (e.g. machinery and/or multiple voices), my comprehension is reduced to just 68% left ear and 52% right ear.


You can imagine how difficult it might be trying to keep up with conversations or to understand lectures when I am only comprehending half of what is being said. What I have to do is to rely on context to puzzle out what people are saying. I must spend extra mental effort to unscramble new terms and concepts, in addition to my double-time processing of trying to remember what has meanwhile been said while I was busy figuring out the word. Doing all this decoding takes up working memory. Because I have to attend to what is being said in words, I have less attention for figuring out what is meant in conceptual content. I often have to ask questions or post comments during lectures and meetings to verify what I think has been said.

My working and short-term memory are used to process the conversation, rather than to remember what I’ve heard. The result of this is that for many classes I leave the room without any clear idea of what the whole lecture was about, because I’ve not had much extra short-term memory left for storage. I have to read my notes afterwards to do the learning part from the lecture.

Verbal directions can be difficult.
I have trouble understanding, recalling, and keeping straight a series of commands. For example, directions on how to get somewhere, the steps involved in operating machinery, or even the steps involved doing calculations can be quite difficult. Additionally, numbers like five and nine, or fifteen and fifty sound very similar.

Discriminating between voices and background noises is difficult. Situations with multiple people speaking are especially challenging because all the conversations and the background noise keep weaving together. This includes not just restaurants and conferences, but also conversations in offices, hallways, and in classes where people break into “small-group discussions”.

Most environments can be more mechanically noisy for me than others perceive them to be, because I can hear a greater range of high-frequency noises than many people. Window air-conditioning units, steam heat radiators, LCD projector fans, computer hard drives and fluorescent lights all create rooms that are substantially noisy for me. Hyperacusis (a medical condition causing increased sensitivity to sound) makes the high-frequency noises subjectively even louder.


I have developed a variety of compensatory strategies, as I must deal with this disorder all through the day. Outlined below are a few strategies that would be helpful for me and for us when communicating. However, these are only partially successful, and my abilities to compensate for the APD deteriorate when I am tired or sick

  • Provide me agendas and notes ahead of time, an hour or day before the lecture, to allow me to both review the concepts, and to cue in to new terms so I can anticipate them.
  • Allow preferential seating that is up front and away from machinery. This will allow me to see the speaker, as I do a little lip-reading.
  • Temperature-permitting, kindly shut the classroom door to reduce noise from hallway traffic.
  • Use the closed-captions (subtitles) option when showing videos.
  • Provide assignments or other information in writing; this can be done in e-mails, et cetera. Give me directions in writing, as e-mails, or as a summary after a discussion.
  • Allow the use of a tape player during meetings, classes and during any private appointments.
  • When appropriate, allow the use of an assistive listening device (ALD). These are typically used in large meeting rooms. It consists of a receiver with headphones for myself, and a wireless mike for the speaker. This allows the information to transmit directly through the headphones while eliminating most extraneous noises. Using an ALD such as an FM system may be helpful in large lecture halls.

NOTE: Many people mistakenly think that APD is a volume problem, and that talking louder or repeating what was said will help. Rather, what will really help is to re-phrase what is being communicated.

APD is a very frustrating and misunderstood disorder. There is no cure. I have lived with it my entire life, and it is quite liberating to know that it is a true disorder and that it has a name. This allows me the opportunity to learn more about it, and to be better able to find ways to communicate more clearly and more efficiently.

Please understand that my conversational difficulties do not affect my motivation or abilities to learn and perform. I need people to understand that I am not being rude, uncaring, lazy or stupid.


Students with various learning disabilities may have processing issues. We have to take information in, make sense of it, retrieve information, and then be able to relay information back. Various kinds of learning disabilities interfere with steps in this process, and the interference can happen at more than one step, especially when a person has more than one kind of difficulty. Let’s take the subject of, “Answering a question asked of you”. Most people assume that this is really simple, and thus, easy. Hah! How Hard Can It Be?

Helping the awkward new student seemed like a good idea, so why did it make everything worse? Help was apparently something that is done to you and for you; I was the passive recipient for help. They were strangely disempowering, these activities that were ostensibly for my benefit: Being the Class Project: Reflections Upon False Inclusion.

Why I only appeared noncompliant and dishonest, and how I got into trouble for cheating on the reading worksheet: Failing to Cheat.

What’s really going on when you ask someone a question and get that familiar, “Huh?” More importantly, what can we do to help prevent such situations? Try using Headlining.

How bad does it have to get? At what point does a student’s difficulties with schoolwork demonstrate that they are having significant problems, and therefore need help? Should a student have to fail classes before someone realizes or decides that there is a problem? A, B, C, D and F.

You know, ALL the students would be able to hear and see the videos and other projected notes if the classroom were just designed better: Classroom Audio/Visual: Spectacular or Just A Spectacle?

Sometimes life has its funny moments. One of the problems with my Auditory Processing Disorder is that I cannot understand most song lyrics. There are only a few performers whose vocal range, diction and instrumental styles mesh to create songs that have intelligible lyrics, rather than what I usually hear, which is music with words mingled (or mangled) into the sounds of the instruments. There are some songs that are notorious for being misunderstood by lots of people; apparently entire audiences mis-heard Jimi Hendrix sing, ‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy in “Purple Haze”. The difference is that I misunderstand almost every song I’ve heard, like this one.

One of the problems we run into, sometimes unexpectedly so, is that our Assistive Devices do not “fix” the problem and make it go away. This is discouraging for the person who is newly diagnosed or newly treated for an issue, and who hoped that simply by getting some snazzy piece of equipment, everything would “be back to normal”. But it’s NOT the same.

Captioned (subtitled) television isn’t just for the Deaf and hard of hearing — it’s also great for people with APD, and those for whom English is a second language: Is it CC?

Those great folks at public television station WGBH in Boston, are going to work on providing captioning for all those teeny-tiny screens, our iPods, PDAs, mobile phones and other hand-helds. More Captions, w00t!

One of our strengths as a couple is that we are so different from each other. It’s not that one of us must “make up for” the deficiencies of the other — that would put us into artificial dichotomies of able and disabled, forever relying upon the other in our respective rôles of an incomplete person needing the other to complete them. Rather, it’s that each of us could manage alone as competent individuals, but that together we enrich the other’s experiences of the world. Social Captioning.

On the home front, we’ve recently adopted a new-to-us AT, and it took some nudging from me to get hubby to participate. Soon we were texting messages instead of talking on the phone. We were actually communicating more information, and doing so more often. We also found that what the missives may have lacked in warm fuzzy voice tones, they made up for in reduced marital stress: Read My Clips.

I hate puzzling out voice-mail! Recess: Sunday Funnies.

Everyone in life has to compensate in some manner or another, because no one excels at everything. In fact, the economy depends upon people’s interdependency — earning your living doing things for others is important to the Gross National Product, is important to a town’s sense of community, and is important to a person’s self-worth from feeling useful. The problem with over-compensation is that although I have at times felt that I had vanquished my personal demons of incompetancy by having overcome various failures with landmark achievements, those successes do not mean that I cannot or will not have future problems! Running With the Red Queen.

The person with APD prepares for a job interview: Welcome to the First Ring of Hell.


Regretfully, I am unable to give people recommendations for clinicians who can diagnose [Central] Auditory Processing Disorder.   

Contact audiologists (or audiologist+language therapists) in your area to find those who will (in addition to an extensive hearing exam), take a history, and conduct standard APD tests, such as (but not limited to):

  • “Staggered Spondaic Word Test” (different two-syllable words each each ear, one word overlapping the other),
  • “Phonemic Synthesis Test” (distinguishing different sounds of speech),
  • “Speech In Noise Test” (you guessed it: understand what’s being said, despite background noise).

Avoid those who are just hearing-aid fitters, and likewise avoid the numerous google-adverts for those selling the dozens of  “therapies” for APD, tinnitus, et cetera. See this post for an example.


Here is how you cite this blog posting; for the “cited” space you use whatever date you accessed the page, e.g. 2013 October 25.

Andrea. Andrea’s Buzzing About: Living With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder[Internet]. San Francisco: Andrea’s Buzzing About: c2006-2013 – [cited ____________ ]. Available from: .

More details on citations to blogs may be found here.


  1. 13 September 2016 at 1:46

    […] I started most ventures—out of a desire to improve myself. I have trouble with hand dexterity and processing auditory information. Plus, the violin was so damn beautiful. Even if I didn’t really understand […]

  2. 1 August 2015 at 19:58

    […] Living With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder | Andrea's … […]

  3. 28 October 2014 at 22:01

    […] Living With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder | Andrea's … […]

  4. 28 October 2014 at 11:17

    […] for someone with a form of auditory processing disorder, I HIGHLY recommends checking out the blog Andrea’s Buzzing About. She often writes about APD and many of her readers share […]

  5. 16 September 2014 at 15:00

    […] Living With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder | Andrea's … […]

  6. 5 March 2014 at 13:58

    […] Living With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder | Andrea's Buzzing About: Reply With Quote […]

  7. 31 July 2013 at 20:22

    I need help finding a audiologist to do a APD battery of tests: How do I go about it? I live in Dallas Texas.

  8. Brian said,

    31 July 2013 at 19:29

    I just showed your article to my wife to help her understand how I “hear.” I think she may finally understand a little what it’s like to have CAP-D.

    Thank you for writing this.

  9. 30 July 2013 at 16:16

    […] have this problem.  I also have trouble understanding song lyrics in most musical styles.  This blog sounds familiar; CAPD seems to overlap quite a bit with Aspergers or NLD symptoms.  More evidence […]

  10. Robin Hansen said,

    22 July 2013 at 18:04

    Hi Todd,

    My son has similar issues to you and is struggling thru starting his first job and cannot get thru college because of the issues you mention.
    There are a few things i can suggest. You may want to appy for SSDI as it sounds like you cannot keep a job because of your disability.

    Since you have been laid off repeatedly you may want to contact your Office of Civil Rights to discuss the possibility of disability decrimination.

    if you are turned down (about 85% are) you shold be able to find a lawyer who will only chagre you if you win.
    I also suggets trying a therapy called Fast Forward. It can make a huge difference depending on the severity of your issue.
    A more intensive, pricey way to go would be to try the Arrowsmith Program as it covers multitudes of cognitive waekness at once.


  11. David M said,

    20 July 2013 at 12:17

    My wife and I have long discussions about the struggle to fit in. For personal reasons we chose to have children, and it is amazing to see the astounded faces who can’t understand why we chose that.
    I wish everyone could learn to celebrate themselves as unique individuals with their own unique gifts they bring to the planet.

    The truth there is no “Normal”, To prove my point, pick anyone, a friend, a colleague, a boss, a celebrity who appears to be living a “normal” life. Then did a little into their life and you will most likely find that these people do not think of themselves as normal either. This word was never designed to use to compare human beings, because we are all unique. My alltime favorite movie is Young Frankenstein, by Mel Brooks. In the movie they are looking for a brain and Monty Python grabs the wrong brain from the medical center. He calls the brain, Abby – Abby -Something. My new middle name is AbbyNormal. I wear it well.

  12. Whitney said,

    19 July 2013 at 16:36

    David M, I like that quote. I have an example of that and also one of the opposite of that. This lady I knew once went on for several minutes about her kids being such trouble, and how when her husband was alive he did this, etc etc. Very negative. Then I chimed in with one of my usual chipper remarks and she goes, “You need to settle down and have kids.” I explained that I didn’t want that and liked my life as it was. She insisted. So I asked why she hated me so. She said she surely didn’t. I said, “Then why do you want me to be miserable like you? You just told me how hard having kids is, yet you want ME to suffer? Why?”

    She stared for a while and then said, “I… don’t… know.” I figure she was blindly accepting that everyone needs to be the same. She had to get married and have children, and likely assumed I did. She never stopped to think that perhaps my way was my way and suited me just fine, and that I didn’t have to do what was “expected” of me.

    The obverse of that: A close friend of mine once confided that she was jealous of me. I was incredulous. “But you’re beautiful and have a wonderful personality and you help people feel good,” i told her, bug-eyed. She smiles and says, “But you dance to your own rhythm. You’re comfortable in your own skin and you don’t care that others dislike you for it. I want that, too.”

    I believe my mother’s independence directly influenced my own, and that CAPD made it impossible to change it. I remember spending a lot of time trying to figure people out so I /could/ fit in. Then one day I realized I’d figured it out a while ago and had decided that I liked me the way I was and didn’t WANT to be someone else. I was OK with not having the shallow, depthless friends I thought I’d once wanted. As I discovered, being me seems to attract far more interesting people that I can then have really neat discussions with and learn things with.

    Why I would I want to change now? The hard part is, however, the same: Staving off the people who think their way is the only way.

    Be strong, Todd… you’re not alone, in spirit, at least.


  13. Todd said,

    7 July 2013 at 22:41

    Thank you Michele for that offer… the more we inform the medical professionals of things that are curing people without blasted drugs the faster they might not be so greedy and want to help people save their lives!… usually the greedy doctors aren’t listening to us… if insurance company’s could only define ‘Health Care’ the right way then this world would be so much better and nicer… and that it’s caring for your health not robbing you on every payment you make, stuffing you full of chemicals and drugs which will eventually kill you!! It’s turning into ‘Death Care’ now because the people using it aren’t getting any better. Someone that has cancer who dies of ODing on chemo and radiation would be examined by their doctor later saying something like: “Well the tumor has disappeared so we did our job… our drug we invented cured the tumor!” Patting themselves on the back and celebrating with a new Mercedes… ‘course they don’t realize that the body/person has lost their life caused by the drugs and chemicals that ultimately killed their body. But that’s a whole other story isn’t it.

    • Todd said,

      17 July 2013 at 5:22

      … my hardest challenge right now is the mystery of figuring out how I can use what little I have of my skills with APD to help anyone or to cope with this and many other terrible experiences I’ve had in my life. I don’t trust anyone, and the time I did trust someone I found out too late that they were stabbing me in the back. Makes me want to get away from people… the sooner the better.

      • David M said,

        17 July 2013 at 11:45

        Hi Todd, I am so glad you responded. As I mentioned earlier, I totally understand how this condition affects every part of our lives, including our lives with our families. Perhaps we can help each other as two human beings that understand the disruption this condition can cause. My email is Perhaps i will hear from you.

      • David M said,

        18 July 2013 at 13:48

        Hi Todd, I came across another website that explains a lot more of CAPD. It Offer still stands, if you would like to converse, my email is

      • David M said,

        19 July 2013 at 13:26

        Hey Todd, I completely understand the desire to want to get away from people and someplace safe without the struggles of trying to function in a society that does not have a clue about the challenges someone with APD faces every minute of the day.
        I am truely sorry that you seem to have lost trust in most people, and hope that you can find peace.
        It has been a hard to look back at my life and be able to come to peace with it. (It is ongoing) There are some jobs, relationships, and friends that did not have your best interest at heart, and it is good that they are gone. I would like to share a wonderful quote from EE Cummings. ” “To be able to be yourself in a world that is doing its best night and day to make you just like everyone else means to fight the greatest battle there is to fight and never stop fighting.”
        Never stop striving Todd, you are doing the best you can

  14. Todd said,

    7 July 2013 at 4:27

    An audiologist might be good but I went a step ahead… and saw a Neuropsychiatrist who diagnosed me with APD. But before that I self diagnosed this ailment I’ve had all my life. When I was a kid like in 5 grade school I was given headphones to put on and they asked me to tell them what I heard as they played sounds. Then I had to pick out words from people talking and I guess I didn’t do very good in this test. I was then diagnosed and labeled with having Dyslexia so they stuck me in ‘Special Education’. Dyslexia effects the eyes mainly. Well this was before people and schools understood APD effecting the brain. Then I had BTI (brain trauma injury) in a serious car accident in 11th grade and then I was even more quiet, shy, reserved wanted to be to myself than with anyone.

    Now at over 40 and loosing a job every year. (if management is patient with me for that long that is) I can’t keep a job down because of this ailment/curse. I could never get thru college because of the verbal/audio skills you need to take down all the info in a lecture, then you need even more skills at memorizing everything the teacher wants you to learn. Having maybe 2 friends ever so this has been straining my life now I’m sure I have developed more disabilities trying to cope and unable to teach people about APD (auditory processing disorder) more. The last two jobs I had I thought ‘honesty is the best policy’ and told them about what APD is and how they can help me and if they can accommodate me… I thought this was the right thing to do… well what happened?? they told me no that they can’t help me (laughing over this fact) and fired me right on the spot! I couldn’t believe it! One was from a public school bus transportation system saying that if the engine was on in the bus and a child said one word in the very back of the bus then I wouldn’t be able to hear them… and this would pose as a safety issue. No one could hear this if they didn’t have APD. I was furious, I’ve written letters to state and county officials with no word, not one call back. People just don’t understand it… and coming from me who can’t explain anything to them it’s even more confusing to them.

    This is a serious thing!! People with alcoholism can get FREE help at anytime, they can even get a free ride home!!… and I have APD since birth… something I have had no choice of and didn’t do anything wrong like drinking too much and now can’t even hold a job without making people upset because I take things too literally way too much. People think I’m the grinch but my family understands me… (these are my only 2 friends). It’s driving me insane. It’s not something you can brag about in a job interview. I’m still waiting on the vocational rehabilitation for help now for 3 over years. The state doesn’t have the money but has the money for other unimportant things this government chooses to blow it on.

    I’m just asking for help, any out reach programs even online would be great, someone to talk to that has this too. Someone to help. For if I help them, perhaps they can help me.

    Sorry for the long story… another symptom of APD is repeating myself… not able to get to the ‘point’ quickly enough.

    Thank you for your time.

    • David said,

      7 July 2013 at 15:45

      Hi Todd,
      My heart goes out to you. I am now 52, and just beginning to understand the significance of this problem. Unlike you, I have never been diagnosed with CAPD but from what I have read on Andrea’s blog and so many others, I definitely have it.

      Like yourself, I too have had a very spotty employment record. I thought I had it all figured out when I was diagnosed with ADHD, OCD, depression, and anxiety at the age of 44, I found a job with the Federal Government learning to be a Federal Auditor, but failed miserably because I had difficulty understanding verbal instructions, and when I tried to take notes, I was left with a jarble of words that made no sense at all.

      I like your idea of a neuro psychologist for diagnosing because, I have already gone to a neurologist who after a series of different tests, would not confirm I had CAPD. I have asked them for a follow up appointment to discuss my results but have not gotten a return call.

      You are right, it is difficult to help someone understand something that is so difficult to explain, and so little understood.

      I have learned of another resource called I have been reviewing that as well.

      I am am with you Bro, I totally understand and wish you the best. If you like you can email me, and together we might be able to help each other.

      • Todd said,

        17 July 2013 at 5:17

        Thanks David,
        Yeah its sad when you google even dyslexia videos and find others who are my age that have been successful because they have figured it out when they were kids… maybe they got great teachers. I’m sure they must have gotten excellent help with other people. It’s pretty obvious since they are doing so well. I’m at my wits end… all my life I knew I couldn’t get thru college to earn a decent job because I couldn’t understand the verbal lectures and am still giving up… no money for it and can’t take the pain again in my head. My current job I just found out even after telling HR and managers about my disability are now harassing me, an email was sent to the whole department/company that didn’t say of my disability but put me down saying I’m the reason for all issues with our client of: “Unfortunately Todd is the reason for the majority of these discrepancies…” and many other comments. And may I point out this was done all behind my back! I never received the email, my name wasn’t on the original email, I had someone forward it to me. So being shunned, disrespected and humiliated. I can’t get on vocational rehab for over 3 years. This job is going down the tubes… I can’t support my family. What a wonderful life this APD is isn’t it!? I just can’t cope with it anymore. Tired of telling people about how I failed. I hate being around people or somewhere I don’t belong or not appreciated. I’d rather leave than feel their negativity. Sucks to be me. Taking 20-30mins just editing this to get it the way I want it… or not. Dyslexia effects all of us differently so it’s impossible that 2 people have the exact same brain and style and symptoms. So this is what makes me a grumpy old man. I was sick to death of taking all the crap from upper management, them using me, lying to me, forcing more work out of me, then firing me and leaving me out on the street. I was that nice humble person for decades, had a business but couldn’t make any money because I gave everyone ‘Deals’, had a friend then sue me over what he thought was his. Have been laid off too many jobs. The only thing I’m learning now in my life are the corruption in businesses and how greedy people are. They will do anything for money… anything! This is why I’d rather be poor (try to be) humble than rich an unappreciated. Stabbing everyone around me in their backs all to get gain. I have no skill in this, I have no skill in hurting people or talking behind their backs. Or manipulating people. This is why I’m not successful, this is why none of us are successful in the business/money life. That’s all.

    • listen2up said,

      9 July 2013 at 1:52

      Todd, I recommend the following forum for adults with APD (started by someone in the UK, with many members in U.S. etc.):

  15. S said,

    25 June 2013 at 12:48

    Can anyone suggest an audiologist in Indianapolis specializing in capd? Thank you.

  16. David said,

    24 June 2013 at 23:54

    That is the problem. I did go to an audiologist and was told my scores were not consistent with an auditory processing disorder. I was shocked, as everything you have said, resonates with me completely. I do not know if I need to see a different audiologist, or a psychologist knowledgeable in this area. Was diagnosed with ADHD in 2004 but think that is just the tip of the iceberg. thank you again

  17. David McCallister said,

    17 June 2013 at 14:54

    Thank you Thank You Thank You. You have profoundly described what I am just understanding about myself, and I am 52 years old. Please tell me what kind of specialist will I need to make this diagnosis. Thank you again

    • andrea said,

      24 June 2013 at 19:54

      David, you need an audiologist who specialises in CAPD (APD). Hope you have good results!

  18. Cindy Wilson said,

    6 June 2013 at 0:17

    I am happy I finally figured out what is wrong with me! I am 56 years old and have had this problem since in my twenties. It has gotten worse as I get older. My email address is if anyone has any suggestions or ways to help myself I would appreciate it. There are books to read and I am going to get them. I am highly intelligent but have all kinds of problems with hearing and having relationships. I can’t hear on the phone when talking to someone. I get totally frustrated and so does everyone else with me. Thanks in advance for any help from people who have this disorder. I am hoping to find some coping strategies as there is no cure!

  19. Whitney said,

    9 April 2013 at 1:59

    For the mother wondering about her son’s future career choices: What Sara said. The thing is, it’s really hard to know what someone with CAPD should do for a living, because we all have varying levels of this thing and varying levels of patience. I didn’t bother with college, somehow got into I.T., and was fine with it until recently when I began getting pulled into more and more meetings without agendas. I don’t do well in meetings anyway because listening is totally exhausting. Without agendas, though, I’m frustrated to boot. But I digress. Every job will likely have SOME form of brain-taxing, people-oriented requirement for him. So, consider the lesser of all the evils… Doing one-on-one stuff with people might be good whereas being a transcriptionist or ER tech might be darned near impossible.

    Like Sara indicated, make sure he weighs the enjoyment of the field itself with the related stresses he will encounter on the job. Is it worth it to him to put up with those particular stressors? If it is, see if maybe there’s a fallback plan in case he dives in headfirst and then goes, “Dang, I didn’t expect it to be THIS hard.” It’s also quite possible that if he’s really into a subject, the difficulties won’t seem as difficult. But, if that interest ever wanes, or age worsens the CAPD, the difficulties will gradually or suddenly seem overwhelming. It happened to me when I lost interest in one aspect of my job and realised just how much I’d been putting up with in order to succeed at that one piece. Pretty eye-opening.

    Good luck.

  20. Sara said,

    9 April 2013 at 0:43

    In regard to the mother who was interested in what her high school son should pursue in terms of a career…I did not discover my capd until 2009 when I was 37 years old. I also earned a high GPA and have three different academic degrees. I was an educator for 8 years at a variety of different levels and even taught at Penn State while working on my Ph.D. I even worked in the medical field for a few years. I always felt like I had to work so hard to accomplish anything and that other people could do things so much more quickly then I could. I guess I would say that although I am very capable there are definitely career fields that I have been a part of that were more stressful for me because of my CAPD. I guess I would recommend that you consider how much stress you might be putting on yourself unnecessarily when you could choose a field that you still enjoy but won’t be as stressful on your brain.

  21. maya said,

    5 April 2013 at 1:47

    hi I’m maya and I have my own blog about APD. I’m 11 and I have APD so I’m wrighting about my self! is you want to visit is go on to
    -thank you :)

  22. Kathy said,

    20 March 2013 at 19:05

    This was good to read. My 12 year old son has capd and I finally had to take him out of school and homeschool him because he was so far behind. He has made great progress and is now almost at grade level! I do worry about his future and it was comforting to read how well you have learned to manage this issue and its information I can give to my son. Thank you so much for posting.

  23. Whitney said,

    11 March 2013 at 1:41

    For me, the mumble is too indistinct to sound like something I should remember. If I were to remember a garble, it would apply to about 30% of what I hear. It’s like listening to a foreign language much of the time. Other times, I hear actual words, realize they don’t fit in with the context, and then find words that sound similar in my mental dictionary until something clicks and I figure out what was REALLY said. That happens at least once daily because I will pick up on it. It probably happens far more frequently than I’m aware of now because it’s so automatic. You know, like “candy bars” actually being “panty liners” or “bye” being “hi” – things like that.

  24. paypay said,

    10 March 2013 at 17:30

    “If I ask them to repeat, it just comes out “Blah-blah-blah-blah mumble blah-blah-blah,” again.”

    Does the mumble part sounds exactly the same every time it happens, or does it depend on the words? Have you tried to memorize what words each mumble represents once you figure it out?

  25. Jackie M said,

    5 March 2013 at 5:13

    Thank you so much for this blog. I too have APD, and have never come across a blog that really expressed what it is. when people ask me what is it like I’m like….idk. Like I can’t explain it. All my life my teachers and parents complained i didnt pay attention. It feels so good to know i’m not alone and coming together to say Hey! we are not stupid or lazy, it just takes a little longer for me.

  26. Mj said,

    5 February 2013 at 3:18

    Is there an online support group?

  27. Si said,

    23 January 2013 at 9:34

    Thank you so much for this blog, I really think there should be more blogs like this out there, I don’t think medical articles are enough to fully understand the difficulties CAPD people like myself face continually. I’m thinking of starting up one myself, I’m still in school so I think my experiences may be of assistance. And I feel much better judging from all the comments, that I’m not the only one who experiences continual misunderstanding and confusion.

    • Si said,

      24 January 2013 at 3:59

      I’ve started a blog (I know, I was a bit fast and eager). I’m still a teenager and at school so hopefully this will provide another good perspective on CAPD for people to read. I already have two posts, so if you would like to look:

      P.S. I hope you don’t mind me posting this, feel free to delete it if it bothers you.

  28. Marian Williams said,

    22 January 2013 at 1:54

    Thank-you. This helps me understand some things that I am experiencing with my daughter. It helps me bring everything together. I’m so glad that my pediatrician pointe me in this direction. (As a former special education teacher, I asked repeatedly if some of the specialists might think there is a receptive language issue. No diagnosis to date.)

  29. Ashley said,

    14 January 2013 at 9:36

    Dear Andrea,

    I found myself identifying with much I read in this fantastic post. I have APD, related to brain conditions I was born with. For the longest time, I didn’t know why I had trouble with auditory memory and following instructions, inferring information. Then when I was 18, my mom told me I’d been diagnosed with this and gave me a book on it. It made me feel less stupid and learn to adapt to it and explain it to people, so they wouldn’t get frustrated with me and would know how to help me. Education is so important. I would recommend this post to anyone with APD or who knows someone with APD.

    Thanks for helping me understand myself and making me feel less alone. You emphasized not only the functional issues, but the emotional issues and misconceptions that come with it. These are as key to understanding and helping people with learning disabilities as understanding the functional impact.


  30. 9 January 2013 at 17:58

    […] Auditory Processing Disorder is “a neurological disorder in which a person has difficulty properly interpreting sounds received by the ears.” ( APD is not a hearing problem. The ears take in everything, but the brain has trouble sorting it out. Imagine trying to carry on a conversation in a crowded restaurant full of chatter, where the background music is too loud, you’re right next to the kitchen and  the clink of dishes is echoing, plus there’s construction work going on outside. Imagine trying to do your homework there. Imagine these distractions making up the bulk of your day, every day.  That’s APD. To read what it’s like from someone who experiences it, take a look at the following blog post: “Living With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder.“ […]

  31. 30 December 2012 at 22:57

    […] Meanwhile, it was heartening when, in the comment section of the blog Andrea’s Buzzing About, Laura wrote as a non-APD’er: “Boy, do I feel like crap after reading how hard life is with CAPD. … My husband and I are having severe marital problems … traditional Speaker/Listener exercises are not working … I took his behavior personally … would … explain myself over and over … He construes this as I am … insisting on changing his opinion … I holler at him ‘Listen to me! What I said was…..!’ I experience anger and frustration …” (especially when discussions are lengthy). [] […]

  32. listen2up said,

    27 December 2012 at 8:05

    Hello, I’ve admired this and related posts — and the comments — for some time. I belong to a Yahoo group discussion for adults with APD and when someone there mentioned wanting to forewarn new people about the condition by handing something in writing, I started searching and really could not find a hand-out (although the comment by Lily around post 121 or so is good in attempting to give a quick run-down, and other observations here are also fantastic and spot-on). So over the last couple of days I tried to pull together a high-level overview (maybe not as engagingly personal as the original post here, but hopefully applicable to many cases): (Entitled: “What is Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)?”). I tried to just collect the accusations hurled at us that we cannot fix and give tips on trying to create an interface between someone normal and someone with this invisible condition. I have summarized health or scientific issues for a lay audience for a living but mainly was just trying for something that rings true to the experience of the person affected and those around them, since much of the material found in search seems more concerned about children and professional assessment — not the lifelong part. So if it needs refinement I am open to feedback. Many thanks.

    • listen2up said,

      9 January 2013 at 17:12

      Also, I do have a question if you would like to ping me back. And the post below is a follow-up to the main one, in which I have just added your full official blog citation at the end!

  33. Whitney said,

    17 December 2012 at 11:59

    Kristy-lee, that’s a common story I’ve been seeing, the whole “What’s wrong with you” theme. It’s hard for people to understand because sometimes you hear fine and sometimes you don’t, and when you don’t, you /really/ don’t. It’s not like being deaf (which people also react funny over from what I’ve read) – it’s like being dyslexic, only it’s far more sinister in how it manifests. I knew I had this myself since I was a teen but I didn’t fully understand its implications until I began reading how others have had to cope with it, too. I was lucky that I worked around it at an early age. On the other hand, it also makes it more frustrating because it’s harder for people to realize there /is/ something wrong. Now I simply tell people to do what I need them to do so I can understand. I never had the confidence to that before that past several years. I just thought I was stupid and should be able to keep up by now. (Ha.) You’re definitely not alone, and while you can’t get rid of it, there are lots of us out here who’ll lend you support and tips on dealing with it. Remember that it will always frustrate you but it’s not your fault, you’re not stupid or worthless, and it’s up to you to remember that so you don’t lose the self-confidence you’re hopefully building in yourself. In order to have gotten this far in life, you must be doing something in life right regardless of your past. Keep doing that and get better at it. Take care.

  34. Kristy-lee said,

    17 December 2012 at 7:49

    I just want to say that this brought me tear’s because for my whole life I have been struggling with these issues, I like you all have been bullied not only by friends but family and my own father. I didn’t understand what was wrong with me so how could I tell them when they would ask. I am now a 23yr old woman and I was not diagnosed until I was 17yrs old with no follow up care. Until this year I had a bad fall and ended up in hospital and was told by my speech therapist to look this up as she think s it will really help me. Not only have I been thankful I have met her, but I am thankful she has passed me onto this.

    I have sat here crying like the day I was diagnosed I finally feel like somebody understands. Difference is the day I was diagnosed I was told I unfortunetly will never get rid of it but I can learn to live with it. I wasn’t opened up to opportunities on how. But now I am. I am so thankful as I have felt soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo alone and quiet often attempted suicide ending up in hospital.

    I really hope that you all know how much you have helped me by going through this site Andrea you are amazing. Putting into words how I have felt has just blown me away.

    Please I do feel very alone and I am up to talking to anyone with APD.

  35. Whitney said,

    21 November 2012 at 3:24

    Kathleen, I’m not Andrea, but I can share what I know of my early childhood with CAPD. My mother told me that when I was young she knew /something/ wasn’t right because I’d be very alert and could obviously hear, but didn’t seem to respond to what she said the same way twice. Mom taught me to say “moocow” instead of “milk” because I had some sort of 4-syllable word for it she could never remember. I don’t know exactly how old I was for that. No one could understand me except her until I was 4-5. I was in speech therapy at 5 and continued having speech problems for a little while after that.

    I remember my mother reading to me before I understood words. She had a friendly tone of voice and would point at words on the page and at pictures. I thought that maybe the pictures had something to do with the words, but had no association with her voice other than the friendly tone. Not sure how old I was but I’ve described it to her and she’s told me that she read to me early on. Her impressions were of a smart kid with some really blank stares whenever she spoke. By the time I was in speech therapy, I’d learned some form of lip-reading, but still had a lot of issues understanding speech.

    Anywho, hope some of this might be helpful.


  36. Kathleen said,

    21 November 2012 at 1:51

    Hi Andrea, you seem to be getting a ton of posts to this blog, years later. Congrats on reaching such a huge community. I am a birth-to-3 SLP and we cannot diagnose APD so young, but I’m very curious what your early childhood experience and language/speech development was like. Did you receive any early intervention? How would your parents/caregivers describe your speech/comprehension/behavior before you were three? Any insight would be greatly beneficial to my families…thanks in advance!

  37. Kathy said,

    17 November 2012 at 2:42

    My son has ADP. He has always had trouble in school. He is in high school now and he is isolating himself. feels bad about the special classes he is in. He is failing . and i can tell he feels defeated .I have tried hard to help him , and the teachers understand . but now i think he schould be home schooled . my husband is against this .are there any studies to help me with this decision?

  38. Jeanmarie said,

    14 November 2012 at 16:51

    I think my daughter has this disorder. I am sitting in a doctors office to obtain a referral for an audiologist specifically trained in detecting apd. Any advice you can give me on this journey with her would be most helpful. She is seven and is a very happy girl. Thanks for your blog.

  39. S said,

    4 November 2012 at 23:29

    thank you for this blog. I am studying to be a teacher, and am doing a project on including students in the classroom that have problems hearing. I chose to talk about students with CAPD because I myself have it. I have definitely had similar experiences as you where sometimes the person that I am speaking with is having a completely different conversation than I thought I was having. One time I was speaking to a friend who said “points a b and c” and I mistook it as “abiency”. So again, thank you for your blog!

  40. 9 October 2012 at 9:19

    […] from someone with a form of auditory processing disorder, I HIGHLY recommend checking out the blog Andrea’s Buzzing About. She frequently writes about APD and many of her readers share […]

  41. natethiessen said,

    9 October 2012 at 1:51

    Hey Andrea nice post. Just wanted to pop by and say thanks. I was diagnosed with CAPS. its really tough in social situations and frustrating too, but has had its benefits I found. I process terrible with words, but visually I learn better than the average person. It has helped me with my animating/ fine art. feel free to check out my page. take care. I’m curious too know if people with APD are more prone to being artistic.

  42. Ilissa said,

    3 October 2012 at 17:32

    I am being evaluated for this in 2 Weeks. I KNOW in my heart that I have this. same thing, 5 audiograms,.all normal. Can’t hear!!! Thank you for writing this. I can now share with people close to me what my internal workings are like.

  43. Erica said,

    2 October 2012 at 17:01

    Oh my God! There is actually someone else out there that knows what I go through on a daily basis! Just listening to someone and trying to process what they are saying can give me a major headache. My family and friends get very frustrated with me. When I have to speak to a new person, I usually apologize to them for asking them to repeat themselves and tell them that I am hard of hearing.

  44. Whitney said,

    19 September 2012 at 11:32

    C.J. – and thank you for replying. It’s one of those things where you wouldn’t /wish/ it on others, but the fact others exist with the same sort of condition (or worse) makes one feel understood, at least… relevant, even.

    You may have already figured these out, but some things I’ve found myself doing to cope are:

    – Asking people to face you. Hearing issues seem to create at least some ability to read lips and faces, and the sound better hits /both/ your ears in addition to the extra visual queues.

    – Sitting closer to a speaker whenever possible in things like lectures, classes, seminars, etc. I never went so far as to tell anyone about my issues, just “I want to sit here because I’m having trouble hearing.” Never had an issue with that.

    – Writing down lists of things I’m asked to do. It never fails. I’m walking down the hallway at work and someone stops me to ask if I can fix their computer. I can’t at the time, so I say, hold on, let me jot this down so I don’t forget, and I’ll swing by later. Otherwise, I forget what I hear – VERY VERY short, short-term audio memory. What was I just saying? lol

    – As soon as more than two steps are given to me, I go, “Whoa, hold on. Let me write this down.” I once had a colleague complain about this tactic, she was in a hurry. “Do you want it done partially right now, or done right and completed the first time?” I asked her. She never snapped at me again.

    – Let my mind wander. I have been told that you should pay close attention to what people are saying. The problem is that I have a short attention span. The more I try to pay attention, the less I “hear.” It becomes a series of background noises to me. I’ve learned to feign attention, letting my mind wander. I pick up every few sentences and stay in the loop. I don’t know why this works, but it does. There IS a fine line, though… I have to be cognizant of the fact my mind is wandering, and make sure it stays in the present a little bit, or I miss everything – which is not what I want at all. I suspect the wandering is meant to allow me to recharge or something. Just a theory.

    – This is a big one. Repeat back what I hear, in a different way if possible. This is for two reasons. One, I often hear the /wrong/ thing and put together the wrong instruction set. The second reason is because even if I hear the right thing, I often misunderstand the /meaning/, or miss specific, clarifying words. “Be there at two” could mean THEY will be there at two, or it could be a command for ME to be there at two. “Did you say you expected me to be at that meeting as well, or are you just telling me when YOU will be there?” Simple, but you have no idea how much it can prevent. Ha, maybe you do.

    – When I demonstrated I didn’t hear them right, people often repeat exactly what they’d said, sometimes speaking louder as if I’m deaf. If I don’t get it the second time, I go, “Could you rephrase that?” Then the content becomes clearer with new words.

    – When I did a lot of phone work, I insisted I have a headset with two ear pads… both to cancel noise and provide it in stereo for both ears to pull into my brain for deciphering. It is nearly impossible for me to hear people with only one ear. Thankfully I don’t do much phone work anymore, if I did, I’d have issues with my current setup.

    – Walk on a certain side of people. I became conscious of this behaviour much later in life, but I had always done it. I seem to decipher better from my left ear. No idea why.

    – Ask people to move to a quieter place to talk. Usually all this takes is simply moving myself to a little corner. Speakers will follow without a word because it’s natural to want to be closer when talking to someone.

    – Checklists. This helps with distractions and keeps instruction sets firmly embedded in my head. I’d be lost without them.

    – Get enough sleep. Eat well. Everything physically possible to keep my mind sharp. The sharper it is, the easier the CAPD is to cope with.

    – Listening intently to music, learning instruments. I am _horrible_ at music and was even thought to be tone-deaf. But when I focus intently on how music fits together, I find that it’s easier to “hear” people for a while. It’s like music trains my brain. I found that studying keyboard and music theory for a while helped me to focus better on music, and the rest followed. Note: It took years to get to the point where focusing on music helps… and it has to be kept up with. I go through “programming” spells, and “music” spells, and it’s definitely a mindset training.

    – Closed captioning for TV, or headphones where plausible. I’m currently blessed with a husband who doesn’t mind the TV being loud to block out all other noises, but when I lived at home, CC and headphones were the only way I’d /watch/ TV.

    – I often email people with the information I understand, and ask them to verify (in writing, and by responding, so I have the original with their response). I also email MY meeting notes to everyone in meetings, to make sure everyone (especially me) is on the same page. I find it helpful to take literate notes because it keeps me involved in the meeting, so I become the unofficial note taker.

    I’m sure there are scads of other coping mechanisms out there… these are just things I’ve picked up. A place I love to re-read from time to time, mainly because I can check off just about everything Judith lists on the “symptoms” list, is this site: Andrea’s is good, too, of course, but you’re already here… and you may not have a /working/ niche yet, but you’ve found us. You belong /somewhere/, you’ll find that somewhere eventually.

    Oh, one more note: If you end up in a job where someone won’t help you when you request something simple, consider getting diagnosed. I’ve never had to pull the weight, but CAPD is protected under the ADA and companies MUST provide appropriate assistive devices or move you or whatever to accommodate. I wouldn’t want to work somewhere that wouldn’t do it anyway to help you help them be more efficient, but if you ever get stuck doing just that, it might be worth remembering.

    Speaking of jobs, I need to get ready for mine! lol


  45. Whitney said,

    18 September 2012 at 11:31

    C.J. – I know what you mean about the information being geared towards children. I went looking as an adult who was diagnosed as a teenager, and found very little on it. I’m 35 now and as far as I know, ONLY suffer from CAPD. I find it is very pronounced when I’m tired or sick, and have figured out that it’s because of how quickly I can reprocess information when I’m at full steam.

    As a teen, I asked what could be done about it and how I could cope. “Nothing, and you’re already doing everything we’d recommend,” I was told. I was also told I was very smart and it has helped me. That only made me feel doomed. I’ve since found lists of coping mechanisms they give children, and I do indeed do all of those that I can do completely on my own.

    Sometimes I’ve wondered if I have a touch of Asperger’s, but if so it’s very minor, and I believe CAPD could have caused similar symptoms in the form of psychological coping mechanisms. I have been obsessed with computers since I was 11, spending 8+ hours a day figuring out how to program in GW BASIC, or run DOS batch files. My mother has always noted my obsessions with dismay. I’ve been obsessed with music, specific artists, languages, cultures, codes, writing, sci fi/fantasy authours (specific ones), Helen Keller, efficiency. I’ve related to Star Trek characters Data and Seven the most because I never understood humanity as a whole, it was a foreign concept to me. (What’s up? :: confused look :: The … sky? Is there something wrong with your neck? Why would you ask me that?) I am _very_ good at being alone and simply staring out a window or finding something for myself to do, and interruptions drive me insane. Any time I hear speech I feel weakened and exhausted, especially if I’m tired already. When I’m very focused on something, like a computer game or some sort of scripting, I can tune every noise out for hours, speech included. As a teen, I gave up on the idea of college because I did not want to take speech or go to lectures. So I didn’t go.

    Early on, I resigned myself to the idea of working in retail.

    However, I’m bright, and apparently it shows. I ended up working in I.T. anyway. I’ve been in it since I was 23. Computers don’t speak (much, yet) and they’re almost entirely visual and tactile. I love them. What I didn’t realise is that I.T. involves people. Still, the technical portion far outweighs the annoyance of dealing with a lot, and by nature, I.T. requires lots of questions so I’m stereotyped as “I.T.” instead of “that lady who never understands anyone.” I didn’t realise until much later that I.T. was a natural interest for a person who has trouble understanding others. Whether it’s CAPD or some other disorder, a lot of nerdy/geeky types are afflicted (or, perhaps blessed) with social problems. When I met fellow geeks for the first time, I felt I finally belonged somewhere. I was sheltered, I had no idea such communities existed and that I wasn’t completely alone!

    In all verbal aspects of life, CAPD totally sucks and I simply cope with it. I hate crowds because the noises all come at me at once and it’s nearly impossible to understand anyone. Parties, lectures, meetings with more than one or two people, background noises, monitor hums, background music, television… these are all things that make it hard to “hear.” It sounds like gibberish mixed with English. I’ve had a lot of misunderstandings in my life.

    BUT, from a positive light, I have adapted and can be quite social now… mostly with fellow geek-types. As soon as someone I like gives me a funny look, I explain the issue and say, “If you want to make sure I understand you the first time, face me, and make sure I have your attention. That’ll help a lot.” This helps them know I care about what they’re saying and don’t want to miss any of it. Anyone who gets totally impatient with me at that point, I don’t care to know anyway. The disorder has likely helped me focus on my technical abilities. It gives me an edge on understanding people and being empathetic when others have problems. And it provided me with many interests that most people can’t say they have. Oh, and I’m a great listener – because I don’t respond for long periods of time while I process what someone is saying. Who would have thought this thing could /help/ people?

    So, it’s not all bad. The key is to accept who you are, go for what you are willing to work really hard for no matter what the obstacles might be, and screw what others /think/ you should be. Nobody knows you better than yourself. Draw strength from /you/ and if you get support along the way, that’s awesome. But no matter what, insist on being treated as a fellow human, because you are.


    • C.J. said,

      19 September 2012 at 5:32

      Thank you so much for your reply. I haven’t been formerly diagnosed with this, but I suspect that I have it, either way. It would explain a lot about what I’m going through lately. Sorry to hear that you haven’t been able to do much about it, but it seems like you’re coping exceptionally well. Either that, or sounds like you have pretty much overcome it. And I know what you mean about it getting worse when you’re either sick or tired. This has definitely been the case, and it helps to take a break here and there! But I have been feeling pretty fatigued lately, with even a touch of brain fog, and during those moments, it has been worse. You do sound like an exceptionally intelligent person, however, capable of overcoming a frustrating problem such as this, and there is no argument from me about this. Lately, I’ve just been brushing this whole thing off as kind of a minor irritant. But, honestly, I wish there was something that could fix this.

      You’re also right about the lists that help children to cope – if it works for children, it should surely work for adults as well, one would think. Except that the information found on the internet is very brief, and bland. So much so, that all I can really find are list of symptoms, and absolutely NO tips on how to cope with it. You shouldn’t feel doomed, however. I believe that there will be something eventually that will be done to help those of us with this problem. But, it doesn’t seem to be getting any scientific interest.

      From the description you’ve given, it sounds as though you could have a touch of AS. Especially given the obsessive interests (which probably aren’t related to CAPD). If they are, then it’s probably doubtful that I even have AS. In fact, I think I could have been misdiagnosed, because I really don’t have trouble discerning between emotions, or reading body language. I am very socially withdrawn though. But, when you keep misunderstanding people, or you’re not sure how to respond in a social situation, it’s difficult to get out there and mix with people.

      I know what you mean about feeling weakened or exhausted when you hear speech – I feel exactly the same way. And it’s a problem. So much so, that I can’t even bare to take lectures these days, or LISTEN to a tutorial. I prefer to just teach myself something straight from the pages of a book. So, I’m glad that you’re finding I.T. enjoyable, as I didn’t particularly enjoy it much at all, and am currently searching for a new idea in terms of career path… Hopefully something that’s interesting, though.

      I’m also glad that you’ve found a niche, or place of belonging. A lot of people are lucky, in that regard. Personally, I don’t really feel that I fit in with geeky types. But, then again, I’ve never really fit in anywhere. It’s a burden at times, but it’s something I’m gradually getting used to.

      Yeah, I definitely know what you mean about background noises, and making it impossible to hear. It’s bad enough understand 100% of the time without any kind of background noise at all. But, I feel, that the more I try to stimulate myself by listening, the better it seems to be getting. Not saying that it has improved a lot, but it has improved a little bit. It’s still extremely frustrating, though.

      Who would have thought that CAPD could enhance our ability to listen, but I am a great listener too! Because it often takes a while to process, but for most people they just hear it and blurt out a response.

      Thanks for the kind advice, and the tips, and also for sharing your experience. It has been somewhat enlightening. And also, it has been helpful. I appreciate the compliments, and the response.

  46. C.J. said,

    18 September 2012 at 4:56

    Hi there, I came across your blog post on Auditory Processing Disorder, and I can identify with everything in your post. I am a 26 year old male, and I’ve had this kind of trouble for quite some time now. But, during the past couple of years, it has become even more pronounced, as I keep mis-hearing what people have said. I also have a pretty terrible short-term memory, and often forget a lot of the conversation. My social skills are appalling, and I have been diagnosed with “Asperger Syndrome” and Social Anxiety back in 2011. I am frustrated because it’s difficult to watch television or listen to the radio and I can’t seem to focus on a lot of what people are saying. I mean, I get most of it, but there are parts, here and there, where I’m just thinking “wait, what?”. And I ask them to repeat. But, they rarely ever bother to explain themselves, so it leaves me having to piece together what the person has just said. This happens especially when there is rapid speech, and long, complex sentences. I just wish there was some kind of an effective treatment for this condition, as it really is beginning to have an impact on me and my self-esteem. And I feel that it could potentially be the cause of many failed friendships through out my life. It is really hard for me to sit down and listen to something, because I don’t always understand what’s being said, I take things literally, and people might think that this is a sign that I’m stupid or slow or something. This is why it has always been hard for me to follow a movie, or a television show, or even the radio (which I don’t listen to much anymore). I hadn’t really thought about subtitles (even though they’re seldom available anyway). So, thanks for the tip! Lately, it’s like I’ve lost all enjoyment in the things I used to enjoy. I prefer reading to actually listening to things, and it has been that way for much of my life. I was studying Information Technology, but found that I couldn’t really take in too much of the lecture, and a lot of the lecturer’s speech sounded like gibberish at times. This caused a great deal of frustration within myself, and I eventually dropped out of my studies, and now I’m seriously worried about finding a job, given the potential that I won’t be able to follow complicated instructions on the job. I also have ADHD, so my attention span and short-term memory isn’t all that good either. I looked up this condition on the internet, numerous times, but all I can honestly find is information available for CHILDREN in school. There is NOTHING on the internet about adults with the disorder.

    • Kristy-lee said,

      17 December 2012 at 8:14

      CJ-Just want to say I have read your post/comment and know how you feel. It is so weird to get on here and read that someone is actually feeling the same way I have. I agree that there should be more investigations and information available. I am really thinking hard about taking this on and fighting for it as I know personally what it is like. I am in Australia and there is not much out, the only things you can sometimes get is for children but it is very limited. Please do not feel you are alone as I can honestly relate and understand what it is like to loose friendships. As I am 23yr old and I too have gone through friends due to lack of understanding. -Kristy-lee

  47. Paula said,

    3 September 2012 at 4:59

    Dear Andrea:

    My son is just four years old; he has been seeing a Speech Pathologist during the summer and she strongly believes that he has ADP. I am not 100% sure about this because sometimes I fell he can understand me but sometimes I notice he can not hear me.

    He has an IEP and will start receiving special services in the public school system next Tuesday; however, and after reading your blog I start thinking that probably a private small school could be a better environment for him.

    Could you recommend me a doctor or a hospital or any other medical center that specializes in ADP? What do you think is the best place for me to take my child?

    Looking for your advice, Paula

  48. Rene said,

    21 August 2012 at 20:20

    My daughter was diagnosed with APD a few weeks ago. She is 12 years old. Since she started school I asked for help since I knew something was wrong. She has low self esteem and thinks she is stupid!
    I know it’s a long way ahead, but I’m so glad we know what’s wrong and I need all the help I can get.
    I’ll be popping in regularly. Thanks for your blog!

  49. Sharzad said,

    19 August 2012 at 1:54

    I want to thank all of you guys, who post your feelings and troubles in words for us rehabilitation therapists to know! I deal with kids with APD and they can not always tell me how they feel! By coming back to this site, I could always figure out something new to help them! Thank you all!

  50. Anon said,

    13 August 2012 at 2:12

    I WISH that I could hear mistaken song lyrics! A lot of the time, it sounds like complete, unintelligible gibberish, and I can only pick out a few words.

  51. Patsy said,

    10 August 2012 at 20:52

    I am the exact same way. I am having a bad day today and my brains lightbulb just isn’t on. I needed comfort and I enjoy reading about others that share this same disability as me. I applied for SSI today but they denied me because my medical conditions aren’t hardcore enough. I struggled through school up until I graduated and didn’t make it through college because of my APD. I’ve worked my ass off every day of my life, but my abilities to cope just aren’t strong enough so why the hell would someone deny me if they haven’t yet to walk in my shoes? The toughest part is.. Is that yes! It is an invisible learning disability and sometimes, people forget and don’t treat you how you want to be treated cause they forget cause we look normal. I’d hate to say this, but I’m going to anyway… It would be nice to look like someone who has down syndrome or something so people would take me seriously. People need to know more about this learning difference. And I also have ADD. Horrible mixture! Anyway, just wanted to cope… So here I am. Thanks for this blog. It’s wonderful and I’m here with you struggling. Stay positive and dont give up.

    23 years old…

    Ps, it makes me mad cause when I look up APD on the Internet, all they talk about is the disorder in children and teens. What about the people who have been standing in the dark for years?? (you nailed it on this one!)

    • listen2up said,

      23 January 2013 at 16:50

      Patsy, yes, I also dislike the lack of information online about APD in adults – is it expected we’d all outgrow it? The invisibility and lack of ease in encapsulating its effects do make interacting and feeling understood and appreciated for our efforts hard! I like the discussion Andrea has triggered. I tried to distill some of the experience for people who interact with, or have, APD (

  52. Michele Hermet said,

    10 August 2012 at 6:15

    Hello Sara,

    I have posted a few replies to people but it seems that they have been taken out, I don’t know why… Maybe the moderator thought that I was promoting myself? This is far from it. I have lived with a similar condition until I was 32 years old. Thankfully, I met a very special therapist when I was still living in France. My ENT sent me to him and his treatment, called “audio-psycho-phonology” made a huge impact in my life. To the point that I have changed careers at an older age, went back to school as soon as I could, and I am now able to help others as well. My practice is in Santa Monica, California. What are the odds that someone from there would post here ? I truly believe in what I do because I have witnessed results on myself and others, over and over and over. Unfortunately, this type of therapy is not very spread in the US and the practitioners don’t always know what they are doing… Although some of them are very good too.

    If you want to find out more, please feel free to message me or search on the net “audio-psycho-phonology” and “Tomatis” (the founder)


  53. Sara said,

    9 August 2012 at 17:16

    I grew up thinking I was dumb. Everything was a struggle for me in school. I learned to read by memorizing what the words looked like and intently listening to the word being pronounced by someone as they were reading it. I have been accused of not listening to people or not seeming like I care about what they are saying. The fact is however…I am listening harder than I think anyone else around me listens…and it is exhausting. When I was finally diagnosed at 37 years of age it was kind of a relief. But even after being diagnosed my family was not helpful.

    I was working as a medical assistant at a small family practice office at the time I was diagnosed. I had asked the nurse practitioner at the office I worked at who I had decided to see as a patient too if she could refer me to an audiologist because I was wondering if I was developing a hearing loss. After going to the regular audiologist and being told my hearing was just fine the audiologist decided to send me to an auditory specialist because of some of my answers to her questionaire. I was diagnosed with CAPD at the time and the specialist indicated that she was going to send a copy of the results to the nurse practitioner I was seeing. It never even occurred to my brain that the main doctor at the office where I was working was going to open mail directed to my nurse practitoner and read about my disablity. He did though and the following day called me up on the phone (it was a Saturday) at home and told me that I was fired. He didn’t really give me a reason for firing me. Then I started to put two and two together and spell out four….I saw his signature on the copy of the report that the nurse practitioner had given me after she received it.

    I am now married and my husband really is very understanding toward my disablity. Sometimes he gets frustrated when I have to make him repeat what he is saying and when I take things so literally or do not seem to understand what he is trying to tell me…but overall he is my one man support group.

    My biggest problem is at work. I am in a job that is basically benneth my ability level…but I found that I wasn’t able to do a lot of other jobs that require me to be fast paced in my thinking/listening skills and also that requires a lot of communication. People act rudely toward me a lot of the time. But I do not know why. I am kind of figuring it has something to do with this disablity but I don’t think I can really do anything to make it better. I have not told very many people about my disablity at work because most of the people that I have felt obligated to inform seem to think that if you say you have a disablity that means you are stupid. I am not stupid though. I really need to feel like I can talk to people that are going through what I am in my work environment. I admit that even though I know I am working as hard as possible every day at work that I am constantly worried that for some reason they might fire me. I can’t lose my job. My husband and I need for both of us to be working. Since we work in different departments but for the same company I feel some safety in that and can’t in any way imagine how hard it would be if I had to find and keep another job somewhere else. Is there a chat room or support group that I could join?

    I am very happy that my mother-in-law found this site. It makes me feel less alone knowing that other people are struggling in a similar manner to me. The difficult part is knowing that there aren’t any real solutions to my disablity. I feel like I have been put in a world that was not in any way made for people like myself to function properly. I also feel like somehow the fact that I am different then other people is a complete offense, nusance and burden to others around me that have to “deal” with me. Any assistance you could offer would be so much appreciated. Thanks! Sara

    • listen2up said,

      23 January 2013 at 16:57

      Sara, I could have written much of what you said except having a supportive husband – I still have arguments in my head toward mine who dumped me at mid-life for the fact everything was always a struggle (before my APD was identified). There is a discussion group at: started by someone in the UK with people from the U.S. too.

  54. callie said,

    8 August 2012 at 3:51

    I am so overwhelmed right now I can’t even read this completely. I never thought anyone was going through the same thing I was. You describe everything I struggle with to a T. I was diagnosed with Meniere’s decades ago, and just in the last few weeks, after a lot of tests, have been told that’s not what I have, that it’s an auditory processing disorder, which I still don’t know much about, but your post describes it perfectly. Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s so powerful realizing I’m not alone. I have felt so lost for so long, like I’m constantly translating. It’s exhausting and so frustrating.

  55. Kedrian said,

    4 August 2012 at 2:49

    Thank you so much for creating this website! As I read it I wanted to cry. Everything I have struggled with all my life suddenly makes sense. From the time I began kindergarten up until now, a student, I suffered and fell behind because I could not wrap my brain around what everyone else was getting so quickly. By the time I could cognitively process what the teacher had said, I had already missed about 3 to 6 minutes of other valuable information. I have always suffered because of this. I look normal. I talk normal. And I sound normal… but I am not.

    It wasn’t until a month ago I was diagnosed with ADP. I have been teased my whole life for being known as someone hard of hearing when in fact, my hearing is just fine. Teachers have always treated me as though I’m trying to be a smartass. I’ve been notorious for asking what everyone else considers to be “stupid” questions. What everyone else is able to get, I have had to struggle and work twice as hard to get half of that. I will continue to struggle because there is no cure and this is not the kind of disability that has a famous face to it .

    On a good note, I will be taking this information and designing a tutorial on how to help those with it, how to teach those with it, and how to treat and care for those with it. God bless you and thank you so much!


  56. Gena said,

    3 August 2012 at 21:03

    Your article has been most informative. I was diagnosed about 10 years ago and was told that there was nothing modern medicine could do to help my condition and just recently visited another doctor hoping for help. However, after reading your article, I believe that I have suffered from ADP all my life. I remember having problem focusing in school or understanding what my teachers were saying. I often would close myself off in my room to get completely quiet to reread or study all the days lessions to catch up on what had been said during class.
    However it is getting worse now. I beingning to have difficult hearing and understanding people in a one on one setting that is quiet. Very Frustrating!


    • S said,

      25 June 2013 at 11:50

      I just read your post. Do you have your tutorial? My son has CAPD and his experience has been similar to your post. Thank you.

  57. Harold Barrett said,

    23 June 2012 at 17:14

    no tengo este problema. es muy diferente.


  58. Angela said,

    21 June 2012 at 20:34

    I am 38 and have adult onset processing problems. This is very scary. My Doctors keep testing my hearing and telling me it is great. I say Yes, I hear your words with my ears I just don’t understand your words with my brain unless I am looking at you and you are talking slowly. Voice mail is suddenly incomprehensible to me. What test gave you the results that showed you comprehension rates per ear?

  59. Whitney said,

    15 May 2012 at 2:24

    This post was a few years back but it still applies. I was diagnosed with this when I was a kid, again as a teen, and have tried coping in so many ways. Very few people catch on that there’s something wrong, because I typically figure things out so quickly, but whenever I get tired or sick, forget about it… everything I do so fast gets dumped and I can’t understand much of anything anymore. Folks just don’t get it… it’s not about paying attention, or listening better, or caring, it’s about diverting every last ounce of strength to filtering out everything else around you and then going through a whole dictionary in the mind, comparing words or sounds you think you’re hearing to the words in the dictionary that somehow make sense. Context helps a lot, but those one-liners where someone goes, “Hey, can you blah blah blah” – that’s like, “Wait, what?” I could not have written about this whole “disability” any better than you did. I put “disability” in quotes because I’m far from disabled – for me, it’s given me a unique perspective on communication with and understanding of various types of people… and helped shape who I am, with my visual memory, gift of written words, etc. Anywho, thank you for summarising it as you have and forming words to explain it to the non-initiated. Also, to those who think we’re lazy, don’t care, or don’t listen, keep this in mind: We bother to ask you to repeat, because we care about what you’re saying. When you start giving us grief about it, it makes it hard to keep caring. It’s like cranking a wheel in order to power someone else’s light. Eventually you’re tired out and you still have nothing to see by. Lazy, my butt. ;)

  60. hearingtestsmelbourne said,

    10 May 2012 at 5:07

    In several cases, this disorder especially in children may be associated with conditions like attention deficit disorder, specific language impairment, dyslexia, etc. Auditory processing disorder randomly prevents the sufferers from processing auditory information. With the help of hearing tests, you can diagnose this disorder in its early stage.

  61. 8 May 2012 at 19:51

    Thanks so much for the amazing post! As I was reading everything all I could think of was my 13 year old son who has been Dx with CAPD since he was in grade one.
    He unlike a reply post my son doesn’t want to know what ails him! He would much rather pretend that he is OK instead of working hard at being the best he can in all areas of his life.
    In Canada especially here in Ontario there is little to no help for these kids. CPAC (our lovely government center for persons with disabilities) doesn’t recognize the disorder so we get NO funding for testing like the educational psych evaluation which is what he would benefit from the most.
    The audiologist that Dx him gave us a list of recommendations to assist my boy in the classroom setting and a separate one for home. The school refused to do anything for him simply because he functioned at an age/grade appropriate level(s). I blew a gasket and fought like hell which very quickly became futile.
    We pulled out all the stops at home and as he has gotten older and maturing more his deficits are screaming out and very apparent now more than ever.
    I am glad that I found all of you! Its been a lonely ride for my husband and I.
    I look forward to coming back and reading more. Thank you for your posts and reply s!!! I kinda made my day :)

  62. 2 May 2012 at 4:08

    I am not alone!!! Oh how people get mad at me for making them repeat something a lot of times know I just nod or try to decode it. I found if you joke about what you actually heard people don’t get annoyed at you. My mother knows I have a disability she helped me out a lot through the year with essays and being there. But she seemed to understand my brother more who has OCD and ADD. With me if I didn’t understand what she said she got so mad at me and say that I am not listening. Even though I told her I thought said something completely difference. Favorite saying “You know what I said” Still have issues. I know I am not a idiot even though people sometimes thinks I am because I stumble on words. I want to just show them may degree and my 3.7 GPA. But I prove them wrong anyways not on purpose but they usually end up looking like the idiot I wish they didn’t judge me so fast.

  63. Brooke said,

    18 April 2012 at 23:51

    thanks so much for your story about living with audio processing problems. It has been so much of a help seeing that others suffer and have been able to cope with this problem. I have had audio processing, adhd and dylexia all my life. it hasn’t been dignosed until my now 10 year old son was dignosed with all these problems in recent years. all the problems that I had in my school year life has now been explained though my son. I finally have names for what I could never explain to anyone the reasons for my struggles. Now both my son and I are on the road of being able to be helped and can live a productive life.

  64. Tara said,

    18 April 2012 at 20:34

    Hi Joy,
    My son was diagnosed with both, right around the same time. Yes, my son also, saw a
    Speech Pathologist, from K-1st grade, but wasn’t sent for all of the testing until this year (3rd grade). We went for the Pychlogical eval., at Thanksgiving break. The Audiologist testing, in Late January, and then, Speech Testing, in February.
    As for the worksheets, I just went on the Internet and typed in Synonms & Antonyms, and printed out a bunch of free ones. As for books, right now, we are reading “The BFG”, and we just take turns reading & discuss it as we go. As much money as we have to pay out, unfortunately, no one gives me anything, to help him at home. I just search the Internet all the time for anything, that can possibly help my son! I feel that you have to be the primary advocate, in teaching your child! No one else, is going to show or have the concern that you will!
    Good Luck,
    P.S. Also, there is a wonderful website for Speech worksheets, that I have found. It is called, “Mommy Speech Therapy”.

  65. Tara said,

    13 April 2012 at 22:08

    Yes, my son has MERLD, Central Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), Reading Comprehension problems, speech problems with ‘S’ & ‘Z’,and he is 2 years behind, in his reading level. We have just recently, found all this out, through a series of testing. I have been strolling the Internet, for anything I can find to help my child. He has recently started to a Speech Pathologist, twice a week, an Audiologist, once a month, and she has him on the Dichotic & phonemic synthesis disks, which he listens to & repeats what he hears every night. I also, work with him for a minimum, of an hour every night, with his Synonyms & Antonyms, Speech, & then, we read together & discuss the comprehension. It is all over-whelming to me. We have just started all of this 16 days ago, but I have seen some small improvement, but I am happy about that. If you have any questions that I can answer, I would be happy to? I hope my story helps?

    • Joy said,

      18 April 2012 at 19:40

      Well, my child was diagnosed with language issues when she was in K5, and went to speech therapy for 2 years, at which time I changed to a cheaper learning specialist, then 2 years later I switched back to the language therapy and honestly have not seen great improvement. This year I had her with a reading specialist which has helped. It has become evident to me that I need to do something like what you are doing…working every day on something but I don’t know the best way to go about it. Where do you get your Synonyms & Antonyms – is that from the SLP? What do you read together to discuss comprehension? Is it just regular books that you ask question or do you use some sort of curriculum? Which did you find out about first – APD or MERLD?

  66. Tara said,

    13 April 2012 at 17:09

    Does anyone know anything about Mixed Receptive & Expressive Disorder? I have read the earlier a child is diagnosed the better. Well, my son, has just been diagnosed at 9 1/2. Is that considered early or late?

    • Joy said,

      13 April 2012 at 20:27

      Yes, my child has MERLD. Now we are having her tested for APD next month. I wonder if anyone else has this combination and what the best treatment is for it.

  67. Tara said,

    12 April 2012 at 17:31

    Thank you for your reply! We are in the Atlanta area, & have a wonderful Audiologist. My son listens to 2 disks every night (Dicotic & Phonemic Synthesis). He puts head phones on, and repeats the words as he heard them. He has been doing this now, for the past two weeks, and I have tested him on the words 3 times, and his scores have improved. I am concerned about his reading comprehension. I have started working with him every night, and it is very frustrating. Any insight would be appreciated! He is a wonderful decoder of words, he just has a hard time with the meanings of words. He also, has receptive & expressive disorder. I know that we have just started all of this, but I just hope that we have caught all of this early enough?

    • Sharzad said,

      13 April 2012 at 17:24

      Dear Tara, It sounds like you are on the right track, because you are experiencing results. I have a book that I suggest my families read and I think you would like it too! Terry James Bliss is the leading researcher on APD. I have met her in person, and I know first hand that she truly cares about each individual child and the family, in addition to only research. The book is named, “when the brain can’t hear”, and I think you will find it very helpful. As a mother I know how you feel, because we all want the best for our kids! Just know that you have time to manage and teach your son all necessary things to have a normal and successful life. Please let all of us know what you think about the book! I am sure everything will work out!

      • Tara said,

        13 April 2012 at 17:46

        Hi Sharzad,
        Thank you so much, for your reply! I will be sure, and read the book that you suggested. Anything, that will help me, in aiding the learning, of my son, is a welcome suggestion! Yes, I am seeing a small light, at the end, of the tunnel, with a small about of success, so far! This sight has helped me understand, about what my son is going though!
        Thanks again,

  68. sharzad said,

    12 April 2012 at 17:01

    I am so happy to have found this page! All the information, insights, and emotions written here helps me tremendously with my little kids! I am an Audiologists working with mostly kids with APD. I think the early intervention is the key to a bright future for them. A multidisciplinary team is really important to get the max benefit. I am located in CA, and I want to thank you for being the voice of APD.

    • Paula said,

      3 September 2012 at 9:31

      I was wondering do you know someone with your technical expertise in the Baltimore-DC Metropolitan Area; or probably New York? Do you know who is the person who knows the most about this disorder (APD)?

  69. Tara said,

    11 April 2012 at 22:33

    My son is 9 1/2 year old, & has just recently been diagnosed with CAPD (it takes 1 1/2 minutes longer for information to travel from his left ear, to the right side of the brain), he is doing AIT training everyday at home, and seeing the Audiologist, once a month. He is 2 years behind, in his reading level, and has recently, started seeing a Speech Pathologist, twice a week. His reading comprehension also, isn’t very good. I work with him every night, with all of this as well. All this has been very over-whelming to me, and your story did give me some hope! I just want everything to work out? Any insight would be very much appreciated!

    • sharzad said,

      12 April 2012 at 17:14

      Dear Tara, there are a few computerized therapy softwares available that you could use at home to help your son. If you tell me where you are located, I could even try to direct you to a center that provides support. There are only a handful of Audiologist who provide support and rehabilitation for APD, and finding one is really important. That one Audiologist could be a great source of information! There are lots of things that could be done to remedy the situation. Hang in tight and let me know if I could help any way! Just know, everything will work out! We have the knowledge that could help!

  70. Julie said,

    9 April 2012 at 0:47

    You blog provided ALOT of beneficial information!

    I can’t help but wonder if my grandson may have this disorder.

    Something is wrong with him, I just don’t know what it is. I believe he can “hear” as he can hear all kinds of noises. I have tested this with very low music. He responds to music well, he will start dancing when he hears it. (he is 18 months) however if his back is to me and I talk to him he never responded or shows any sign of hearing me… I assume and have been thinking it is because he does not understand me enough to know I am talking to him.

    He speaks, has been for only a month and a half. However can’t say ANYTHING where anyone can understand ANYTHING he is saying!!! Now, if you watch him talk to you he is very serious, appears to be expressive, even gets tickled and what he is saying. I can tell you though, it is nothing even remotely close to English.

    I can’t help but wonder if he is speaking the way he hears things. If a person has never heard a word correctly, then he/she would never know how to say the word…

    • Sharzad said,

      14 April 2012 at 16:16

      Dear Julie, what a thoughtful Grandmother you are! You are absolutely right about your comment that kids usually talk the way, they hear. I have to agree with you that the little one needs a hearing test to make sure ears are clear of any infection or abnormality, and that the hearing sensitivity is normal. Please make sure that you have an Audiologist do the testing, because we are all trained to perform tests that review the health of not only the ears, but also the nerves and the processing part of the signal as well. Good luck, and if you need more help in finding a reliable Audiologist please let me know.

  71. dinesh said,

    4 April 2012 at 4:56

    Your article is priceless… and the word are like gems. I can relate to it and now realize why I behave the way I do today. Thank you so much for sharing this and explaining it exactly the way I feel.
    Given the fact that there is no cure for this… what according to you should be the ideal career/field of work for people like me? I moved into a consulting role recently and no wonder my frustration level has suddenly increased as I need to interact with my clients, conduct workshops and gather information verbally…
    If you could provide some guidance on what kind of job is best suited, i’ll be grateful again…

  72. 30 March 2012 at 13:26

    I do not know how I stumbled across this blog but It is like you have put into words exactly what I have been trying to explain to people my entire life. It is frustrating trying to get people to understand what I go through when I don’t understand it myself and I just end up contradicting myself, sounding confused, and feeling stupid. I’m not jumping on the “self diagnosed from the internet” ban wagon and assuming I have this exact issue but you have described me in a way I couldn’t and it is now a step in the right direction into understanding myself. If I could afford to I would go to a specialist for learning and hearing disabilities but until then I at least can put into words what I feel like and deal with everyday. Thanks!

  73. Nic said,

    29 March 2012 at 7:03

    Thank you so much for writing this article. My mother is 51 years old and we have self diagnosed her as having a central auditory processing disorder. She was opening her mouth in awe reading your article….she finally found someone who experiences what she does!! Unfortunately she has had quite afew tests done, including a neurologist who unfortunately didn’t really want to ‘go there’ when we bought up the fact we believe she has CAPD. She is easily distracted, we feel as though we have to repeat and even on repeating she still has not processed the sentence. We find if we phrase the sentence in a different way, something switches and she is fine. It is extremely frustrating for her, as like you say, people think she is being rude and uncaring…and that is simply just not the case, she is the most kind and caring person you could ever meet. We are in Perth, Western Australia and I really don’t know where to begin to get testing done for her so she can say ‘I have CAPD’. She did not have this as a child, it came on rather drastically and suddenly when she was in her 30’s. I hope one day we can find a resource her to help her with a diagnosis. I thank you again for the article :)

    • Sharzad said,

      14 April 2012 at 16:29

      Hi Nick, I am sorry to hear that Neurologists were not helpful, he or she should have at least refer out! You need to find an Audilogist in your area who deals with APD. But your comment that rephrasing helps your mom in comprehension, is absolutely correct, and actually is one of the techniques we suggest! I think a good Audiologist needs to run not only a hearing sensitivity test on your mom, but also a Hearing In Noise test to find out other possible causes of the problem. Sometimes a recent head trauma could trigger the difficulties experienced. Good Luck.

  74. Hilary Thompson (Mr) said,

    25 March 2012 at 8:49

    Hi Andrea

    We have two hearing clinics in Adelaide (Australia) and see a number of kids with APD. We’re producing a booklet and would like to use small sections from your blog in it. We think your description of what it’s like to be an adult with APD will be helpful to people trying to understand their kids.

    Are you happy for us to do this? I can give you more info, if you want it.


    Hilary Thompson (Mr)

  75. Kim DeNapolis said,

    23 March 2012 at 14:38

    I just wanted to thank you for writing your articles on APD. My 5 and 1/2 year old son was just diagnosed and I wanted to know what he was experiencing. Your article allowed me to better understand his challenges. I have read all the clinical descriptions but your description allowed me to understand really how it sounds to him and what the challenge presents to him. Thanks for your wonderful post and I look forward to reading more from you! You are the only articles I read that really put a human voice to the challenge.

  76. Tracey said,

    18 March 2012 at 19:01

    I use to always say its as if my son can not think outside the box. Then oneday I mention it to his teacher and she said, “it appear he has a processing problem”. I look up processing and found out about Auditory Processing Disorder. During our IEP, I brought the group information about signs of CAPD. I also brought documentation on all the different programs we try. The school recommend Sylvan Learning but his test was above average to average in most areas except for expressive thinking. With all this information, they tested my son and he has severe CAPD with a deficit of 13. Now, we are doing Earobics, they are putting him in a reading comprehension program etc. I guess what I am saying is be prepare when you have in meeting at the school about it.

  77. Sam Perkins said,

    18 March 2012 at 15:40

    Thank you so much for this!

    My son is currently undergoing investigation, though from his symptoms it is highly likely that he has APD. It is a lonely place, and I get funny looks when dealing with him in public. I have had to fight for 4 years to get to where we are now.

    When he was in reception class, the teacher noticed that he ‘didn’t seem able to hear properly’. His hearing test came back fine. So they left him to it. He is now in year 2 and I get the ‘he doesn’t listen’ every time. He says he forgets what the teacher says as she speaks to fast (she doesn’t but this just shows the problem!) I have learned to get on his level and talk slowly and enunciate every sound.

    But in busy, noisy environments it is a nightmare! I dread them, and I have no idea how to cope. I guess it will be the case until we get the diagnosis we need.

    So it is helpful to read others accounts of this problem. The Special Needs Teacher had never heard of APD. So hopefully our meeting will help any other child with the possibility of APD.

  78. alyce said,

    10 March 2012 at 4:00

    I am so glad you wrote about this. I’ve never heard about APD before and just happened onto your blog while searching for something else. This describes what I’ve struggled with for years. I’ve tried explaining this to my husband and have withdrawn myself from social interactions because I cannot follow a lot of conversations. Thank you for the illumination!

  79. Diamond Robinson said,

    9 March 2012 at 5:32

    Hello Andrea.I see you have a hard time understanding and remembering what people say to you.well this has happened to me before.I was in class and my friend wanted to play black jack with me and another girl and I asked him to explain it like 3 times and then before we Began to play I asked him again. I didn’t want to pretend like I knew how to play so I asked him.while he was explaining it to me it seemed like I just wasn’t understanding or processing or remembering what he said.he then called me stupid. Now it’s not the first time I’ve been called stupid but I was fed up with being called stupid,or that I have horrible paying attention skills or I have bad memory, So I wanted to change this bad habit or “apd” experiences I keep having (not the first time it happened) and well that was at least 4 months I don’t have those experiences anymore. All it takes is need to practice your listening skills (in order to understand what is being said you have to listen).you have the advantage to practice your listening skills everday. Don’t know how to listen look it up.hundreds of sites to look it up on. Communicating should be easy for you after you’ve done that.

  80. Cynthia A. Howard said,

    8 March 2012 at 22:41

    Thanks! my son has APD and you make more sense, so maybe I can help him better now. Do you know how to help him sleep better? He complains alot about noise fro cars, neighbors, dogs and he can not rest. thanks!

  81. Elizabeth said,

    6 March 2012 at 20:25

    I am 14 and have recently been diagnosed with APD, but I have hearing disabilities as well. I’m getting a hearing aid soon, and wanted to know whether this would help my APD? I usually sit outside in registration at school and it’s effecting my socially, I don’t particularly want to interact with people as I’m not understanding them and not hearing them. Thanks for writing this, it has helped me a lot :)

  82. Jayne said,

    3 March 2012 at 16:54

    What a great article, most seem to be about children. I am dyslexic as it appears many other people with APD are I wonder if there is a connection? I had thought I was going deaf and just couldn’t hear properly. It’s been a revelation finding out I can hear just fine. I have been booked in for training which apparently will give me hints and tips on how to live with it. I’ll post back once I’ve had it. Thanks once again it’s been interesting finding out about it.

    • andrea said,

      3 March 2012 at 19:00

      Jayne, I do not know if there is a specific link between dyslexia and APD, but there IS a general frequency of people having several kinds of processing differences. For example, having AD/HD along with APD and/or Aspergers/Autism and/or dyslexia and/or dysgraphia and/or Tourette’s/nonspecific tics and/or hyperacussis and/or prosopagnosia (faceblindness) and/or topographical agnosia …

      The problem is that sometimes one encounters “diagnostic stoppage” — once a particular diagnosis has been given, most all difficulties are assigned to that, and accessory issues are not necessarily tested for. Sometimes those other issues do not become apparent until the primary problem has been addressed (e.g. getting meds and learning coping strategies for my ADHD then allowed the other things to be noticeable).

  83. Samantha Whitaker said,

    28 February 2012 at 8:41

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve spent all my life trying to explain this to friends, family, teachers and partners and asking them to please excuse me. That I’m sorry, I don’t understand why I can’t understand them, but I am trying so hard. And apologizing again because I thought it was just me being weird or stupid and that I was the only person who had this problem.

    I feel a tremendous amount of relief to have read this. I’ve never been able to explain it and every time I’ve tried I’ve just got more and more frustrated. I can’t begin to explain my relief and happiness to finally read someone explaining EXACTLY what I’ve tried to explain for so long!

  84. Benjamin said,

    28 February 2012 at 8:25

    For those of you with older kids where notetaking has become and issue, because either fallowing what the teacher or professor says detracts from the actual understanding of it, try a Livescribe Pen, as a student in college with CAPD this device lets me worry less about catching every little word the professor says, and just write down the important notes and diagrams, on micro dot paper notebooks from livescribe which then can be downloaded with the notes onto a computer and relistend to. it is a great study tool and a good way to go over what was said in class very simple to use. i would definitly credit it with helping me pass more then a few classes.

  85. katrina said,

    27 February 2012 at 13:17

    Thank you so much for the suggestions as a parent its so hard when you want to be sure all the steps are being taken to get you kid on track but then you worry you are over reacting. My sons school seems to think that everything will be all better as soon as they hook up the fm transmittor thing. I don’t see how that will fix all the problems if he is already so far behind. I am hoping to meet with the principal today. Fingers crossed

    • andrea said,

      3 March 2012 at 18:53

      I’m sure that they would *like* to think that just getting him the FM system will solve the problems. It will help, and help some issues, but it won’t help all of them, and it can even create other problems. (The old “Law of Unintended Consequences”.) May I suggest you read this post?

      Also, even the improvement it provides will only help now — it won’t make up for what he has not previously gained!

      “I think it’s generally not sensible or fair (or nice) to assume that the existence of assistive devices makes everyone alike and that we therefore should expect everyone to “shape up” and meet our expectations of normality.”
      ~ jane meyerding

  86. katrina said,

    26 February 2012 at 15:12

    my 7 year old son was just diagnosed last week with APD he is in grade 1 and his readind and spelling is at a level 3 and rest of class is level 11 we couldnt figure out why things “just dont stick” he would know that you spell cat ,C,A,T and we could do it for an hour and then 20 min later have no clue. my question is what do i need to have the school do or provide for him in order to try to get him even close to the level he should be at? i am not sure if a laptop with lessons on it and a head set would help to drown out backround distractions,or do i insist on an IEP any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thanks

    • DorkyDeb said,

      26 February 2012 at 15:45

      Katrina, My now 8-yr-old daughter has APD, and she did exactly the same thing you are describing. We homeschool her, and it has made all the difference in the world. She is happy. She is confident. She is not trying to figure out what the teacher said, while they keep going without her. I can make sure she heard me, before we move on. So she is not always trying to “catch up”. Also her hearing specialist was able to tell me at her most recent testing that her right ear is slightly better than her left. (Her APD symptoms are the worst in her left ear.) So she recommended that I sit on her right side when I teach her. So we changed our usual seating arrangement, and that helped some too.

    • andrea said,

      27 February 2012 at 3:04


      There are some suggestions under the “STRATEGIES THAT HELP” section of my post. I cannot really tell you whether or not a laptop would help. Given that your son now has an official diagnosis and also a wide lag between his abilities and those of his peers, it would seem that some kind of remedial instruction BUT something that is tailored to his abilities and deficits. (If he’s already had remedial reading coursework, then more of the same kind of method isn’t going to help.)

      Should you go for an IEP, I heartily recommend Pam & Pete Wright’s book, “From Emotions to Advocacy, the Special Education Survival Guide”.


  87. 22 February 2012 at 11:55

    I like to share it with all my friends and hope they will also encourage him.

  88. Bill said,

    19 February 2012 at 0:36

    For as long as I can remeber, I have had the exact same (APD) problem you described. Sure wish there was something I could do about it. My wife believes I simply don’t think what she says is important. Others seem to think so as well, when I have to ask them to repeat what they just said to me. Also, when watching a video, I often have to go back to “hear” what was said. It’s extremely frustrating.

    • DorkyDeb said,

      19 February 2012 at 0:41

      Bill, a tip for movies is you can try turning on the closed captioning. It helps, when it’s available. On many DVDs you can find it in the menu section.

  89. Krys said,

    12 February 2012 at 5:31

    Finally!! My whole life I have struggled through school. I had to work extra hard for my grades and a lot of times they weren’t that hot. I would sit in class and I could hear everthing the teachers would say, or at least I heard words coming out, but it would always take me a while and a couple tries before understanding. I am in college now and having just as hard atime as before. The teachers talk and I try to write down what theyre saying without really heharing it. Makes class interseting anyway. Right now I’m working in a job where a lot of verbal directions are called out. Not a good mix. I can sometimes hear and understand the first thing they said, but it took so much concentration to hear and understand, that I didn’t hear what was said afterwords. I feel like everyone things I’m a bit of a goofball and dumb, simply because I don’t understand things right away. I’ve found myself hearing a few words during a conversation or question and then guessing what the conversation was about from there. I figure I have a fifty fifty chance lol Is there a way to get diagnosed with this? I would really appreciate it if you could send me any info you have! thanks so much! God Bless!

    • DorkyDeb said,

      12 February 2012 at 17:16

      Krys, it was a regular hearing doctor that diagnosed my daughter. Depending on the type of coverage you have, you may need a referral to get an appointment. I would check with the office first and make sure that they can do testing for APD. But a hearing specialist should be able to run the proper tests for you. They will most likely do standard hearing evaluations and then if all of that shows normal hearing, they move on to the testing for APD. It was all done within the same office for my daughter. Good luck!

      • Patti said,

        15 February 2012 at 3:04

        Krys, yes, the diagnosis should come from an audiologist. Find one that can test for APD specifically. You can google “audiologists that test for APD in xxx metro area” and you should get a list. Or go to your doctor (or your former pediatrician) for a referral. They may be able to give you the name of an audiologist in your area that tests for APD. I am in the St. Louis area. If you need names in this area, I have some. The APD diagnosis (if you receive one) should be a complete written evaluation, including the areas of weakness and suggestions for learning. Some school districts have an audiologist that can do this…perhaps you can check with your college also. Good Luck!

  90. Lori Annear said,

    11 February 2012 at 13:04

    Reading these personal stories has been quite reassuring for me. I was diagnosed with auditory processing disorder a couple years ago. Due to being on medications long term, my memory has been a problem for years. Wondering if many experience word finding difficulties, social anxiety ?
    I find yoga has been helpful along with acupuncture but I struggle with verbal instructions . Very interested in feedback , suggestions etc

  91. 11 February 2012 at 9:07

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  92. Mike Dillman said,

    29 January 2012 at 21:29

    Thanks for the article. I’m 43 y/o, a career Firefighter/EMT for the last 14+ years and was recently diagnosed with APD & ADD. I was wondering if anyone out there knows of anyone in my circumstances more specifically dealing with APD who is in the line of work I am in. I have searched and searched and have yet to find anyone who is or has been dealing with this and still working as a Firefighter/EMT, how they deal with it on the job and so forth. Anyone with any information of any firefighters dealing with this, how they are dealing with it, stategies and so forth please let me know.

  93. JC said,

    27 January 2012 at 5:40

    Thank you for this article. As many others before have stated about themselves, I will state about myself. I have ADP, and thankfully, it was found when i was younger. Sadly, at the same time, I was also placed into Special Ed. because of other learning difficulties. I’ve had to learn on my own how ‘deal’ with the extra noise and what best helps me in classrooms. In 8th grade, I was reading at about a 4th grade reading level, and from a wonderful teacher, i was placed into a program that helped me catch ahead and they also taught me ‘tricks of the trade’ to stay ahead, even though I hear quite literally EVERYTHING. Thank you for this article. I read that you went to grad school, and that is where I am off to next. I after getting my 4 year degree in Special Education, I plan to go on and get my masters in Speech Language Pathology (and hopefully after that also my AuD.) Whoever thinks that weaknesses will forever stay as weaknesses, please talk to me, I will be more than happy to show you otherwise.

    • Zempi said,

      7 March 2012 at 0:32

      Hi JC..Thanks for posting. My daughter is rececently dx w a mixed language disorder however ‘processing’ is always thrown at us. Once I had someone about 1.5 years ago(aquaintance in her PHD tell us she thought CAPD)…Anyway…She sounds like you in that she hears eveyrhing…and is a very fluent reader. I would love to hear strategies that helped you or any tricks of the trade. She is smart (avg to high avg) and I feel bad this affecting her and want to help her. She is almost 8.

  94. Patti Naumann said,

    22 January 2012 at 21:17

    My son is 14 and has APD, with areas of difficulty in intolerance-fading memory, decoding-receptive language problems and auditory-visual integration problems. Does the Fast ForWord program really work? They are asking for $1500 for 4 months usage, so what happens after that? Do I own the program then? He can’t possibly be cured after that. After years of reading help at the elementary and middle school level, I am left on my own now (there’s no high school reading program for him). He is still about 1 or 2 years behind. I don’t mind trying the FFW program, but it’s a large investment for something that may not work. Can anyone help? Thanks!

    • Kadey said,

      1 February 2012 at 17:00

      Hi – My daughter has APD and last summer (she was 13) we did the Fast For Word. It’s very simplistic – ecspecially for their age group. I feel it helped and am glad we did the program – but it’s a very big expense and I would be 100% committed to it before you start. It took many incentives to keep my daughter going.

      • Patti said,

        15 February 2012 at 2:55

        Thank you, Kadey. for your reply. Yes, I understand the commitment (30 min day/5 days a week). Getting him to stick with it will take some work. I’ve explained this to him, and he understands, but talking about it and doing it are two different things. I’ve also told him that a 30 minutes-a-day investment may lead to fewer struggles in the future on doing homework and studying for exams (where he could spend hours a night now!). I’m seriously considering FFW. However, an audiologist recommended I get him re-evaluated for APD because alot could have changed from when he was diagnosed 6 years ago. THANKS!

    • Tracey said,

      20 February 2012 at 18:37

      Hi my son was diagnose with sever CAPD last week he is 8 yrs old. He was 1st diagnose with Verbal Apraxia. My son is very immature for his age more like 5-6yrs; very silly. I was wondering is this part of CAPD. Over the years, he done Listening Therapy, Earobics and Fast Forward. I see progress but after being diagnose with severe CAPD. I guess it’s not good enough. I willing to try anything if it will help him from struggling so much. Any suggestion? Thank You for this website. I need to reach out to someone who understands


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  96. 16 January 2012 at 6:36

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  97. missy said,

    12 January 2012 at 2:02

    Thank you, My daughter is 6 and the doctors and speech therapist believe she has an audio processing delay. I am always so frustrated as her mother that she does not understand me. Your blog gave me insight into her world and how frustrated she must be. Thank you!!

  98. 11 January 2012 at 20:27

    Great article. Thank you! I am 62 years old, have had this same problem all my life. Only recently have I had an actual decline in hearing acuity due to aging. I am a retired registered nurse and can not enumerate how many difficulties I’ve had in my professional career because of the inability to process what I was “hearing”. If this condition was properly diagnosed in my school days (but who knew of such things back then?) life may have been different. Thanks for getting the word out. I am sure you are helping countless others with your honest dialogue.

    All the best for a wonderful future.


  99. Ashley Melton said,

    5 January 2012 at 22:29

    Hi Andrea,
    Thank you so much for sharing your struggles, successes, and experiences!!! I’m 31 and in the last few days, I have experienced an epiphany–I think I may have CAPD! I have always just “squeaked by” in my foreign language classes; I have always appeared to have difficulty hearing (lots of “huhs” and “can you repeat that?”), although I have near perfect pitch; I have always misunderstood musical lyrics (and creatively concocted my own); I can never repeat a conversation verbatim that lasts longer than a few seconds; I have trouble maintaining concentration during lectures and long speeches; and a myriad of other “auditory processing” issues. Here’s the kicker: I’m currently a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Central America and I’ve been struggling with learning Spanish for the last year here. Of course, most attribute my lack of learning to a lack of trying, a lack of exposure to the language, a combination of the two, or some other “fijese que” (excuse). I have only 10 more months of service and I would hate to spend the rest of it in “idioma” purgatory. Although PC has trained counselors on staff, I doubt that they have Audiologists on-hand who can properly assess me. Can you recommend anyone to me who may be able to shed some light on my situation?

    • andrea said,

      9 January 2012 at 5:58

      Lo siento Ashley,
      But the person to diagnose this would be an audiologist – one who has expertise in this particular issue.

      Here is a link to a page en Español that may be helpful, at least explanation-wise. Of course, like many such resources, it refers to the affected person as a child, but do be assured that people are also diagnosed in their adult years!

      And the same page in English, for you (and others):

      Buena suerte!

      • Ashley Melton said,

        9 January 2012 at 7:01

        Thanks so much for the quick response and super-great resource! I’ve looked into licensed Audiologists in my area, but to no avail. But I will keep looking and researching! Thanks again, and all the best!



  100. Joe said,

    2 January 2012 at 12:33

    Thank you so much. My son was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder 3 years ago and it always was auditory centered. I thought that because he went through therapies, he no longer had this. I thought he outgrew it! Your blog really helped me understand why he was doing some of the things he was. For example, when I know he hears me and says “what” anyway. We have changed our way of doing things and informed his teacher and it does help.

  101. Daphne said,

    20 December 2011 at 3:40

    I don’t know if this might help you, but I know it’s how I unconsciously coped with APD before figuring out that I have it. I look at people’s lips when they talk. I know it’s “rude” or whatever to avoid eye contact, but lip-reading is a big help in understanding what people are saying. I can comprehend much better in face-to-face scenarios than over the phone (cell phone conversations are awful). I also ask people to repeat what they said (my typical phrase: “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Could you say that again?”) I feel bad when I have to make my students repeat (I’m a music teacher), because they think they were wrong when it’s really just me. I reassure them and encourage them to repeat what they said because I didn’t hear it. And sometimes I when I can’t figure out that one important word that someone has said, like over the phone, I just explain my APD, swallow the embarrassment, and move on. No point in dwelling on something that won’t be remembered in a few moments anyway.
    Good luck!

  102. homeschooling said,

    18 December 2011 at 10:08

    Usually I do not learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look at and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice post.

  103. Renee45 said,

    18 December 2011 at 4:23

    As I said before thank you for the response. This is the most support I have received, since most people think its a joke or that I am using it as an excuse. Due to my demanding and tight knit major it is not as easy to take less classes. Fortunately, I do know my professors pretty well but hate to bring it up due to APD not being widely known. When I took a hearing test for APD, the women who proctored told me this, “You definitely have APD it is very clear, I also have it, and you just have to deal. You could seek out a speech therapist but since you have made it this far without anything, theres probably not much we can do.” This has hindered me from seeking out help for this, and basically made me try to ignore the fact that I have it since apparently there is nothing I can do for it.

    • DorkyDeb said,

      18 December 2011 at 4:54

      You’re welcome. I understand about the classes, I know it isn’t always an option. I was hoping it would be for you. :(
      I would mention it to your professors. Even if it is just something as simple as, “I just want you to know that if it ever seems like I’m not listening, because of the question I ask etc., that I have Auditory Processing Disorder so there are times that I struggle with oral instruction/lectures/etc.” (If you tailored that to your situation of course.) If you know them well, then they should feel free to ask you what APD is, if they don’t know (or maybe they will google it after you leave – LOL).

      Because there was a time when I thought my daughter just wasn’t listening. Because it really does seem that way to others sometimes. So I think it is good to let your professors know, even if you aren’t asking anything of them because of your APD, it might be helpful (particularly in the way they perceive you) to make them aware that you have a real disorder and you aren’t just daydreaming in class or something. ;)

      I agree with you that there isn’t much anyone seems to want to do, or able to do. I’ve heard some parents say their kids are getting help for their APD, but I really don’t know what that is. No one has offered our daughter much help, other than when they caught that one side was better than the other – that was helpful. Just knowing what it was, is extremely helpful. But other than that… I agree with you that our experience has been a “just learn to live with it and work around it” sort of experience.

      My daughter’s issues are severe enough that I shudder to think how totally and completely lost she would be in a classroom. When she is actually extremely clever. For me it is other adults that drive me nuts. They like to treat her like she is stupid, and when I try to explain that she gave a totally bizarre answer to something they asked because…. she thought they said “tree” when they actually said “free” or something similar… they then berate me for not getting her a hearing aid. As if, I would not get my daughter a hearing aid if it would help. But, as you said, people lack understanding of what it means to have APD.

      Renee, I’m not sure I can be of any help, but if you ever want to vent or just an understanding person to talk to, my blog links through my name and my email is on the About page. I wish you the best of luck!

  104. DorkyDeb said,

    18 December 2011 at 3:58

    I don’t know if this is possible for you or not, but if it is, perhaps you should consider taking a smaller number of classes at one time. That would allow you more time to work and somewhat less pressure/stress. Or perhaps even online classes that would have a more written, less oral set up. My daughter with APD is only 7, but she experiences a lot of what you are talking about. When she gets frustrated I try to remind her that she is just as intelligent as others (because she is) and that we all have our burdens to carry. Everyone’s burdens are different. Even the people that appear from all outward appearances to not have any burdens, likely do have their own as well.

    Please know that you are not stupid, you just do things differently and need different things. That is perfectly ok. Frustrating for you, perhaps. But there is nothing wrong or bad about you, or even weaker. If anything, you are stronger for having the strength to face your challenges and still achieve your goals.

    For my daughter I try hard to set up a learning environment that works best for her. We homeschool our children, so that gives me a great amount of flexibility in her education. But she still tackles the same things as her siblings, just in slightly different ways. One of the things that we do is we homeschool year-round. I have to have certain things ready to turn in at certain times of year – due to homeschooling laws in our state. But by homeschooling year-round that gives us more flexibility in our schedule. Something that you might be able to copy by lightening your course load and taking some courses in the summer, effectively spreading things out more.

    Another thing that was helpful to my daughter, was at her most recent evaluation with new testing equipment and guidelines, they were able to realize that her APD symptoms are slightly less in her right ear. So they told me to talk towards her right side during instruction, as often as possible. We rearranged the way we sat during her schooling, and it really did make a big difference for her.

    Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors and ask for help in areas that you might need to make the environment better for you. I wish you luck. And I think it’s great that you are doing all of this and tackling it all. I have my own health challenges (different, but still challenging) and I like your overcoming attitude. Just keep it up and don’t let your differences get you down. Once you get out of school, you will be able to hopefully tailor your environment to your own needs even more. School is a very temporary part of life. So don’t let struggles there bring you down. School will be a distant memory before you know it. :)

  105. DorkyDeb said,

    14 December 2011 at 4:07

    I would agree with calling local audiologists. We do not have any local specialists on APD per se, but my daughter was diagnosed by her audiologist. A good audiologist should be able to help you get the proper testing, Chris. Good luck.

    • Renee45 said,

      18 December 2011 at 3:44

      First off I would like to say thank you for writing this, and to everyone who has responded to the post. I am a 20 year old college student who was diagnosed a year ago. I was previously diagnosed with ADHD as well. The feeling of feeling “stupid” and “slow” still run through my minds at times. This year in college has been especially difficult as I am having tremendous issues overcoming that fact that yes, I will have to work 10 times harder than the top people in my class to be at their level. The frustration level I am at this semester is overwhelming, and ultimately making everything even more difficult. I cannot seem to get past the fact that it takes me 3 times longer to understand things being taught, while others are whizzing through things. It is a combination of ADHD and APD. This is the first time I have openly spoken about these issues. I have told a couple of my friends about my APD diagnoses, where it is easier to make fun of to overcome the reality of the daily struggles I go through. Has anyone else had a problem with frustration due to APD? And how have you dealt with it?
      Thank you everyone

  106. andrea said,

    14 December 2011 at 3:58

    I would suggest calling local audiologists and asking them for the names of local specialists. I do not have a directory, alas.

  107. chris hendrix said,

    13 December 2011 at 21:06

    I think that I have CAPD. How do I go about getting a diagnosis. This is a very frustrating ailment. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!

  108. nickmack84 said,

    11 December 2011 at 16:47

    Hello All, this is my first post. I have never met anyone with APD so this is exciting. I am 24 and pondering career paths but it seems like my short-term memory, multi-tasking, and problem-solving skills make my job much harder whatever it is. I have the most experience teaching ESL and am fluent in French. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone out there has gone through a similar debate and found a job that doesn’t seem to tax the APD so much? Thanks for any advice you can provide! Look forward to hearing from you!

  109. 22 October 2011 at 23:16

    […] a reblog from someone who has very similar problems to those that I have had with my […]

  110. 18 February 2011 at 16:58

    […] Central Auditory Processing Disorder Living With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder […]

  111. 2 June 2010 at 18:50

    […] Living With Central Auditory Processing Disorder […]

  112. 11 February 2010 at 1:22

    […] remembering verbal instructions Here is a great description of auditory processing disorder: Living With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder Hope this helps. […]

  113. Adeena Weiss said,

    24 December 2009 at 6:05

    Just want to let everyone know that my son is doing great! We went through a course of AIT, then right into Fast Forward 5 days a week (after school), then we went down to 3 days a week. In addition, I started taking my son to a psychologist to help with his low self-esteem and what appeared to be the beginning of depression, as well as his social skills. I also had him start taking guitar lessons to give him something non-academic that none of his siblings are doing that he could be successfull at. You would not believe the difference across the board- emotionally, academically, socially. He almost never “shuts down” in class anymore, and his principal told me at PTA “you saved your son’s life”.
    Just wanted to let everyone know that there are options to help. Not everything is right for everyone, but its definitely worth a try. I also wanted to let people know that if you have APD you should also get your visual processing checked since there is often crossover issues. For children, you would need to go to a pediatric developmental optometrist.

  114. kiki said,

    22 December 2009 at 9:42

    For the mom who says the school said he is to young to diagnose yet that is true. But the still can diagnose by rulling every thing else out. I sent my sons teacher an email with a link and told her the doctors report would follow and she sent it straight to the speech therapist in his school that has already been working with him. And just reading again everyone elses stories here made me feel good because now I REALLY TRULY know what is wrong with my child after the diagnosis then knew I was not alone because some of the websites still pointed at Autism. Whch the md’s ruled out then kept saying brain trauma which made me think everytime he bumped his little head or ear infections and I’m a nurse and I knew that wasn’t possible but still that part of your brain for doubt. But reading from adults who could express what they went through and how they felt makes me feel better because I also felt guilty about thinking he was becomming a child who was going to give us behaviour issues……. GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND KEEP WRITING.. BTW if anyone has a board for a support group please let me know.

  115. kiki said,

    22 December 2009 at 9:35

    Thank you for writing this article. This is my 6 year old son. After his recent diagnosis then I totally got why that the short instructions I gave him and had him repeat back to me what I said and made him watch my mouth is easier for him to deal with. Being a nurse I adapted to him and well the Doctors that he saw said I had it correct and didn’t even know it. We were being assessed for Aspergers and this is what we got instead. He just turned 6 and if I had not waited and had him evaluated last year. I probably would have gotten Aspergers diagnosis. Some of the intervention is the same but then not. I truly understand now.

    Ty you very much again. And GOD BLESS you all and good luck

    Proud Mother of two wonderfully curious and active boys…


  116. Alex said,

    20 December 2009 at 22:54

    I’m trying to find out what sort of assistance I can get for my CAPD, but I can’t find any good resources besides this site. My comprehension at 60 Decibels is reduced to 40 percent in both ears. If anyone could point me in the right direction, I would be forever grateful.

  117. katie said,

    5 December 2009 at 3:50

    Hey i thought you should know there is something that does work for this, it did for me and i have CAPD severly, AIT auditory intigration training. If done right will reprogram the brain to hear properly. The treatment however only lasted for me for 6 years then it wore off. So i have to go back again. The cost for this without insurance is 1400. Yes it is expencive but for me it is worth it. IT is very painfull hurt my head and ears for the first 4 days then got better. And my entire world got quieter. I was able to function were i could not before. Right now i am waiting on my insurance to see if they will pay but if not buy feb. i will just go and pay for it myself.

  118. debbienorman said,

    20 November 2009 at 20:10

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your story here. I stumbled upon this article via google. I have a 5 year old daughter who we believe has Auditory Processing Disorder. The hearing specialist mentioned she believed it is her problem 6 months ago, and she is having a follow up visit later today. But she said it can be very hard to diagnose at that young of an age. But after reading up on it I have no doubt APD is her problem. The descriptions of APD sound like you are writing exactly about my child. Her hearing tests as fine. Yet she really really struggles in nearly the exact same areas that you mentioned. She is so smart, yet in some situations comes off as so dumb. When she isn’t at all. We are homeschooling parents (not because of her problem). But if she were in public school I don’t know how she would ever learn because she would be missing so much. In homeschooling I can make sure that she understands what is being said, *before* we move on. I have another child that is only 11 months older than her, and the difference in what they hear in the exact same situations is really striking. I am looking for ways to help her. I would love for her to get to enjoy more of the group activities that our large local homeschooling group offers. But she really struggles in situations with distracting noises, etc. I repeat things a lot for her. And I need to give her directions one step at a time. And that isn’t really how things are done in a large group. If you have any more tips that you think would have helped you when you were very young, I would love to hear them. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It is *extremely* helpful for me to hear your perspective, coming from the person dealing with it. It makes me think about how my daughter must feel. Your views only help me to have even more patience for her, for what must be a challenging situation for her. She is already “accused” by many of not being as smart as her brother. Which simply isn’t the case. She is very very quick witted. She just struggles in certain situations. I want to do whatever I can to help her. She hears the wrong word in the place of other words regularly – like every single day, several times a day. An example would be yesterday my husband said to her “Whatcha eating?” She got upset and said, “I am NOT cheating!” And he had just asked her what she was eating. I am so glad that the hearing specialist suggested this, because now all of these things she is doing make sense. It was so hard to understand how in some situations she could hear so well, yet in others she couldn’t seem to understand. I just wish there were more we could do for her. But knowing what we are dealing with is a HUGE step in the right direction I think. She is 5, almost 6 years old, and this has always been part of her life.
    Again, thank you for sharing. It is great to read your perspective.

  119. Catherine said,

    20 November 2009 at 19:06


    I am so glad to read the messages regarding driving. I have been learning to drive on and off for seven years and still haven’t got it. I find that when my instrutor says something my mind goes blank and everything else momentarily disapears, all I can think is what did he just say?. The more words he uses the worse the mind fog is. This causes a delay and a momentary lapse in concentation and then I am not in the right lane or I am not reacting quick enough. I find one thing that helps is to repeat whatever he says parrot fashion so if he says turn left I say turn left. Something I am now trying to explain to him is that if he uses less words it helps. For example ‘turn left’ not ‘now could you turn left please.’

    Incidently I was diagnosed when I was sixteen and the cosultation went something like.. yeah you have APD here’s a leaflet see ya and that was it has anyone else had such negative experience

  120. Nate said,

    11 November 2009 at 7:10

    Nic i agree with you. I hate having this disability. I feel like it holds me back so much academically.

    I have had the same problem with driving. I was taking a practice drive with the driving school I went to and the directions he gave me were so hard to comprehend. He would tell me to take a left turn and i would take a right. He would grab the wheel and force it to go the other direction. I had to teach myself when they would ask me to take a left or right turn to look down at my hands and say which is my left and which is my right.
    I had to retake the written test once and retake the driving test, i think it was 4 times. With the driving test tell your son to stay focused as possible on everything the instructor says. Maybe tell the instructor that he has this disability and that he is a very visual person. With the drive test, I would get so unmotivated that i didn’t even want to get my license.

    Driving is great for the most part after getting the license. Ive never been pulled over ever got in a crash. I use to drive a lot under the influence but I realized that it was such a stupid decision and don’t plan on doing it anymore. I feel when i am under the influence that I don’t lose my visual abilities. I know you guys are probably thinking, hes drunk and feels confident to do anything but that is not it. I feel like my eyes don’t go under the influence. Does anyone with Auditory Processing Disorder have this same feeling?

    I would work with your son visually, which helps me a lot. For example, having a piece paper in front of him and showing him what he needs to do. It is very hard to comprehend information through hearing it.

    Its such a frustrating thing. I’m 19 years old I am going to Community College. I feel so unmotivated when it comes to math because it is so hard for me to remember all the steps. It is also very hard for me to read a story and answer questions to it. I have to reread the pages and look for clues from the questions to find the answers.

  121. nic said,

    29 October 2009 at 1:56

    It is nice to know their is other people ou their with this problem.

  122. Adeena Weiss said,

    27 October 2009 at 12:50

    Can anyone give any advice or comments about the “shutting down” that kids with CAPD or APD often seem to do? More so than the academic or even social struggles, this historically has been the big problem in school. When faced with a full page of reading or writing (my son has decoding problems) he often takes one look and says “I dont understand” or “I’m not doing that”, even when his teachers know that he knows the work and may have even done a similar page the day before with no problem. Despite my explanations, this is very frustrating for them. It’s gotten better this year, with an understanding teacher who doesnt pressure (and when the pressure comes off, he suddenly begins performing beautifully), Fast Forward to help his decoding, and alot of talking about asking for help rather than shutting down, etc. but its not totally gone and its the one thing that most stops him from succeeding- the refusal to even try. He tells me that “I’m going to make mistakes, so why even try”. When I tell him that everyone makes mistakes and its ok, he says that he feels his teacher is going the think he’s stupid. Sometimes its that he’d rather act non-compliant than seem stupid, other times it seems that he’s actually overwhelmed and “shuts down”. He knows its not the best way to deal, and always apologizes after he calms down. He’s 9 and in 3rd grade. Any suggestions?

  123. Tracy said,

    26 October 2009 at 13:01

    My son was diagnosed with a language disorder (processing disorder) when he was in the 9th grade; he has now graduated. He could not pass the permit test on the computer; he failed three times, we eventually got him a verbal test and he passed.He is now trying to get his driving license.His driving is fine as long as he is with someone he is comfortable with; when he gets into the driver seat (twice now) with the registry officer it almost seems like he does not hear what he has said and does the complete opposite which results in a another failed test. He always had this problem in school; he would know the info and completely bomb every test he took; which led us eventually to his diagnosis. I have never saw this reaction; it was always school based, I was just aware of the consequence (failed testing). I was with him for both driving tests and it was almost as if his brain just shut down and he did opposite of what the officer told him to do. I am at a lost as what to do now… would appreciate any help or talk to someone who may have experienced this situation.
    Thank you… Tracty

    • Sheila said,

      26 October 2009 at 15:11

      Tracy, my son was diagnosed in 4th. grade with CAPD and he’s now a senior in high school We had the exact same issue as you described when he took his driver’s test last year. He failed the permit test at first, but retook it twice and eventually passed. It took him 3 times to pass the driving part. One time he started to turn down a one way street because that’s what he thought the examining officer told him to do. Eventually he passed the test, but he did have an accident 3 weeks later, due I think to inattention. I’m not sure what you can do because it’s a very real processisng issue. We do our best to just support our son, realizing the Journey through life is his. He has yet to fully accept that he even has a disorder. Even though the school is aware of this disorder, some teachers don’t “get it” and think he’s being oppositional when he simply doesn’t understand where he’s supposed to be at times and has misunderstood directions. It’s difficult to deal with teachers who’s answer to this is to punish him! He’s bright, but due to not following directions, he’s often behind in school work. Unfortunately, he’s in an academically challenging magnet school where a fast pace is the norm. He begged to go to this school and we decided to let him go. He says he wants to graduate from this school, so we’re muddling through. Maybe college will be easier for him, who knows . . .
      I’ve found working with him to be constantly surrendering to Not Knowing what to do. The challenges don’t seem to end, but I trust that he’ll find a place in the world. He’s an excellent martial artist, by the way. But, he can’t seem to find a way to transfer that focus and energy to academic world or, obviously, getting his driver’s license.
      I believe you hit it on the mark with the comment, “his brain just shuts down”
      I find with my son that if he’s under emotional stress this is exactly what happens. Test taking is one area where he feels stressed.
      I really identify with your struggle. I’ve often felt alone dealing with this, but this web site helps a lot in terms both of feeling supported and getting an idea of what it’s like for my son to live with CAPD

  124. Cat Trujillo said,

    17 September 2009 at 16:19


    I’m glad I kept this website in my favorites, as I wrote blog #95 back in Nov 2008 and check in periodically.

    Since that time, I have come to find more realities associated w/ my son’s CAP/APD and that would be ADD, attention deficit disorder. My son, who was diagnosed at age 3, now 23, struggles. All you folks out there w/ little ones who have been recently diagnosed and those of you who learned of that you had CAP (Central Auditory Processing, old name for APD) later know that it’s a contstant struggle in this fast paced world. What I am exploring with my son is the corelation between APD and ADD and how medications such as Ritalin may help his focusing abililities.

    Those of you who write that you were diagnosed later share the common thread that others believe you to be lazy or stupid or inattenative, you name it, I’m sure you’ve heard it or felt it. Low self-esteem is also an issue. I must confess to someone that I am guilty of riding my son hard last evening about his behavior, which is childlike. I’m not sure if the behavior has become habit or if it is symptom of the APD/ADD. Any insight would be gratefully appreciated.

    Antisocial/withdrawal behavior can also go hand in hand w/ this disorder, especially in adults, which I see more often in my son. How are you handling this for yourself or for your loved one?

    Again, I’ll ask, what jobs or trades have worked well with you or your loved one?


  125. Elizabeth said,

    11 September 2009 at 2:15


    I am having trouble in my English class that always drop the class. Sooner or later I have to take English how can I improve my reading skill and grammar structure? Help!!! I want to reach my goals but its a set back not learning the correct rules of grammar or writting a paragragh for school Errr!! Any suggestions from anyone who was able to conquer this.

    • 4 October 2009 at 23:29


      I was never able to totally conquer the grammar headache. I got through undergradute and graduate school by having other people proof my papers. I find in my work as well as my son’s writing (he also has apd), we tend to go back and forth between tenses. You did not mention if you are in high school or college. I would suggest finding a tutor who is familair with special education, only because they usually know easier ways to break down the information so that it is easier to learn the basic grammar rules. Also, find a few people who would be willing to proof your writing. While having someone proof your papers is not the most ideal way of doing things, it may get you through your English class so that you can get on with your degree and do what you want to do.

  126. Adeena Weiss said,

    9 September 2009 at 2:56

    Thanks, Lily. I appreciate the suggestions and the explanation, as well as the moral support!

  127. 26 August 2009 at 18:08

    Stacia, I believe if you have a hearing loss it’s difficult to determine if your heaing issues are due to the loss or APD. That would be a good question for the audiologist.

    Adeena, that’s a great idea to give the teacher a handout. This site has a bunch of home and school resources for APD:

    As for your son’s refusal to do any work, that sounds like more of a psychological issue. He’s probably tired of struggling, so refuses to engage in any activity that he has to work hard. Maybe talk to the school psychologist and see if they have any suggestions. Or maybe you should talk to him about it. It’s amazing how sometimes a child will present a solution when you just ask.

    Does anybody know of a good online listing for audiologists who will test for APD? I know two people, one in Washington and one in Kansas, who are looking.


  128. Adeena Weiss said,

    23 August 2009 at 23:45

    Can anyone recommend the best informational website that would have a good handout to be given to my child’s teacher/principle at the start of the year. It should have a simple explanation (not that APD is simple by any means! I just dont want to bore or overwhelm them, so no more than a page-long information), and then classroom strategies.

    Also, can anyone recommend any ideas for my son who has gotten into the habit of just refusing to do anything that looks at first glance like it will be alot of work (ie: alot of writing). The teachers become frustrated because he wont even try, he just pushed it away and says he cant do it or he doesnt understand, and they are frustrated because its the same work he did the day before and got them all right! So they dont understand that at that moment he’s in overload and they need to back off rather then get into a power struggle. I plan to ask the teachers to give only a few questions at a time rather than a whole page, etc. I also have my son in Fast Forward, and he underwent AIT this summer. He’s also speaking with a child psychologist about better coping strategies for his frustration, and the need to let teachers know exactly what about the work is bothering him, rather than just shutting down and refusing to do it. Any further suggestions? This “shutting down” is actually delaying his academic progress. His resource room teacher feels he would be working at age-appropriate academics if he would just try instead of saying “i cant ” for everything.

    • lily said,

      5 September 2009 at 13:33

      Adeena, I’m not an education expert at all, but I think you’re doing everything you can for your son. I had undiagnosed APD as a little girl, and just having help and understanding from parents would have made a big difference to me! Just keep doing what you’re doing.

      What his teachers need to understand is that his brain is paying attention to too many sounds at once. It’s very overwhelming! Ask them to imagine doing calculus in the middle of a loud party–that’s what it feels like to him. I’ve also noticed that APD can bring anxiety with it too, so that’s something they need to be careful of as well. It’s much easier to feel frustrated and overwhelmed since your brain is always struggling.

      You’ve already suggested breaking up the assignments into smaller parts– that would really help. Is there a quiet place in the school, like the library, where he could do his work? They could also try presenting the work as a challenge–acknowledge that it -is- hard, but just because it’s hard and he may not be able to do it now, doesn’t mean he’ll always be unable.

      I don’t know of a good single-page explanation for his school, but I’ll try:

      APD makes the brain work differently; it’s trying to pay attention to far too many things at once. People without APD are able to filter out unimportant sounds and information without even thinking about it. People with APD have brains that are constantly working at overload, trying to process every single thing that comes in. As a result, anywhere from 20%-90% of speech sounds garbled since the brain gets too distracted to decode it completely. To a person with APD, it sounds like everyone casually flips back and forth from English to some strange alien language and then expects to be understood. Hearing isn’t the only problem; long instructions and complicated tasks are difficult when you’re already partially overwhelmed.

      People and children with APD are sometimes accused of not listening or not trying hard enough. In reality, they’re already trying the very best they can. Imagine someone who has their arms full trying to carry fifteen basketballs being asked to pick up one more basketball. They may honestly say they can’t, or they may try but end up dropping everything–and then the person gets mad at them because it was “just one ball!”

      Children especially need understanding. The world is already huge and new and overwhelming for children, even without APD.

      Classroom strategies for teachers:
      -Ensure that important messages are ALWAYS written down, whether on the blackboard or a lesson sheet. It’s also very important to call attention to that information so they know it’s there.
      -Sometimes sound reception is improved by sitting next to a side or back wall. Front-and-center may not always be best; at the front of a classroom but against the side wall may be ideal.
      -Make sure to face the student while speaking–they’re developing the ability to read your lips and face to help themselves compensate.
      -Remember that written material is always going to be more comfortable and calming than verbal material. Information given with pictures, colors, and small paragraphs is even better.
      -Good textbooks and supplementary reading material are very important. No matter how hard you and the student try, they won’t be able to understand everything you say. More of their education throughout their life is going to come from what they read. Help them develop good reading skills.
      -When you need to tell them something very important that can’t be put in writing, develop a clear signal that lets them know they need to focus in on you–if it’s allowed, tap gently on the hand or shoulder. Look them in the eye and make sure they’re looking back.
      -Patience and understanding. The situation can be frustrating for both teacher and student. Promise each other to overcome that frustration for the sake of a great education. People with APD have great potential!
      -People with APD often develop strengths in other areas to compensate for their difficulty hearing. If you notice that the student particularly enjoys sports or art or any other area, encourage them! Children with APD are very capable of developing into talented adults. Your help now will guide them through life more comfortably.

    • lily said,

      5 September 2009 at 13:53

      Oh, and one more thing I forgot to say. I remember as a child, I loved educational computer games, especially for math. The computer was easy for me to pay attention to since it was so visual. If he likes the computer at all, you could try out some different games on him and see what he likes.

    • Enzo Rosas said,

      4 October 2009 at 23:41


      I recently read a book called “Don’t You Get it? Living With Auditory Learning Disabilities.” I got it at www. psychdocinfo. com . It not only goes over what apd is, but there is a chapter about all the things that one of the authors did for her son including getting him into a good college. There is also a chapter that is good for adolescents and teenagers to read because it was written by a teenager. It describes the struggles and frustrations that he went through in school because of his apd, as well as his accomplishments. My son found this chapter to be very helpful and knows that he is not alone in how he feels.

  129. Stacia said,

    11 August 2009 at 4:25

    Hi, I’m a 31 year old female. I recently had my hearing tested and learned I have mild to moderate hearing loss and a hearing aid was suggested.
    But often times when I am trying to listen to someone, I can hear them, … I hear they are saying someting… but I can’t make out all the words….or I confuse them for another word. This happens often when there are other competing sounds.
    I also read that people with APD disorder can sometimes have trouble pronouncing words. When I first read that was a symptom, I thought it meant diffiulty pronouncing a new word. But as I have been reading about this disorder this past week, I realize that it may be more accurate in saying one has trouble getting the word out. Not quite a stutter… but difficulty getting the word out… making the correct pronuncation. Something I sometimes have trouble with.

    Can anyone tell me, based on what you’ve read about me, do you think I could have APD?

    Thanks for your help,


  130. Leah Goldstein said,

    20 July 2009 at 18:38

    finally a Person who is informing the world of waht we go through and not that we are just stupid

  131. Pauline said,

    13 July 2009 at 15:37

    Thank you so much for this valuable information. My son (5yrs old) has just been diagnosed with APD and I have been struggling to understand what this means for him.

  132. Lindsay said,

    23 June 2009 at 3:28

    Thank you so much for this blog!! I have ADHD and just learned that I also have APD and your blog is so incredibly well-written that I’m using it to explain to my boss why I seem like I can’t hear. Thank you!!!

  133. Marie said,

    16 June 2009 at 4:30

    We have a daughter beginning Sr. yr. of HS and starting to look at colleges. She is 17. She was diagnosed with “Auditory Processing Weakness” -not the “Disorder”-as per testing results from an audiologist when she was 12.
    Any suggestions on what type of colleges to look for: smaller private or larger sized university? She does not want anyone to know about her “weakness”. She compensates well, has avg. grades, except for test taking, which is her downfall.She does poorly on most tests. Any ideas of what field to go into for a career when one has CAP . She likes the Sciences, but as somene said, sitting listening to lectures all day is difficult. Any recommended fields of study? She is not too creative. Thank you.
    Have meds for ADHD ever helped these children?

    • Loraine Alderman, Psy.D. said,

      25 July 2009 at 1:16

      My son and I have APD. He is currently going into his Sophmore year at Adelphi University. We chose this college for several reasons: small student/teacher ratio, they are known for their learning disabilities program and they had his field of interest. I would suggest that she take the ACT exams and not just the SAT exams. The ACT exam is more academically based and as long as she takes the written portion the colleges look at it the same exact way that they look at the SAT exam. With regard to a career, it’s really a matter of what she is interested in and is willing to put her energy into. My son lives for sports and is studying to be a physical education teacher. Most people do not realized that you have to take many difficult science classes to become a physical education teacher. I believe with his determination, our support and the help of his learning disability program that he will be able to get through the science classes. With regard to your daughter not wanting anyone to know about her weakness, I hope she becomes more comfortable with it because there is help in the colleges and it may make the difference in succeding in what she wants to do as opposed to settling for something that she thinks she can do. I wish I had known about my APD when I was in school, it would have made things a lot less frustrating. With regard to medication for ADHD helping people with APD, I can only say that from my experience as a school psychologist, that I have never seen someone with APD benefit from ADHD medication. I am usually the one informing the parents after 3 ADHD medications have been tried with no success that the reason why the meds are not working is because the child has APD and not ADHD. Some children can have both, but I find that many children diagnosed with ADHD have APD and were misdiagnosed. I hope that this is helpful.

  134. Debbie Baca said,

    13 June 2009 at 8:19

    I have been called slow, lazy, and uninterested in learning. The hearing thing sound familar to me. I m in a training class for a job and I have problem with trying to retain and if I see it visually in my mind then I cant understand it. Short term memory and trying to stay attentive in class in frustrating and I always fail to catch the main topics. I am 45 years old and have repeatedly tried and cant accomplish goals and end up very discouraged and feeling like I cant accomplish anything. I cant explain things that I have just heard, I cant remember birthdays, numbers, words, title of songs. But I know I am a very intelligent person. A socialogist said he didnt see anything wrong with me but said if there was It would be auditory processing problem and I know it is. I am frustrated and I want to succeed but I cant recall words when I need them. I am feeling dumb and defeated.

  135. Teresa said,

    9 June 2009 at 14:09


    Thank you so much for this site. It appears we are not alone when it comes to this diability. Since our son was diagnosed approximately a year and a half ago with and ADHD (inattentive type), and “remnants of CAPD” we are still trying to address it and move forward. However, he is currently a college sophmore and quite shy when it comes to being an advocate for this disability, so this past year has not been very encouraging for him. Since he obtained poor grades in most courses, he now has a GPA that has to be increased in order to move forward. At the present time, he is planning to take a semester off. He is a religion major and with all the reading he has, it is very difficult for him. Do you know of any programs for young adults (he’s 20) that would help with improving memory. He says that, although he has tutors, note takers and oral testing, he is having problems with memory. We live in East Tennessee and it would be most helpful if you happen to be aware of any programs or areas that would benefit him. When he was diagnosed in 2008, the psychologist indicated that he had probably had CAPD and ADHD since he was around 8 years of age (that’s when we noticed some problems), but not enough for testing at that time. He indicated that he has probably learned to deal somewhat with it, but it is when he is faced with new material he is not familiar with is when he experiences problems…..i.e. religion, history, science, etc. All this new material is difficult for him. If you have any suggestions as to testing, programs, or anything else that could benefit him, please let me know. Again, thank you for your insight.

    • Elizabeth said,

      12 June 2009 at 20:53


      I am college student so it’s frustrating to learn something new in the classroom while teachers is speaking. The college I attend offers Disable Student Services which allows extra time for testing and offers note takers in the classroom and tape recorders. They also have a software program called Kurzell 3000 Pro software is great program that help read your text books.

      First the staff would scan your textbook and then the Kurzweil Pro software will read it at a pace you could understand. The great thing about this is you could wear head phones and replay if you can’t understand your text.

      If you have problems getting the program from her school you could qualify the Department of Rehabilitation from the state they will provide the help.

    • Elizabeth said,

      12 June 2009 at 20:54


      I am college student so it’s frustrating to learn something new in the classroom while teachers is speaking. The college I attend offers Disable Student Services which allows extra time for testing and offers note takers in the classroom and tape recorders. They also have a software program called Kurzell 3000 Pro software is great program that help read your text books.

      First the staff would scan your textbook and then the Kurzweil software will read it at a pace you could understand. The great thing about this is you could wear head phones and replay if you can’t understand your text.

      If you have problems getting the program from her school you could qualify the Department of Rehabilitation from the state they will provide the help.

  136. Lily said,

    7 June 2009 at 2:54

    More than anything I wish I could hear lyrics to songs like everyone else. Unless I’ve seen sheetmusic I can’t understand anything with the instruments. I love music and simply wish I could enjoy it like everyine else.

  137. Teresa said,

    27 May 2009 at 14:07

    When our son was diagnosed with ADHD inattentive type and CAPD last year, we embarked into unknown territory with relation to college (middle of his freshman year) and the direction he needed to go. The psychologist told us he needed to be in a different college environment. However, with his being new to his diagnosis, it has been very difficult for him to even speak up on his own behalf. His father and I have been quite involved, but still he has struggled – even with all the accomodations in place. We are now at the point of trying to replace bad grades and trying to raise his GPA, and we face a dilemma withour current insurance. It is important that he remain on the insurance since I’m not sure how a new insurance carrier would look at his disability at the present time.Does anyone know if or do you have experience with the fact that you can lose insurance coverage when your child does not carry a full load of credit for college? Our insurance booklet tells us our children must be enrolled full time in college to remain on our insurance coverage until age 25. I recently found a website that indicated that sometimes doctors will write letters to indicate that child should be considered “full time” if they take only 9 credit hours, as they have a learning disability. I have not fully investigated this with my insurance yet, but plan to do so. Have any of you had any experience on this at this time. Please let me know of any suggestions you may have.

  138. Jeanne said,

    22 May 2009 at 12:19

    Hi….to all the parents of apd children….

    I am a parent advocate (no, I’m not trying to drum up work here) who also suffers from some form of apd, and I wanted to offer some advice to help you in your school situation. In my career I’ve been a special ed. teacher, chairperson, Director of Spec.Ed., bi-county staff developer of Legal Issues in Spec.Ed., etc. I am not trying to stir up a hornets nest, just educate. Oh….I am also a parent of a child with special needs, as well as a grandparent of one! So….now that that is out of the way….here is some quick info.

    Your state education dept. should have the rules and regs on special ed. on their website for you to download info. Also, they should have a contact person who can offer advocates in your area, or even agencies….by law this is supposed to be open info. Districts may or may not tell you these things….but you can call them to see. If they don’t let you know, you can gauge what “type” of district they are and how you will be working with them. The next thing is….write things down!! Dates, times, who you spoke to, what was said, what was suppose to happen, etc. It doesn’t have to be a diary, but rather a synposis/record. The next thing, which is IMPORTANT….if you want something to happen or even to suggest a change or whatever….PUT IT IN WRITING and send it via email or fax or snail mail. Do NOT use your child’s bookbag, etc. A letter to the principal, Director, Superintendent….you can even put all those folks names on the letter and send them each a copy. When I was struggling with a former school district, my letters were sent to the principal, director, superintendent, president of the board, designated person at state level and even my contact person at Washington, DC! I had that much fighting to do for my son!!! Don’t be bashful and don’t think that you don’t want to stir up trouble….this is YOUR child and YOU are his/her advocate. I guarantee you, your child is the one you will have to answer to later on in life when they start wondering why this teacher was so mean and nobody did anything about it!
    For what its worth!

  139. 22 May 2009 at 7:15

    Adeena, my heart goes out to you and your son. I understand exactly what you are facing as we’ve come the same journey with our son Gabriel.

    I would HIGHLY recommend AIT for your son. Gabriel did it in March, and we are stunned by the amazing results. It’s not a cure-all, but he had a HUGE leap forward in language and social skills. He’d been in speech therapy for 3-1/2 years prior, and we’ve never seen an improvement like this. You might also get Earobics to get him going on a computer program. I’ve heard Fast ForWord is better, but very, very rigorous. Earobics is fun. Our son does it 1/2 hour per day, and I am noticing improvements in listening ability. Some games are frustrating for him, so I offer him small prizes as incentives.

    I recommend you buy and read the book “Like Sound Through Water.” It’s written like a novel and tells the story of a mother who took to frustrating journey of trying to figure out why her son didn’t talk. He had APD. She talks about figuring it out, and what she did afterwards to help her son. Then I would insist that his teacher read it (not sure how you can accomplish that, but perhaps the principal will help). Punishing your son is CRUEL. He cannot comprehend what is said to him, it’s just plain cruel. Your job as a parent is to educate the school and the teachers. You might tell the principal that you might have to remove him from school because what you consider the teacher doing is emotionally abusive. Sorry if I sound harsh, but it makes me mad! Very few people know about APD. I discovered it accidentally last October, and I’ve been fighting with the school ever since to do something about it. He has been officially diagnosed, but the school insists it’s impossible to diagnose until a child turns 7. A month ago we hired a lawyer because I’m exhausted from my fight.

    Our son is also very sensitive and often cries when another cries even if it has nothing to do with him. He’s also sound sensitive which the AIT helped with but did not eliminate. He also struggles valiantly with writing, but with years of OT has made little progress. I don’t know how it all works together, but somehow it does. It’s the law in California that if your son is a behavioral problem, they must do a behavioral assessment and provide a behavioral support plan for him. You might see if the same law exists in your state. We didn’t know about this until we got to the attorney.

    Keep hunting and looking. You will find solutions to help your son. Talk to him about it. Even our son, ad 6-1/2 with limited speech, got that he didn’t hear right. About a month after AIT he said, “Mommy, when you talk I can understand you now!” They comprehend more than we realize.

  140. Adeena said,

    22 May 2009 at 6:03

    My eight year old son has just finished a comprehensive evaluation of his auditory processing, and was found to have significant deficits. He has struggled since toddlerhood, first with learning to speak, then with articulation, memory, reading skills, poor social skills, getting in trouble for not following directions, etc. Our biggest challenge with him however, is that he has developed a pattern of behavior of “shutting down”, in that if he is given a worksheet in school that he feels is too long or too hard (typically one that has alot of writing), he just refuses to do it, no matter how much help is offered. He is also very sensitive, and has walked out of the classroom if the teacher or a student makes him upset, or just refuses to continue to participate in the current activity. He also seems to have alot of anxiety, which has been exacerbated lately, and remarks “I cant do anything good”, “nothing helps me”, and “nobody likes me”. My heart is breaking for him! The audiologist has recommended Auditory Integration Therapy, and the Fast Forward program. She claims that in addition to improving the auditory processing and reading, etc., the Auditory Integration Therapy improves the anxiety and behavioral aspects. Any thoughts? And does anyone have any suggestions for dealing with the teacher who is a very strong personality and continuously tends to “punish” him for his behavior. They seem to be willing to work with the academic aspects, but they are not as willing to overlook the behavioral issues.

    • Jeanne said,

      22 May 2009 at 12:03

      Hi Adeena;
      For what its worth, as a former educator (spec. ed.) and Director of Special Education….it is not uncommon to have reg. ed. teachers not understand what’s going on so they resort to what coping mech they know “best”. Typically the Related Service people are more gentle and patient and hopefully they can help get “info” across to the teacher, but if it’s an older teacher with an attitude of “I’ve been doing this for “x” amount of years.”….they might not do so well. As a parent advocate, I will tell you what I tell all my clients. #1-Put it in writing!!! Can’t stress that enough. The biggest mistake that parents make is thinking a phone call will suffice- it won’t. Hard to legally document a phone call- it’s still “he said/she said”. So, I would write a letter to the principal, cc it to the Director of Spec.Ed. and the Superintedent specificially requesting a “change of placement” (it’s not really that, but it is…..gray area in law) into a different classroom due to personality differences between your son and his teacher. Ask for a teacher who is more flexible and trained in special education issues (or something to that effect.) My 7 yr old grandson (who I strongly suspect has apd) was with a “crazy” teacher and he was standing on desk, walking out of the classroom, sent to the principal so often they had drinks waiting for him! Changed his teacher….NO acting out, no incidents! Breaks my heart how some educators are just not gentle enough for the sensitive ones (I am one too!)….but it takes all types. One last thing….not only should you put ALL your requests in writing (and I do mean ALL), keep a log of phone conversations, incidents, etc. Doesn’t have to be in depth, but carry it around with you in your car (if you pick him up) to jot down times and “conversations” the teacher may share with you. It will help in your quest! Hope this helps…..Jeanne

  141. Anne said,

    18 May 2009 at 21:22

    A psychologist recently suggested that I might have a processing disorder, and some of characteristics listed here apply to me . Have never been able to follow verbal instructions properly (even sometimes after writing them down) and have had more than a few people yell at me for not listening and for asking the same questions over and over–even if I’m really trying to listen.)

    At work, I try to have a pen and paper handy at all times and try to encourage email requests and meeting minutes from the other party. I’ve also had the same job for a lot of years. (Short term jobs, like temp jobs, were disasterous for me.) If that does not work, I’ll go around to someone else or take the risk of asking the question over and over and receiving “I already told you that” responses. I want to get the job done correctly and not waste time with worrying about what someone thinks. Some people are surprisingly sympathetic (or maybe have a touch of it themselves) but this can backfire though. One of my coworkers went and complained to my boss about having to repeat herself to me and was taken off a project. I was catching on and doing it well but that’s happened time and time again in my career.

    Am still looking at ways to compensate for this, even in near mid-life. I get by but barely. Am in a job way beneath my educational level. I also end up overcompensating in other areas (near perfect attendance, a really good attitude and a willingness to take on dull, thankless non-verbal tasks, become an expert in certain softwares,etc.)

  142. Teresa said,

    13 May 2009 at 19:26

    My son who is 20 had an accident that caused a concussion a year and a half ago. During some testing, he was referred to a psychologist and audiologist. It was determined he had CAPD and ADHD inattentive type. It was also determined he had probably learned to deal with the CAPD somewhat, but since he was have new materials he is not familiar with he is struggling to make a good grade. He was struggling as a freshman in college and advised to change to a different type of college (his college was on a block system with one class every 18 days. A whole semester was covered every 18 days. The physician told us this was the worst possible learning for him. He is now attending college with regular semesters. He has tutors, note takers, oral testing in place. However, he has been unable to be very successful. We are at the point of withdrawing. He has been trying to adjust to this for the past 1 1/2 years, but we’ve been told he probably had it since he was around 8 years old. Looking back, we noticed lots of signs. He was never a discipline problem. At one time he was tested for our gifted program, but missed by only a few points. As parents, we felt it better to just deal with his regular school work than to add the gifted program to his schedule. He would do his home work, but not turn it in. His main interest is music (he plays guitar, drums, and trumpet by ear) and learns lots of songs and plays 2-3 instruments. This seems to be his only outlet. He wants to be a youth minister, but the religion major is very difficult. He recently told me he is having real problems with memory. We have tried tutors, note takers, etc. Sometimes I just feel he may be overloaded with all of these and the music is his outlet. Can you offer any suggestions to assist him in being successful enough to get a college degree and work in a church vocation?

    • Deborah D. said,

      13 May 2009 at 21:13

      Most large churches have a minister of music, and I am pretty sure that there are seminaries that offer divinity degrees with a concentration in sacred music. That might be a great way for him to combine his two interests.

      Also, he may just be in the wrong type of college. My older daughter is very intelligent, but her verbal skills are weak. She is fine with social communications, but she hates to read and doesn’t write well. (That is also sometimes the case with people who excel at music. Apparently the theory is that they use a different part of the brain than verbally-oriented learners.)A liberal arts college — and most private and/or church-affiliated colleges are liberal arts schools — would be the worst possible choice for my daughter. She will do much better at a larger university where not all the courses are intensely verbally-oriented.

      Most seminaries don’t require any particular undergrad major. Maybe your son should pick an undergrad major in which he is interested and likely to excell, and see where things go from there. He may find that a Minister of Music position would be perfect for him, or he may find other majors (like sociology or psychology) that provide a good background for later seminary training to become a Youth Minister.

  143. Jen said,

    7 May 2009 at 14:58

    Thanks for a great post and helpful discussion.

  144. Deborah D. said,

    4 May 2009 at 18:50

    CAPD is extremely frustrating. I am someone who has managed to function extremely well academically and on the job. I excelled in school, and I do well in my chosen career (law), so I guess that I should feel lucky.

    My problem always has been in the personal realm. I have a bit of hypersensitivity to sound (fluorescent lights bother me, noisy environments like food courts overwhelm me, etc.). My biggest problem, however, lies in deciphering what someone has said. Andrea, your example of, “Are you going to the four-meter spa?” describes my struggle EXACTLY. (Remember in “Roxanne,” where Darryl Hannah thought that Steve Martin was saying, “Earn more sessions by sleeving,” when in fact he had said, “Ten more seconds, and I’m leaving?” <-;)

    Asking friends and family members to repeat what they have said is an exercise in frustration, drawing irritation and snappish comments from the other person. When I was a child, friends advised, “Clean the wax out of your ears!” Family members get especially annoyed, snarling, “Why don’t you LISTEN, for a change!” or “What I SAID was…” or “Never MIND!!!” or “You need a HEARING AID!!!” (said with great exasperation, as if failing to get a hearing aid were an offense against humanity).

    No, I don’t need a hearing aid, I just need for people to speak slowly, very distinctly, at a slightly louder-than-normal volume, while facing me. It seems, however, that no one in my life loves me enough to make such accommodations, which they apparently view as unnecessary and irritating. They think that I am being demanding and wanting to have everything on my own terms, when (in their opinions) just paying attention would eliminate this most annoying (to them) problem.

    You are right about one thing — Repetition frequently results in the same mumbled (or jumbled) phrases being unintelligible with each repetition. I can understand when someone says, “I do not know” or even “I don’t know,” very distinctly, but mumbling totally throws me for a loop. I have no idea what someone is saying, when s/he shrugs and says (inevitably in a soft voice, with descending volume), “I dunno.” Did she say “Ida No?” Maybe “Eden now?” Or “Eating out?” What do those comments MEAN, anyway?

    I wish that there were a solution.

  145. Laura said,

    4 May 2009 at 2:25

    I feel so fortunate to have come upon this site. My husband and I are having severe marital problems that we have tried for years to deal with through counseling services. We are aware of communication problems but traditional Speaker/Listener exercises are not working to improve how we communicate with one another. Our greatest difficulty is that most of our exchanges deteriorate into arguments. I experience tremendous frustration in dealing with my husband of 14 years as I do not have trouble communicating with other people. I have been asking myself for a long time, “Why, just him?”.

    My 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with CAPD one year ago. As it often runs in families, I had my 12 year old son tested. He’d always had trouble with homework and would become depressed about school on occasion. Well, don’t you know! He tested positive for it as well. His condition is not as severe as his sister’s and he is able to compensate due to high IQ. My daughter’s CAPD is severe and complicated by hyperacusis and severe anxiety. She was unilaterally placed in a special ed school due to the DoE’s failure to evaluate her and provide services. The class ratio is 8:1:1 which serves her well.

    I figured that if two out of our three kids have CAPD, then chances are good it was inherited and perhaps a Speech/Language deficit is behind the difficulty my husband and I have communicating with each other. Hence, my search on the web for Adults with CAPD.

    Andrea, after reading your site and replies, I now know what we are dealing with. For years, I took his behavior personally. I felt that he would ignore me and found this demeaning. I explain myself over and over to him because I don’t get responses that convince me that he understands me. He construes this as I am trying to force him that I am right or I am insistng on changing his opinion to mine. I holler at him “Listen to me! What I said was…..!”. I experience anger and frustration that I lose him when discussions are lengthy. I have accused him of being dense and stupid because he can’t think abstractly, conceptualize or envision things in his mind’s eye. The list goes on and on. He has developed many coping strategies that have gotten him through a 30 year span as a bus mechanic but they are failing him in his interpersonal relationships with our kids and me. His greatest strength is that he is a gifted mechanic despite not ever having read a book by his own admission.

    Boy, do I feel like crap after reading how hard life is with CAPD. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s got it after reading your site. I now have a much better understanding of how I have to present information to him when I speak with him. One of his “quirks” is that he gets aggravated when I refuse to sit and face him when I speak to him. I understand now that it’s not a control issue (as I took it for years) but that he requires that he sees my face when I speak so that he “gets” what I am saying. My daughter has a lot of trouble with reading/speaking in time. She doesn’t understand that 7:50 is the same as 10 to 8. My husband would always round time off to the nearest hour which made me nuts because I schedule and function down to the minute. CAPD explains this time quirk of his.

    Both of my kids have attended Lindamood*Bell Learning Processes. I highly recommend the program. It’s extremely expensive but well worth the investment. After several hours of 1 to 1 instruction, my daughter said to me, “Mom, I really can learn!”. My heart swelled to bursting to hear this. Her reading proficiency soared. The program opened a world that escaped her in the general education setting. Prior to this intervention, she absolutely hated reading and wasn’t very good at it. Now, she loves to read and will devour chapter fiction books in hours and begs to order from the Scholastic order forms that come home from school.

    From here, I will investigate the Fast Forward program for my daughter and be far more forgiving of my husbands idiosyncrasies. Thanks for your hard work to enlighten those of us dealing with CAPD.

    • Trish Reviglio said,

      2 June 2009 at 11:24

      I feel like I just read my life story in a nut shell. My husband and I have been married for 17 years and has been a struggle since day 1. When I had my youngest daughter diagnosed at age 6 with CAPD it all clicked about my husband. I have tried to talk to my husband about going to get an evaluation and he gets very defensive about it. That is another big struggle for me. It is so difficult to deal with and I am so glad to hear there is another wife out there dealing with the same issues. Thanks

  146. Sheila said,

    22 April 2009 at 17:52

    It’s with great interest that I’ve been reading this site and the comments. The description of what it’s like for someone with CAPD touched me deeply. I have a 17 year old son who was diagnosed with CAPD 7 years ago, after struggling with school since kindergarden. Thank god he had martial arts training over the years, which was one place where he felt good about himself. He has a black belt and has even helped teach some classes. However, school continues to be a struggle. He wanted desperately to go to an academic magnet school here in Philadelphia, but did not get accepted due to low test scores in general. His sister graduated from this high school. He ended up at a very small high school and, with the IEP in place and supportive teachers, did well. He decided on his own to apply again to Central High School and was accepted. For me, it’s been a nightmare of a year. For some reason the school did not receive word of his disability. However, immediately his Spanish teacher alerted me that he failed badly the first quiz she gave and she couldn’t understand why because he seemed to be paying attention, did homework, etc.
    He was put in an AP European history course, which went at too fast a pace for him, and algebra has been difficult. It took me awhile to straighten things out, get meetings arranged, and accamodations in place. In the meantime, in one report period he failed Spanish and algebra. They did move him into one of their “normal” accelerated history courses. I am heartbroken due to the fact that this is his junior year and I’m feeling we’re looking at diminished options for college.
    I also feel misled by his guidance counselor at the previous high school who told us she thought Alex could do the work at the new school and he just needed the opportunity to be allowed to be there. We agreed since Alex worked hard to get to this new school and never backed down from this goal.
    I’m at a loss as to what to do as he’s struggling to make sure he at least passes Spanish and algebra and doesn’t put his graduation next year at risk. Given the stress of the year we do not want him to attend summer school, nor does he.
    He keeps feeling that he just needs to work harder or smarter. Despite many sessions with a psychologist around this issue, he does not want to talk about it or deal with it. He’s very upset at times at friends he has who get excellent grades with what he sees as very little effort.
    I would find another school for him, but he says he loves being where he is, he likes the kids, and the teachers. It’s a very large public school, but I have to say the teachers have been as supportive as they can be. He may graduate, but then what? I worry a lot about what’s after that for him and what this whole thing is doing to his self esteem. Oh, he was kicked off the gymnastics team for “bad” grades – and, it was done in a very humiliating way in front of other teammates. When he got up his courage to go to the championship meet to cheer on his teammates, the coach called him out of the stands and, in front of other kids and parents, reamed him out for not yet returning his shirt. We were not there to see this, but my husband called the athletic director, I emailed the coach, and we have yet to hear back on this matter. In the meantime, I was focused on the academic issues, but this way of being treated also broke my heart and seems to go along with the whole issue of CAPD.
    Oh my, maybe I’m rambling on too long here. I do not know anyone else who has a child with CAPD and I’m feeling more and more isolated and lonely with this issue. I can imagine what Alex must feel!
    At home we know what his issue is and it’s frustrating at times to deal with what seems to be inattention, slowness to understand what’s going on around him, and forgetfulness of what we tell him.
    I am really, really nervous about when he leaves home for college, but perhaps he can stay at home and go to Community College. We have 4 older children, so we know it’s inevitable that he leaves home one day . . .
    maybe someone has some comments.
    I’m just thrilled to not feel so alone with this. Yes, I tell friends he has a learning disorder, but it’s not the same as finding someone who actually lives with this. When we mentioned to one friend that Alex was kicked off the gymnastics team his response was, “they have to find some way to punish kids for bad grades” —
    Punish them???!!! I can understand that time spent on athletics takes time needed for academics, but why people look at this as deserved punishment is beyond me – and, that’s the attitude I felt from the coach.
    Thanks for creating this site and space.

  147. 21 April 2009 at 23:33

    Mary, thank you so much for your feedback and help. I know we’re lucky that there is greater understanding of APD right now, although you wouldn’t know it from the response we’ve gotten from our son’s school. Last week we hired a lawyer because the school is refusing services because our son is not 7, and they don’t administer Fast ForWord until the kids are 7. The lawyer believes he can get him all those services, including Linda Moodbell, so we are encouraged. We have also practically drained our savings as right now we are paying for private services. But it must be done to assist him in reaching his potential. Our son is also above average in IQ, and he is very frustrated with stuff. Did you ever do AIT with your son? Ours had a tremendous result from it. Even he said last week, “Mommy, I can understand you now when you talk.”

    I would try some German at home with your son and see how he responds. From the research I’ve read, the neural pathways are laid when they are exposed young. Not sure if its true if the child has APD, but it’s worth testing the theory by talking to your son at home with maybe an online German language tutorial. See how he responds. That might help you decide if it’s the right language for him.

  148. Mary said,

    21 April 2009 at 21:49

    Thanks Bonnie, for your input and suggestions. He has been exposed to German, but cannot remember very much at all: please, thank you, yes, no. I will try to work within the school requirements, but I know they are real sticklers about this new mandate. I will ask about accommodations on testing – thanks.

    Bonnie, I felt like when my son was your sons age, that it would never all fit together – that he would always talk funny and couldn’t understand instructions. But hang in there. They come up with their own coping mechanisms, but you must be a strong voice and advocate for him. I think the programs he took for 6 week intervals for 3-4 years is the ONLY tool that helped him break the code – it just had to be taught in a different way for him to see it. Retaining it was very hard – like starting over each day – so the consistent attendance with these programs are crucial. Our schools weren’t aware of this LD or how to teach to it – so going outside the box is definitely required. I remember at the time thinking I was spending all his college savings for these courses, but now I know that if I hadn’t he would already have given up and dropped out – that he never would have made it through middle school. I have been surprised at how well he has done – made Honor Roll this year – but he works very hard. Hang in there – it will work out with a lot of commitment and follow through. Good Luck!

  149. 21 April 2009 at 19:21

    Mary, our son is 6-1/2 and just now diagnosed with CAPD. He’s also been in speech for 3-1/2 years, and they kept thinking something on the autism spectrum, but he never quite fit that diagnosis. I was the one who said it was CAPD, and I’ve had to fight tooth and nail to get the school to agree to do anything about it. Now that they confirmed he has it, we are having to fight for services. I’m praying he can do Lindamood Bell. I’ve heard that’s the best along with Fast ForWord.

    As for languages, I don’t know if any are easier than others. Probably a Latin-based language like Spanish or French would be easier than one that is truly different than English (like Japanese or Hebrew). Was your son exposed to any languages as a young child? I’ve heard even if they don’t learn the language, the neural pathways for the language are laid down, so if they ever want to learn the language it’s much easier. You might also ask the school if your son could have an exception with regards to 2 years of foreign language. Considering his challenges learning English, there may be a way around that requirement. Alternatively, perhaps there could be accommodations on testing in the language classes. That definitely seems appropriate in this situation.

  150. Mary said,

    21 April 2009 at 16:47

    Hi Andrea,
    Wonderful to read your explanations of what it’s like to live with CAPD. My 15 yr.old son was diagnosed with CAPD at 6 years old, after 4 years of speech therapy. We found a clinic that had Fast Forward by Scientific Learning and Linda Mood Bell programs. He went through those programs and FINALLY learned to recognize letters in 2nd grade, then the programs taught him what they sounded like and finally reading could begin. He is still behind – he cannot read very fast. His language scores in writing are very low still. So, I am very concerned about the volume of reading in High School and College. His high school requires 2 years of a foreign language before he can graduate. I know this will be the most difficult experience for him – he will probably not do well which will lower his GPA and possibly exclude him from getting into college. He has an above average IQ, and works very hard for his grades, but feels like he must be retarded not to retain things. His memory is one of his biggest problems. Is there any foreign language that would be easier to learn? Is there a on-line course that would be a better alternative? I’m really concerned about losing his motivation after all this hard work. He really wants to go to college and has a goal for a career. I don’t want to see him lose his dream because of this requirement for 2 consecutive years of a foreign language.


  151. 18 April 2009 at 15:43

    […] the reward. Talking is hard. Andrea does a much better job explaining what it’s like in Living with (C)APD […]

  152. Marcia Wallace said,

    15 April 2009 at 12:16

    My daughter was diagnosed last year with APD. We did 5 weeks of the Fast Forword program which required us to drive 45 minutes each way for a 2 hour session 5 days a week for 5 weeks. It was hard, but we were committed. Within 2 weeks of the program, it was as if someone flipped a switch and my daughter began talking clearly (something she struggeled with before) and for the first time was able to communicate with us. I was apprehensive because of the time committment and expense, but it was well worth it, and we are doing the next level in a few more weeks.

  153. Isabella G said,

    7 April 2009 at 2:26

    These are the problems I’ve been dealing with and I am 13 years old. I found out this when I was in 5th grade. I have been tring to help myself with understanding. I have great friends they care about my issues so they helped me by listening to the teacher to hear what he or she’s saying then tells me after and I am also ADD
    I am proud that I am not the only one dealing with this problem well maybe where i am at but in this world im not. Thanks For the solutions I really needed a push. If you have any suggestions let me know.

  154. Matt said,

    2 April 2009 at 2:49

    hi Andrea,
    thats great you were able to explain so much about the problems you face. You are the first person me and my mom have found online that explains your struggle with APD. I was diagnosed with it at 3 and I am 23 now. I never got serious about it until I went to college and I was forced to face life on my own for the first time. I ended up transferring back home to a college near by. I went for further testing on APD and I have also checked out many books like “When The Brain Can’t Hear”. I still haven’t fully accepted living with the disorder. I suspect from going to counseling, speech therapy and other things that I probably have some form of ADD. It seems to run in our family as well. Work right now is very frustrating cause its very difficult communicating effectively with my boss and the other employees. They’ve been very impressed with my work quality but the speed I go at is a great concern. Its a constant problem and I feel like I should say something to my boss but I don’t know excactly how without losing my job. They’ve been offering a lot of help but I notice everytime I try to go faster, I forget things or I make a sloppy mistake. I usually take things too seriously at work and in life generally. I can be easily offended or bothered when someone tells me for the 100th time that I’m quiet. I guess a lot of people get that same problem like my mom haha. Thank you for posting your story. Its great to see more and more people are becoming aware of APD and other disorders.

  155. 19 March 2009 at 4:16

    Sam, it’s good to hear they’ve caught your daughter’s issues early. There are many different therapies you can try, but of course no guarantees of what will work. Our 6-1/2 year old son has had screenings that indicate he probably has APD, but they won’t do a full assessment until he’s 7. In the meantime we did AIT (auditory integration training) which had a dramatic effect on his hearing and speech organization. Although I’ve heard some children have no effect. It’s about a 50/50 chance it will help. We’re also doing Earobics at home, and that seems to help. My understanding is the Earobics is good to help focus their listening, but does not provide the same auditory distinction that Fast ForWord provides (which sounds like your daughter’s bigger issue). They are similar, and at least Earobics you can do at home without the supervision of a therapist, and it’s significantly less expensive if you have to pay for it yourself. Many schools use Fast ForWord, and I’ve read research it helps significantly. I would see if your school could offer it.

    I’m very new to understanding APD, but what helped me a lot was the book “Like Water Through Sound”. It’s written by a mother who went through the process of figuring out her son had APD. As I read it I was stunned to see so much of my own son in the story. She talks about a lot of different therapies she did with her son, and how they effected him. I would highly recommend it to give you some ideas for your daughter.

  156. sam said,

    19 March 2009 at 2:45

    Also could someone give me the best computer training program to use for her, The Audiologist has given some suggestions such as earobics and fast for word for her I feel she needs to train her brain to divide her auditory attention when there are 2 different words spoken to her at the same time, as her test showed that her only problem was understanding speech in the presence of background noise. Has anyone heard of links to learning – classical music played with headphones? Any advice will be appreciated. Sam

  157. sam said,

    19 March 2009 at 2:37

    My 7 yo daughter has just been diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder, her problem is very specific with all other evaluations including hearing sensitivity, speech discrimination Auditory memory and perception are all ok . She is doing well at school but needs constant reminding to ask questions if she dosent understand a new concept or misunderstands what is being said.However the Audiologist that tested her told me that by the age of 12 her auditory nervous system will have matured and her performance in the area that she struggled in will improve and she will outgrow this problem.. After reading this very informative site and listening to everybody elses experience this sounds like a lifetime condition, can someone tell me it can be that they outgrow this as they mature or have i been mislead, worried mum

  158. Ray said,

    25 February 2009 at 6:28

    Hi everyone. I went through school never knowing I was diagnosed or had a disorder. The only feeling I had in school was that I was an under-achiever and at times felt stupid. I was creative but when it came to remembering names, dates, terms, comprehension, good speech, I was a lost cause.

    About a half a year ago, I found out from my mother that I was diagnosed with Dyslexia at the age of 5. The symptoms described were that I could only recall the beginning and end of a sentence and that I would write my letters backwards. It was no wonder I struggled so much in school. But that didn’t exactly tell me or provide me anything to take action on. Just made me more curious.

    A few weeks ago, I decided to get myself tested at a specialized center for people who have learning difficulties and other related difficulties. They tested my “cognitive skills” using word segmentation, picture and word association, memory recall with words, sounds and numbers, etc. Test results showed that even though I had scored very high in visual processing, my auditory processing scored at a low 20% with word attack nearby at 40%.

    I looked up information on Auditory Processing and came across information about the related disorder. The symptoms mentioned with the disorder related to my difficulties on many scales. I also looked up information on word attack skills which is leading me to look into activities such as computer training software and handheld games which will train my brain to work on a different scale and hopefully improve on both of my difficulties.

    @Robin: Hey there fellow Houstonian. I live up North in Spring and I found a one-on-one tutoring center in the Woodlands called LearningRX. What they do is train the brain to use the areas, which normally do not get used, with cognitive approaches. Just thought I would share that as it may or may not provide you with some additional information. I’m guessing you have researched into the disorder and made notes about the best ways to teach those with the disorder. Keep those suggestions in mind when looking for ways of teaching. I would also suggest becoming involved with your stepsons journey in excelling with his studies if possible.

  159. Robin said,

    23 February 2009 at 20:33

    I stumbled upon this site when I was searching possible colleges/universities that have classes for my stepson who has Auditory Processing Disorder; he’s currently a sophomore in High School at a public High School that offers “special” classes. I’ve heard that there are colleges that do the same but not sure which ones they are. We live in Houston and would prefer something in Texas if possible. Would appreciate any information offered.

  160. Dr. Jeanne said,

    20 February 2009 at 19:24

    I am 51 years old and a professional who has suffered through many adverse situations during my life and reading this allowed me to figure it out! I almost cried reading through your post….because it is ME! So often my family has shut me out, friends too….because they say I am too caustic and rude,etc. and I have no idea what they are talking about. Getting directions from someone….forget it! I learned a few years ago that having the closed caption on TV has helped me so much to get what I’ve been missing for so long. I just can’t believe I finally figured out “what’s wrong with me” (as my family has so often stated to me.) So many job problems (except when I work for people who are more black and white)….it just all makes sense.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you…..for finally helping me figure out what’s been the issue all these years. I’ve had to learn how to love myself in spite of my families lack of understanding and fervent finger pointing. It’s been hard…but I’ve learned how to cope.

    Any help I can offer….please let me know.
    Dr. Jeanne

  161. 16 February 2009 at 5:20

    Wow, thank you so much for your story, Andrea!! It truly sheds an incredible spotlight on a much misunderstood disorder. My son is 6 years old, and he has an IEP due to speech delays since 3. I believe he has APD, and I’ve been doing tons of research since the fall to figure it out. We finally got him in with an audiologist, and his tests show a mild conductive hearing loss, probably from a lot of ear infections as a child. She said because of his age she could not do a full APD test battery, but she did do the SCAN-C and TAPS tests. On the SCAN-C his composite score was 10%. On the single-word with interfering noise he got 37%. On the TAPS he came up in the disabling category for all parts. Clearly he misses nearly all of what people are saying to him. I don’t know at this point if it’s due to hearing loss, APD with a neurologic origin, or both. What I do know is he is not able to understand most of what is said to him when there is background noise. He gets about 80% of what is said to him if it’s quiet.

    My question for you is this: What do you wish had been done for you to help you as a child? Is there anything that can be done? They’ve talked about this Fast ForWord program, and I’ve heard about LindamoodBell. Are these worthwhile, or is there really nothing that can be done? I have a meeting with the school to fight for some more accommodations. They won’t provide it based on APD since he doesn’t have a definitive diagnosis, but based on the hearing loss they’ll have to do some things.

    Another question: would learning sign language be helpful? When our son did not talk at all we taught him a bit of sign language, and he used it effectively to communicate. Should I teach him full ASL just so he has a means of communicating that he can comprehend?

    Finally, the note about special abilities: My son is already showing exceptional gifts in the area of visual cognition. He has keen eye sight and recognizes patterns in his world. He’s also amazing at puzzles. I think his vision has been his compensation, so it has been more developed than it otherwise would have been.

    Thank you for the amazing information! It has been tremendously helpful! Best regards, Bonnie

  162. Amy said,

    3 February 2009 at 11:33

    Hey there Andrea,
    last week I was informally told that I have ‘Obscure Auditory Dysfunction’ by the audiologist I went to see.. He left me knowing nothing about it and I just thought it was a name for people who had good hearing but something wasn’t right, and he doesn’t know what. after trying to find things about it on the internet, I found out that this is actually the present name for it, and there’s so much more information on it, as it’s ACTUALLY a disability which is recognised! I’m fifteen years old and have really been struggling to hear when I can’t see people mouths (when teachers turn away from the board.. in listening exams on tape etc). Only thing is, my mum is asking for extra support for me in exams– but technically the audiologist hasn’t said I definitely have APD! I don’t want to give in a letter saying I have it but everything points to that and he DID say he thinks I do. However he didn’t mention any tests for it, he just listened to what my problems were, and I had the test with the bleeps which came up normal.. Should I be labelling myself this? It’ll take me months to get another appointment with an audiologist for the testing of APD and my GCSEs (really really important exams in the UK) are coming up in May!
    Sorry but is there anything you can suggest for me to do? I also don’t want to keep coming back to the doctors and keep bugging them for confirmation that I have a problem.. in case they think I’m an attention seeker or something. It’s just I want to KNOW that I have this, not have this doubt that I might be making a big deal out of nothing. And when I go to university or sixth form (post 16 education in the UK) I want to be able to explain to them for definite about this rather than saying, ‘now I MAY have this.. but im not sure’, and expecting them to help me anyway. Sorry for the long post, I’d really really appreciate some help =] xx

  163. Melissa Fisher said,

    20 January 2009 at 21:25

    I am so excited to talk to people that can give me real live answers and ideas for APD. My daughter was diagnosed with this last year and I have been fighting with her school to get accommodations. They say that she is performing fine and that nothing needs to be done. I am a fourth grade teacher and I am seeing her third grade struggles with the language arts area. How do you approach this for people who aren’t educated especially the school setting?

    I am also wondering if anyone sees their child continue to speak with their lips after they are done with a conversation–like they are not done yet. Is this common?

    Thank you for all of your wonderful stories and comments–I will visit this website more often if I can chat with all of you to get more information!!

  164. Amy Green said,

    13 January 2009 at 1:35

    I was just recently diagnosed with APD this past fall. I’m 27! My entire life everyone called me lazy and unfocused. My grades were average so I was never tested for learning disabilities. I have just started graduate school and have found that even with the diagnosis I am still struggling in lecture situations as well as oral presentations. I mentioned to my advisor about my diagnosis and she had no idea what it was. Thank you for writing about APD, the less people that have to go through this difficulty alone the better.

    • S said,

      30 June 2013 at 23:57

      Where and how did you get diagnosed at an older age? My son wS diagnosed with capd while in elementary school. I think my husband may have this and he wants to be tested. Thank you.

  165. Alyssa said,

    9 January 2009 at 21:36

    I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have found your personal explanation of APD.
    My 6 year old son was informally diagnosed with APD by his speech pathologist when he was 3 years old. My family has had such a hard time understanding him and I can tell they think APD is not a “real” disability. I will definitely be forwarding them your story. THANK YOU!!!! I am very blessed that my son has an amazing kindergarden teacher and he is very patient and encouraging. However, my main concern is my son’s behavior. He overreacts to events, he is hyper-sensitive to anything we say, and his automatic response is that someone is talking negative about him or laughing at him. My 7 year old daughter loves to joke around, but it is impossible with my son, because he always feels like she is being mean to him. Even if she is joking with my husband or I and we are just laughing. I assume this is because he cannot follow the interaction between the three of us and when we all laugh he assumes we are laughing at him. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this type of behavior with APD or if I should investigate an emotional issue. I did bring him to a child psychologist a year and a half ago and she felt he was emotionally sound. My heart aches for him and I will do ANYTHING to help him. I just want him to enjoy life and not feel like everyone is against him. Any suggestions?

    Thank you,


    • Trish Reviglio said,

      2 June 2009 at 11:04

      Hi Alyssa,

      My daughter is 9 and was diagnosed at age 6. She is also feels always picked on by her sister. I always just assumed it was just 2 sisters doing their thing. You have shed some light on this for me and now can be more aware and try an explain to her that she is JUST TEASING. My famous last words of the day.

      Thanks Trish

    • Alice Rubinfeld said,

      1 March 2013 at 22:51

      Read Teri Bellis’s book “When the Brain Can’t Hear”. She explains the ADP subtype known as prosodic deficit, ,which is what your son has. It is a problem with processing in the right hemisphere of the brain. There are solutions for it. Good luck.

    • Alice Rubinfeld said,

      1 March 2013 at 22:52

      Read Teri Bellis’s book “When the Brain Can’t Hear”. She explains the ADP subtype known as prosodic deficit, ,which is what your son has. It is a problem with processing in the right hemisphere of the brain. There are solutions for it. Good luck.

  166. 7 January 2009 at 22:18

    […] at Andrea’s Buzzing About: on APD: I am walking across campus when someone stops me. While I am standing there desperately […]

  167. Donna said,

    13 December 2008 at 12:33

    when my son was little I always had to put my hands either side of his head and speak directly at him quietly to get him to “hear” what I wanted him to do. I used to count audibly until he stopped playing with Lego and focused on what I wanted him to do.

    I always had his hearing tested and it came out okay but now, thanks to this sort of web information, I think I finally know what is up with him. This will help him out a lot.

    Thank you so much for your perspective. I think I will pursue getting him tested so that he gets the understanding he needs at school.

    And you know what, there are so many things you mention that I can relate to myself. And maybe even for my Mother! Amazing.

    Thank you, Donna in Australia.

  168. Andy Dilaney said,

    7 December 2008 at 10:57

    hi. i’m 22 and i have CAPD…i’ve never met another person with CAPD so i never really knew what the symptoms were. my parents just told me when i was little i have it but..i never quite knew what was wrong. its been real frustrating lately the past couple years so finally i wanted to look up ways to help and maybe find people to maybe…give me ideas on how to communicate to others on what i have. i hate when people scream at me because i get directions wrong or..when i mishear something and answer wrong. my parents i guess thought i would grow out of it and get really upset with me. its difficult in college now and i wish i knew of how to explain to people what i have without sounds stupid about it.
    i liked your really helped me realize i can maybe talk to others like me and see i’m not alone.
    thank you

  169. Jon said,

    3 December 2008 at 6:40

    –does anyone with APD feel this “disorder” is beneficial in some ways?–

    I don’t know if you’ll see this.
    I’ve often wondered that question myself. I think that is is very possible for this to beneficial. In my own case, I have extremely high logic reasoning and higher order math capabilities, and this is probably because I have spent my life puzzling and teasing out the meaning whenever someone tries to communicate to me. Learning to live with APD has developed my skills in figuring the way to C from A without knowing B. I’ve noticed similar thoughts in the essays on this site – having to interpret and divine meaning from the environment in non-traditional (and often misunderstood) ways; or making assumptions about total sentence meaning by inferring the parts that you are able to process. Well developed compensatory skills can definitely bleed into other mental faculties.
    I’m not sure about the creative thing though. I think there is an overriding idea that any sort of mental or learning disability comes with a powerful imagination. Certainly this is not the case for me.

  170. Jon said,

    3 December 2008 at 6:30

    Very interesting to read. I share many of your symptoms and compensation methods, though some vary. The sentence “Are you going to the four-meter spa?” made me burst out laughing – it’s just so frustrating and often embarrassing to have to ask someone to repeat a simple and well articulated sentence four five or six times – and then to have to stare into space while trying to make the gears in my head turn the gibberish I heard into words with meaning. I’ve yet to meet someone I know suffers from this in person, so its great to in some way connect with another person who ‘actually’ understands.

  171. Cat Trujillo said,

    29 November 2008 at 14:04


    This is my first time at blogging as I’m a bonifide Luddite.

    My son youngest, who is now 23, has CAP/ADP and was diagnosed at age 3. Here’s a somewhat brief history that I believe may give some insight to CAP/ADP. Other mothers may have similar accounts of their children’s birth.

    I was 29 when Jess was born. At about 32 weeks term, I experienced premature labor, which was stopped through meds. As with my first son, labor was long, but his birth was fast stressful (monitors indicated), 35 minutes from 2cm to birth, and his APGAR tests were low as I recall. He was a quiet, happy baby. By age two, I noticed he wasn’t trying to talk and/or his speech was like listening to an entirely different language. I took him to his pediatrician and he had no real concern and stated “we” must be talking for him since he was the youngest, therefore, we were the cause of his delayed language skills. I was convinced it was his hearing. As it turned out he had flat, subzero tympanograms (concave eardrum reflex) and heard everything as if he had a bad headcold and had more than likely been hearing that way since birth. Since my pediatrician wouldn’t react to this, I took him to my Dr. and got a referal to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Jess had tubes placed in his ears (until he was 6) and OT, PT, and S/L began at age 3. He was diagnosed w/ CAP and and IEP followed him throughout his school years.

    Is there a common thread in my birthing experience and first years that connect us?

    Because Jess went to a preschool that specialized in children with diabilities, he made huge gains and he received tons of help throughout the years, for which I am grateful. I have dear, dear friends whose children have severe and profound disabilites. These children are now adults too and they are able to get continued support (as they well should) and programs to provide meaningful experiences for them. When the world has a visual perception of someone with a disability that can be seen and is notably life long, there are continued services out there…although the wait lists are, unfortunately, long. You gotta love these children/adults.

    However, as I had feared years ago, children w/ CAP/ADP, because their disability is invisible, which I like to call a “learning difference”…softens it up a bit, the programs, assistance, and services all end after high school even though it is a recognized disability. CAP/ADP is lifelong too, but then what? There is no IEP to help them in college, but there are counselors. A common theme I was reading in the above blogs, is depression. My son has experienced this too. Our cute, little people grow into adults and struggle in the grownup world who are not: 1) educated in CAP and mistake it for “slowness” (we’re not talking about a visual disability here); 2) the real world moves at an extremely fast pace, one in which our children have an extremely difficult time keeping up with; and 3) people are unkind and take advantage of CAP/ADP people. It can be ugly.

    To this end, what, if any of you out there know of professions, trades, etc. that are well suited to persons w/ CAP/ADP?


  172. shorticon40 said,

    23 November 2008 at 16:29

    Reading your letter was like reading about my own life! I’ve experienced almost the exact same things. Most recently, I have had problems in my marriage because my husband thinks that I’m either ignoring him, not listening or have a terrible memory. He gets angry when I say Hun? and he is speaking clearly and directly at me. Sometimes it sounds garbled and sometimes it takes me a few extra seconds to process what was said. I’ve always been the last one to get the joke and laugh….you all with APD know what I mean.

  173. Mary said,

    23 November 2008 at 4:36

    Has anyone ever had a child younger than 4 diagnosed with APD? My son is 2 years old and he is having a hard time with forming words. He is seeing an audiologist in two days but I’m not sure if they can diagnose that with him being so young. I believe my husband had the same problem. His mother told me of how they would have special seating for him in school because he was having problems. After reading this I get it!! He would always ask me to repeat myself or just say “what” after I spill a huge story to him. It was so frustrating and I would tell him that he was ignoring me on purpose. After this event with my son I have a better understanding of what he is dealing with and what my son may have to face. If anyone knows of someone or has a child that was diagnosed with APD as young as 2…please let me know. Thanks.

  174. Teresa said,

    20 November 2008 at 6:44

    I need suggestions for my 19 year old son who has APD, he works at the factory I am a supervisor at. He use to be on my shift and now is on another shift. I keep getting comments from other people from my shift and the shift that he is currently on about his behavior. I have tried to explain this disorder to them and they just don’t understand. He is coming across as being rude, very talkative, he walks away in the middle of conversations, and of course does not remember his “bad” behavior. Is there anything I can print out and take to work so these people know what they are dealing with in regards to my son.

  175. Marie said,

    17 November 2008 at 4:38

    I have APD.. orginally misdiagnosed with ADD… it’s really great to hear so many people with the same issues as me! I feel as if not too many people really understand what it’s like.

    Does anyone with APD feel this “disorder” is beneficial in some ways? I have heard that we are more creative, but I don’t know. I feel I am very detail-oriented maybe because i’m forced to be. What are your thoughts?

    Marie, 23

  176. qw88nb88 said,

    7 November 2008 at 23:08

    Diana & Louis,
    Regretfully I have no familiar with programmes in your part of the world. I can tell you that some of the touted treatments have not good objective research to support them. (See this post on AIT.)

    The first step would be to consult with an audiologist (explaining that the exam is to help test for APD). They can give you a basic hearing screening to rule out any issues in that regard, as well as additional tests for discrimination. Most audiologists are then familiar with other professions in the general geographic area who specialise in APD. As far as the referral from your primary care physician, that’s between you and your insurance provider.


  177. Jessie said,

    7 November 2008 at 21:54

    Hi qw88nb88,

    I’m a 23 year-old who happened to stumble across APD, which I had never heard of before, on the Internet…and I realized that it would explain so much, like why every time I have a phone conversation I have to ask the person to repeat themselves a dozen times, and still don’t always understand what they said but am too embarrassed to ask again. Or why I can’t understand what my companions are saying in noisy bars, even though they can understand each other. Or why I don’t seem to learn much from lectures. Or any number of other little things. Once I discovered the term, I did a Google search and found this post.

    My question is, how does one get tested (in the US), as an adult? Can one simply look up a local audiologist and schedule an appointment? Would I need to get a referral from my primary care physician? I’m also trying to get my insurance to cover a sleep test for suspected narcolepsy right now, so I’m worried that I’m going to look like a hypochondriac.

  178. Diana and Louis van der Schyff said,

    6 November 2008 at 19:57

    Thank you for all the useful information. My 11year old daughter has been confirmed as APD and we are looking at different options of training programmes available. Where can we obtain these programmes . We live in Cape Town South Africa. Any other usefull comments will be appreciated

    Thanks very much

  179. Wanda Balducci said,

    26 October 2008 at 18:39

    Thank you for writing about your personal CAPD experiences. My son is 14 years old, was diagnosed at age 3, and is currently in the 9th grade. I am using your post to help his teachers, so thanks for taking the time to write about yourself.

  180. Loraine Alderman, Psy.D said,

    25 October 2008 at 0:42

    Hi Julie, In my book “Don’t You Get It? Living With Auditory Learning Disabilities”, several adults as well as my young adult son talk about their experiences of living with APD. I did not get diagnosed until I was in my 40’s, my dad did not get diagnosed until his 60’s. The audiologist who co-authored the book did not learn how to read until the 5th grade. Each person talks about their experiences and struggles and how it has affected all aspects of their life. While it is not an active chat room, I do think you will find it helpful. A review of the book was in the October 6, 2008 edition of the Long Island Press and can be found on their website. The book is available for purchase at The Book Revue in Huntington, Long Island, or through my website at www. psychdocinfo. com If you live in the Long Island area and would like to attend a free workshop on APD contact me through my website and I will e-mail you the dates and locations of the workshops. I hope this helps.

  181. Julie said,

    23 October 2008 at 3:25

    Wow… what a relief to hear I’m not alone. I guess CAPD is what my problem is/ has been.
    It sure is a self-esteem downer to experience these problems within this world full of people who think there “must be something wrong with this girl – why doesn’t she get it?”
    It has caused many problems with relationships, jobs and self doubt. It there a chat room I can enter to further discuss this new discovery? Thank you all for being in my world! Julie.

  182. Maryanne F said,

    16 October 2008 at 19:43

    My son was diagnosed with CAPD my the elementary school he goes to last year. I have been searching all over the net for the best ways to help him. I recently read Dr Alderman’s book that I found at a local bookstore and found it to be insightful and chockful of experiences and helpful hints. I have discussed some of the things that worked for her son , for my son with his teachers and tutors and they have had great results. Andrea has a great site for Adults with Auditory disorders , but when your child confused hair and chair, cow and couch, car and cart or Plato and Play-dough , it can be a horrible parental nightmare. Parents who also have APD may understand better how to work with children who have this disorder. This disorder has NO cure , only a lifetime of compensation techniques that help the sufferer , live a semi normal life. I learned about things like ” Auditory Overload”, “Storage and Retrieval” “Accomodations vs IEP ” and If you want to really help your child with their school and social life and organized sports -then pick up her book – ASAP!

  183. Loraine Alderman, Psy.D. said,

    16 October 2008 at 15:58

    When My son was diagnosed with apd I started to advocate for him in school. While educating myself about apd, I discovered that I have it as well as my father. At the time very little information was available. The result is that we collaborated in co-authoring a book with an audiologist titled “Don’t You Get It? Living With Auditory Learning Disabilities.” It is available at www.

  184. Carla K. said,

    8 October 2008 at 22:31

    My daughter is a Sophomore in High School. She was diagnosed with CAPD in 1st grade thru the Easter Seals program. We have worked closely with her teachers and counselors every year to insure they are educated about CAPD and allow for her accommodations (seating, testing, extra TLC). She has always been in the regular curriculum with her fellow students. When she entered Freshman year (new school) last year..I met with each of her new teachers, counselors, principals to make certain they knew what CAPD was and just to give them an awareness about her…so she would not be misunderstood as a student who didn’t care. With routine follow ups with her teachers via email, phone and in person at conferences AND with her co-operation she thrived….so much that I let my guard down this year and didn’t do the all out meet with each teacher extravaganza. After the first 6 weeks progress report and failing grades, it is obvious to me that I dropped the ball. SO, yesterday, I did the meet and greet extravaganza again and to my surprise found 7 of her new teachers and counselors had never heard of CAPD. As a parent of CAPD child, we must continue to educate those around us and our child including family, teachers, community. That was a hard lesson learned for me this year. She is 15 and did so well last year in school I thought maybe we could get by without stressing the point of her CAPD. All of her teachers were thrilled to be informed and had the “light bulb” affect saying, “Well, I knew something was not right but just wasn’t sure…that explains it because I know she is smart and has potential.” I have beat myself up for not going to school day one of Sophomore year and making sure they knew. I will NOT let it happen again.

    When she was about 10 years old, one of her Sylvan instructors once told me, “She may never read and comprehend as well as we all want her to but, that’s fine, that is just the way she is. She will learn to overcompensate in other areas. She is just as God intended for her to be.” It is so true….she is blossoming in so many ways in her teen years and we are so proud of her!!

    Parents out there….you must be the educator to your child’s educators so they can understand there is so much more behind the blank stares and confused looks on their little faces. CAPD is a condition that few people are aware of and it can be so misunderstood.

  185. K said,

    2 October 2008 at 16:26

    I found your website quite by accident and you may have changed my life! I was reading a letter that mentioned a child with APD and not knowing what that was I decided to look it up. Imagine my shock when I found myself!

    I have always been accused of being lazy, stupid,rude,and forgetful. But most importantly I have never “lived up to my full potential.” I feel overwhelmed in classrooms and school hallways. Group settings and parties are a nightmare, I hate the telephone and the “four-meter spa” conversation is a daily occurrence for me. While reading I thought “if song lyrics are mentioned you have APD” and there it was! I never get song lyrics right without them written out for me.

    I will go and get tested for APD, but after reading your website I know have it. All these years I have been so hard on myself. It looks like it’s time to give myself a break! Thank you.

  186. Kathy said,

    16 September 2008 at 3:29

    I have a question, my son (now 18 and in HS) was diagonosed with APD at around 12. He still cannot decipher important ideas etc in his school work, and his social skills are really lagging. I tried various things but insurance does not cover it, and I have ran out of ideas and resources. Any ideas?

  187. radha said,

    4 September 2008 at 5:03

    What is the best way to teach multiplication facts and spelling to someone with CAPD? My 10 yr old son has it

  188. Merle said,

    25 August 2008 at 15:55

    Unlike most of the others who’ve posted messages, I am a 67 year-old woman who was diagnosed with severe APD about 10 years ago (finally)!
    The condition most noticeably affects my behaviour, i.e. hyper-sensitivty to any negative comments, overreaction to events, extreme depression. I have alienated my children and (former) friends by my behaviour, which is oftern inappropriate. I live in the UK and feel that I desperately need help before I become a complete hermit! Any suggestions????

  189. Brittany said,

    10 August 2008 at 23:03


    Thank you for your insight and advice. We have met with the teacher and visited the classroom which seems to have helped my son get excited about school. I suppose I will just see how things unfold and go from there.


  190. qw88nb88 said,

    10 August 2008 at 22:15

    It depends partly upon the teacher’s style of classroom management (some teachers have higher noise-level standards if they feel it is “happy, productive noise”), and partly upon your son’s own preferences and needs.

    It’s really hard to generalise about teachers; sometimes older women will have calmer classrooms, sometimes older women will be less easily adaptable to different routines, sometimes new teachers are a bit overwhelmed and either too lax or strict, sometimes newer teachers are more amenable to doing things differently, and so on.

    If the two of you can visit the classroom and teacher before school starts, and she goes over where things are, and what the routine will be, that will help.

    All Kindergarteners have a period of adjustment to the new surroundings, people, and routine. Once the two of you feel that adjustment stage has passed, then it would probably help to individually assess how he is doing with regards to his stress levels, social adjustment, and learning progress, and then get together to discuss those and any adaptations that need to be made. Don’t forget, if your boy is a bright lad and already knows a bunch of the early material that is being taught, any lapses in comprehension will not necessarily show at the beginning.

    In general, classrooms that are quieter, that have consistent routines, that focus on having the students help each other as part of the class culture, and that are focused upon results rather than everyone following the same procedures, will all be more amenable to students with various difficulties that affect learning.

    If the class is in a regular district school setting and your son has an official diagnosis, then the school’s SpEd team can offer suggestions, even if a 504 or IEP isn’t drawn up at this point.


  191. Brittany said,

    10 August 2008 at 21:16

    Hi Andrea,

    Thank you for your quick reply. In answer to your question, I am concerned that the size of the class will totally overwhelm him and that he will be unable to focus or concentrate. I am new to all of this and don’t know if I will be making him miserable by putting him in such a large class. If the teacher is willing to work with him does that mean that the size of the class shouldn’t matter? I have met with his new teacher and she doesn’t know much about the disorder but seems willing to learn and help.



  192. qw88nb88 said,

    10 August 2008 at 20:32

    What are you specific concerns about your son, with respect to the class size? A smaller class might help, but does not guarantee anything with regards to the teacher or the room or the schedule et cetera.

  193. Ezzie J said,

    10 August 2008 at 4:07

    Where do I start! Halleluia! Yours is pretty much the best resource I’ve come upon.

    I bit the bullet and bought a radio aid for myself and I wouldn’t be without it. Half my bag contents is hearing equipment – I luv it when someone else is using the loop system at meetings because that means I can get the use of it too. You can find these little receiver things which are great.

    I have a 20 decibel loss in my left ear and am 10 decibels above normal in my right. I would like to go to one of these speech, hearing and balance centres to see what they think because I think a hearing aid might be good for me generally. To top it all I’m blind so this is very frustrating and hazardous. Anyways enough ranting.
    any good makes of cheap converence mics?i don’t particularly want my £300 radio aid to get dropped in the drink in a pub somewhere smile.

  194. Brittany said,

    10 August 2008 at 2:29

    Hello Andrea,

    I have a six year old son who was recently diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder and will be entering Kindergarten this Fall. We are concerned about the fact that his class will have 25 students. Should we look for another Kindergarten program with a smaller class size (under 20). I’d really appreciate any thoughts or comments on this.

    Thank you.

  195. qw88nb88 said,

    11 July 2008 at 1:03

    There are plenty of other positions at a grocery besides the noisy realm of cashiering! (Besides, standing all day is really hard on the feet.)

    It may be time to check with the doctor or someone about assessment for depression. But as for the big picture, instead of trying to do things that are going to be inherently difficult, start looking for alternatives that use skills but don’t create additional hardship. If he didn’t make the team, would he be interested in coaching younger kids in basketball at summer camps or other organisations? Would he be interested in office work instead of retail?


  196. Ms N said,

    9 July 2008 at 2:48

    My 17 yr old son has a job as a cashier at a grocery store. He wants to quit because he said his CAPD is making it hard to do the job. It is giving him headaches. Is there any suggestions for good kinds of jobs for these kids. He quit everything in seventh grade because he did not make the middle school basketball team. He is a great athlete. He won’t do anything anymore. How long do I tolerate the low motivation? Quitting the job will only add to a long line of quitting. HELP!

  197. qw88nb88 said,

    6 July 2008 at 19:43


    [1] Rephrasing helps!

    [2] So does asking one thing at a time, instead of several — this includes asking questions and asking for him to do things.

    [3] You can also preface requests by including alerts for enumeration, “Would you please get the THREE things you need to go to school: your jacket, your backpack, and your lunch,”

    then you pause to let that process while he thinks of these things and when and why he needs them, and general thoughts about seeing his friends at school,

    and then before he dashes off, you ask him, “What three things do you need?”

    this allows him to retrieve the list from active memory and get it into short-term memory and having him repeat them back provides another route for the list to get routed into short-term memory as well.

    Please check out these posts on “Headlining” and “How hard can it be?”

    This recent post on, “Are you ‘slow’?” may also be helpful as you and your son run into others’ attribution errors about his abilities.


  198. Kristi said,

    6 July 2008 at 13:50

    Thank you so much. My son’s preschool teacher said she thought he had CAPD but that we could not test until he was older. Now he is 7, I just got the results Thursday and your explination helps so much. I get frustrated when I simply state something to him and he acts like he doesn’t understand. I don’t want to be frustrated, but I will try to rephrase until he can grasp what I am say. I know we have a long road to haul, but with help, I know we can do it!

  199. qw88nb88 said,

    30 June 2008 at 23:44


    Just about every university or college has some sort of Disability Access office. When you get to college, you don’t really have an IEP per se. Instead, you meet with the access counselors, who can recommend (and help provide) various accommodations for you. For APD issues, these may include such things as note-takers (usually a student in your class who volunteers), preferential seating close to the lecturer, a quiet testing environment, and/or extra test-taking time (such accommodations are often recommended for students with AD/HD as well).

    There are also a number of courses that may be taken on-line, even at “regular” colleges. With online classes, there is more reading of material in PowerPoint, in papers, and in books, rather than sitting in lectures and trying to listen and take notes. Online classes are also scholastically demanding, but in other ways — your reading and writing skills are important, not your listening skills.

    In addition to any of those accommodations, one of the most important can be tutors. These may be either peer tutors (more experienced students who have had the class and received A or B grades) or older adults (teachers and other professionals, such as myself). Tutors who work for the access departments are usually experienced in working with students who have various disabilities. They don’t assume that you are “stupid” because you don’t get everything the first time you read or hear it.

    Most colleges will require fairly recent assessments; the figure commonly cited is three years or less — this means that a student’s assessment that was done in second grade will no longer be useful, except as proof for needing re-assessment. A person’s skills will change over the years, as coping mechanisms are developed, but as you have noted, the scholastic demands also increase. So a recent re-assessment is not just for bureaucratic reasons!

    The Learning Disabilities Association of America has a bunch of pdf links on this page on adults going to college and entering work. This other page by Schwab Learning also has a number of information links, including those for specific colleges (I think that Schwab Learning is a great site, but cannot personally vouch for all those links, so surf thoughtfully).

    As far as improving academic skills, some colleges have extra classes for students to improve various scholastic skills, including reading, spelling, mathematics, and time-management & organisational skills. Although you may feel that you’ve already been through similar programs in your youth, do remember that at this stage in your life you have a much better understanding of what you specifically have trouble with, what you need to improve in, and can appreciate how going through such courses will help you do better with less stress.

    Right now it sounds like much of the anxiety is a combination of fear of the unknown, and feeling like your struggles are not being taken seriously. Please remember that college is not like high school — I know, you hear that all the time! But I mean that in good ways, too. And don’t let anyone tell you that you need to learn how to do everything yourself and that you can’t expect any help in college or at work, because those statements are NOT true. There’s a difference between challenging students, and just making things difficult on them.

    Meanwhile, you are planning ahead and gathering information to make informed choices, and having more information and talking with the access people will help allay many of those concerns. And don’t worry about depending on people, because everyone depends on other people! (Try this post for food for thought.)


  200. Dorothy said,

    26 June 2008 at 1:37

    Hi Andrea,

    I am so happy that I found your website when I was looking up “colleges that help APD students.” I am going to be a senior in high school this fall and I am really nervous for college especially having this disability. My father has fought for me at school to get an IEP. I feel the IEP is good; however, for me, I can read perfectly and a lot of my friends treat me just like a normal human being. For me, I find it VERY difficult understanding texts and following lectures. Because of this, my father is looking into schools that have LD programs. My father and I also asked the child study team at my school to help find a reading teacher for me in order to sit down and read and make sure I understand it. My case manager and the speech therapist at my school refuses. To me, I believe they look at my grades and depend on it. Truthfully, those grades is good to them because of the help of many tutors. I even tried to tell my case manager and speech therapist that without these tutors, I would not be able to get these grades. I am really scared that when I go to college, I would need to depend on someone. I have one year left of high school and I was wondering if you can give me any suggestions on how to build up my reading skills and any colleges that you think is beneficial.

    Thank you for your time,

  201. 25 June 2008 at 12:48

    […] #2 I had a run-in with Auditory Processing Disorder yesterday; yet another reason why I think it’s likely that I have it. Andrea’s Buzzing has a really post about it here. […]

  202. 21 June 2008 at 15:42

    […] accompanied by various comorbidities, including (but not limited to): sensory processing disorder, auditory processing disorder, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, motor coordination difficulties, hyperacusis, hypermobility, […]

  203. Astrid said,

    5 June 2008 at 10:41


    I really wanted to say thank you for posting all of this. I’m trying to look up information on CAPD, especially what it actually feels like for the person who has it (the information geared at parents is interesting but not all that useful) because I think I may have it. I’ve always known I had some kind of hearing issue, especially regarding background noises (when 99.9% of your age group want to socialise in places that destroy your ability to understand spoken language, aka pubs and clubs, you figure that out quite quickly) but I’ve never been able to figure it out exactly. I’m still not sure this is right, because a lot of the things I read aren’t familiar at all (I didn’t have any trouble with school, have always been exceptional at reading, writing and spelling. I still don’t have any problems with lectures, although I should point out maths lectures are strongly visually based.) and it doesn’t seem to impact my life nearly as much as people have been describing. Also, some of the things that are similar aren’t quite the same. For instance, I get processing delays occasionally but I’m also unable to /speak/ while they happen – it’s less being unable to process a particular phrase as it is forgetting what language is for a few seconds – and that hasn’t shown up in any of the material I’ve looked at.

    Do you happen to know any links that would be helpful to an adult who’s trying to figure out whether they have CAPD? If not, that’s fine – this has been immensely helpful already.

  204. Regina Crockett said,

    28 May 2008 at 2:28

    As a mom of a 21 year old daughter who was not diagnosed properly for CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder) until the age of 15, I can say that the Fast ForWord products by Scientific Learning changed her life. She had severe CAPD, Dyslexia, severe expressive and receptive language delays and all this started at the age of 7 months. She was in a retained Special Education class through the 5th grade. She ended up graduating from High School with a “regular diploma” and a GPA of 3.043 for her four years of high school. She is now a student at Memphis College of Art working towards an animation degree. She still has many challenges, but, the six years we have spent using this program has been worth every bit of time and money. There is a hope….God Bless to all of you who are struggling, but, never give up….

  205. 25 May 2008 at 2:45

    I’ve just recently started to realize my burgeoning ability to lip read. *rolls eyes* I despise phone calls. And I despise answering machine messages too. To the point that I sometimes unplug my machine to erase the messages so I don’t have to worry about hearing and deciphering them. That sounds really bad doesn’t it.

  206. Tammy T said,

    23 May 2008 at 3:19

    I would just like to say, that this is great information. I have been diagnosed with CAPD since grade one, I am now at university. Elementry school was the worsted for myself. My grade one teacher said that I wasn’t paying attention and just day dreaming, not working hard, etc. Finally after much push from my parents the school gave me a labell, that I just had a auditory processing problem, but our family friend who was a teacher said that I should be tested my the provincial government since the label the school gave me was just a label. After much testing they had a clear diagnoses for my disability, and could now work with it. It was a huge relief just to know exactly what I had. The problem there after was most of my teachers did not want to let the word out that I had a disability. So I was getting called stupid from other children, a lot of teasing, and usually then I would just find a place to hide. I was about to be taken out of that school by my parents if the school didn’t do something. My mom was then allowed to come into the class and speak to my class mates about my disability, and that showed them , that I was just as able as they were. This helped me a lot, I got teased less, the teachers knew how to teach me, better seating arrangments, I used the FM (I did not like to wear it) it made me feel singled out so I only wore the thing for 2 years. If you do know someone with this disability I don’t think they should be ashamed of it. I was lucky enough to get extra help in my school by a person that teaches the deaf, since I was at the same reading level as another person with a hearing problem and this Teacher taught me how to sound out word, since most kids are not taught this aspect of language, and with my disability I was unable to catch the sounds of these words I was hearing. If you know someone with this disability it would be a good investment to teach them how the words sound. It has helped me and I still use their techniques.
    When I reached junior high, I did not need much help after that, I had some how development my own mechanisms to deal with my problem, I worked my butt off to get average marks, I would come home exhausted just because I was so hard of focusing on what was being said to me. It drains you out. Right now, I don’t notice my coping mechanisms, but I still work really hard, more than others would, I am taking less courses at my university than the majority, just because of the workload, it takes me a long time to get through it all, since I am a slow reader. In elementry during reading times, I can remember pretending to read, because I just could not read, I was unable to sound out the words, because I didn’t know how they sounded like.
    I am a very sociable person, I don’t normally talk about my disability to people , no one has asked me if I have a problem, I just ask a ton of questions, and also people ask me where I got my accent from, I don’t notice that myself, but if I have been hearing words wrong for so long I bet it would sound strange to people I talk to. As for my professors I don’t tell them, I like to do things on my own, but if you are struggling in university, I know at my school they offer a ton of resources for people with LD’s which is a great help. Don’t be shameful of it, everybody processes information differently.

  207. Christina W. said,

    13 May 2008 at 2:10

    One more thing….(see post 58. for previous info) – he had a heck of a time memorizing multiplication tables. I remember learning them in 3rd grade easily. He finally has them now at the end of 5th!
    One more question for everyone: he is considering taking band as a class next year…and is supposed to play the tuba. He loves music – at least listening to it on his Ipod. Would band be a good idea, bad idea? Would his APD make any difference one way or another? Thank you!!

  208. Christina W. said,

    13 May 2008 at 2:01

    My son is to enter middle school in the fall. Has APD. We did the Lindemood Bell program (I think that was the name of it) when he was in 1st grade and part of 2nd then he “graduated” from that program & we thought all was well. Reads well above grade level, much better at sounding out words, etc. However, this year he’s really struggled with spelling. This is a GT child, high IQ, can memorize passages after reading 1 time, but cannot spell correctly and consistently. Still has some trouble reading aloud – will mix up the words or say the wrong word. Another thing his teacher has mentioned several times is that he will come up to her and ask for directions on a particular project – and she will say, I just covered that with the entire class 5 minutes ago. Apparently he never even clued into the fact that she was up, talking, giving directions, etc. and this year (5th grade) his nice teacher will explain to him what she just said. However, next year, I know that probably won’t happen – multiple teachers, etc. and I am concerned.
    Should we return for more auditory training? Is there something else I could/should do for my son to help him?
    Any thought/help would be greatly appreciated. I just thought this was “cured” and we were done w/ it since we had completed that program….

  209. Carole said,

    30 April 2008 at 18:55

    My granddaughter has finally been diagnosed correctly and has learned to deal with it. She is on a national championship cheerleading squad at her high school and will be attending college this fall majoring in photography and minoring in business. We expect great things from her.

  210. Tammy said,

    26 April 2008 at 15:13

    Wow, this is very helpful. Thanks SO MUCH for your replies. I know you are a busy lady.

  211. qw88nb88 said,

    26 April 2008 at 14:59

    Maureen, you may share this — please do include the citation (source) information, which you will find at the end of my post (before the comments).


  212. qw88nb88 said,

    26 April 2008 at 14:46

    My apologies for the delay in responding (I have had ten times as many comments this week as usual).

    I would say that listening to music while doing homework is not going to be a problem (I do it, as does my kid with APD). You are probably worrying that your daughter is using part of her cognitive processing for decoding the lyrics, rather than attending to the homework. But in fact, when someone is listening to familiar things, less attention is needed because you already know what it sounds like.

    Many students (such as those with AD/HD) will have background music on because it helps filter out some of the distracting noises. It also gives the auditory processing part brain something easy and familiar to focus upon. Think of it as a good distraction, like when you give a toddler a toy in a waiting room so they aren’t wandering around getting into things.

    Personally, I find a classroom full of people to be a more difficult place to take a test in, because all the random sniffles, sighs, foot shuffles, pencil scritching, eraser rubbing and consequent crumb-brushing, paper shuffling et cetera to be distracting. New or unfamiliar music would also be distracting. But listening to something well-known covers over the small environmental noises in a room (on campus or at home), and makes it easier to stay focused.

    You also know that when you make a long car drive, listening to your music makes it easier to stay engaged on the task because it keeps you from getting bored or sleepy.

    I’m not keen on the television + homework thing unless the student is just going through worksheets that they find easy. But the music + homework thing is rarely a problem.


  213. Tammy said,

    22 April 2008 at 19:54

    My 16 year old listens to music, and has the TV on when she does her homework. She has mild/moderate CAPD. It seems to me that she is “overloading the system” with all that noise but she swears she studies better and I really think at this age if she gets it done then it isn’t worth the fight of forcing her to study “my way”. Is there a chance it actually helps her in any way?

  214. maureen said,

    22 April 2008 at 17:32

    would you mind if i shared your story with my class mates during a class presentation ?

  215. qw88nb88 said,

    10 April 2008 at 0:27

    Contact the disability access services department of the college to discuss with them what they may need in the way of documentation, and what they can offer in the way of accommodations.

    Contact an audiologist and enquire with them about APD specialists.


  216. Shari said,

    9 April 2008 at 18:49

    Can you tell me the best place to go for a diagnosis? I have an 8 yr. old daughter that struggles with these issues. We are in the Northeast, but I would travel anywhere to help her. Thank you!

  217. Cathy said,

    4 April 2008 at 17:03

    My 17 yr old son has CAPD. He works extremely hard and has excellent grades but I’m concerned about college. He spends tons of time on schoolwork as it is. Does anyone have advice about colleges, such as, is smaller class size better? Should he pursue getting extra time on college exams? Thanks

  218. qw88nb88 said,

    29 February 2008 at 22:28

    Sound-cancelling headphones (such as the Bose brand) only work to block out constant and consistent noises. This means that they will block out things like the roar of the jet engines, or machinery hums in your office. They will not block out intermittent sounds that change in pitch, like people talking.

    One asks for accommodations after getting the job, rather than in the interview. It’s helpful to phrase such requests in ways that show the benefit to the employer, such as, “I would be much more focused and productive with my desk away from where others are talking.”

    You can also ask co-workers to e-mail or IM you instead of phoning — if you make that request reminder to individuals in an e-mail, then they will have your e-mail to reply to (and won’t have to look up your internal e-mail address).

    Maybe you could even become the company’s representative who answers calls on the TDD line (Telephone Device for the Deaf, also known as TTY).


  219. Kate said,

    29 February 2008 at 18:49


    I forgot to mention this but if you ever want to improve or get rid of part of your CAPD, there is a possibility you can. I used to have memory and comprehension issues-not the worst case in the world, but I definitely gave people a lot of blank stares when they were talking to me, and understanding a movie or lecture was out of the question. To my luck, I found the simplest way to overcome this problem: a cheap program called Brainbuilder. I did it for about 6 monthes, 15-30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. My digit span used to be a 4 and is now a 9 or 10! Plus, those closest to me say it seems I now understand what they say.

    It took me a while to notice the change because I am so distractible with my ADD and severe auditory figure ground issues. However, in quiet environments, such as listening to movies online with headphones, I understand everything.


  220. Kate said,

    29 February 2008 at 18:39


    Thank you for the information. I try headphones but they don’t seem to work well enough. I don’t have Bose noise cancellation headphones, though. Do you?

    How did you get a supporting noise environment? I would have a difficult time trying to explain this in a job interview. (Working in a cubicle or even in the room with other people talking on the phone would be difficult.)

    I actually use the fan strategy at home. I used to not sleep for maybe 4 or 5 nights in a row just because I couldn’t filter out the noise around me. Now, I sleep very soundly. :)

    Thanks so much! It is good to see there are other people out there with CAPD.

  221. qw88nb88 said,

    24 February 2008 at 18:22

    I cope in several ways.

    Some of it relies upon setting up supporting work environment, meaning finding places away from excess noise when possible.

    Other times I have to self-advocate, and that seems to work best by framing my needs request as something for the other person’s benefit, such as, “I really want to hear what you have to say, but we need to move someplace that’s not so noisy so I can understand you better.” The good news is that when working with students with various disabilities, what works for me also works for them — all those ADD people need fewer distractions, too!

    Sometimes when I need to focus on something I will wear headphones and listen to music (instrumental; no vocals) to block out the background noises and give my brain something familiar to process that doesn’t really need my attention.


  222. Kate said,

    24 February 2008 at 17:47


    I have CAPD also. How do you cope with it on the job? I am a college student going into graphic design and am terrified (or convinced) my chances at keeping a job are slim. I can’t block out background noise at all, so my performance at most everything is compromised when there is the slightest amount of background noise.
    I sometimes think the better solution would be to forget my dreams and go into an easier job like house cleaning.

  223. SamO said,

    21 February 2008 at 20:18

    To my previous comment. Extra time on tests worked for me, but I do not claim it will work for everyone. Extra test time is not the quick fix for CAPD education problems.

  224. SamO said,

    21 February 2008 at 20:14

    TamB, I am a 21yr college student born with CAPD. I also had difficulty with tests. Knowing I would struggle with tests I would work extra hard doing homework, classwork, and extra credit to make up for poor test scores. On tests I knew I knew the answers but would make misstakes under the time limit. My 8th grade year I requested extra time for tests. Having extra time on tests allowed me to concentrate better to work out difficult question, read and re-read and re-re-read word problems, short stories, and multiple choice questions. My test scores increased and my overall grade. Not to mention I became less anxious and nervious about tests causing my face to clear up and be a much more happy me.

  225. 9 February 2008 at 23:43

    […] Processing Disorder, Autism/Asperger’s, Tinnitus, hyperacussis) The other day (er, week) I promised to post some thoughts on AIT, so here they […]

    • S said,

      8 April 2013 at 12:05

      My son will soon be entering college and he sounds very similar to you as to how he deals with his capd. He is struggling in choosing a major that will be a good fit. What major seems to be a good fit for people with capd? He happens to hold a 3.9 in high school but this is with a lot of very hard work. Thanks for any suggestions on majors or career choices.

      • 8 April 2013 at 12:28

        A choice of career really needs to be based primarily on actual interests and strengths. There is no such thing as careers “good for” a person with ANY particular disability. People with all sorts of disabilities go into all sorts of fields and professions. Granted, there may sometimes be a handful of jobs that simply should not be done by people with certain disabilities (eg, given that we do not YET have cars that can safely drive themselves, a blind person should not be a truck driver or cab driver!). Also, the WAY in which certain tasks are conducted may need to change. For example, a person who is completely deaf who wants to become a doctor may need certain machines and tools that can take the place of “listening” through a stethoscope. And sometimes there are certain specializations within certain fields that rely too heavily on certain skills that a person with certain disabilities doesn’t have to work well. For example a person with mobility impairments who cannot easily turn and roll patients in bed or other physical tasks probably should not take on the type of nursing job that requires doing a lot of physical tasks for most of the day. But they may still be able to pursue other types of specialties in the field that don’t involve as much physical labor. Or they may be able to make arrangements with colleagues to trade off certain tasks they can’t do and take on additional tasks that they CAN do (that would otherwise have been done by the people who are now spending extra time answering phones).

        Instead of asking “what majors or career choices” are “a good fit” for people with capd (answer: most of them, albeit usually with certain simple adaptations), look to his interests and strengths, just as you would for any student who doesn’t have disabilities. Focus on building upon what he HAS, and the adaptations for what he doesn’t have will usually fall into place around that with a bit of creativity and resourcefulness, and perhaps talking with people sharing similar disabilities in similar professions for additional ideas for how to resolve certain specific challenges.

  226. qw88nb88 said,

    9 February 2008 at 21:14

    Krissa et al:

    See note added to the end of the article regarding how to cite this post.


  227. Krissa Anderson said,

    9 February 2008 at 20:36

    I am writing a college paper in regards to the realities of auditory processing and to try to refute popular opinion that APD does not exist. I believe your blog would be invaluable to my paper and would love to use this and be able to cite it accurately, Is it possible to get your full name and date of this blog? Again, I would much appreciate this. Thank you.

  228. Judy said,

    8 February 2008 at 11:23

    I have an IEP meeting for my daughter next week. She was diagnosed with APD when she was in first grade. She’s now in 5th and will be going onto middle school next year. So the IEP we’ll be meeting about will impact next year more that this. Can anyone recommend accomodations we should ask for concerning middle school? Also, we live in Pennsylvania, where APD is not one of the disabilities that will get you an IEP or a 504. My daughter has one only because she has speech issues, because of the APD. Thanks.

    • Francie said,

      17 November 2009 at 19:21

      Judy, My 15 year old son with CAPD and ADHD and epxressive adn receptive langauage as well as st memoryissues has his IEP meeting Thursday. Can you tell me if you got a list together for your daughter’s meeting? I did not seem an answer to your question on this post! Thanks, Francie

  229. Chris said,

    31 January 2008 at 5:06


    Here is what I know from experience with my daughter (almost 9) who was also flagged in preschool with processing issues at age 4.

    You have to see the audiologist to rule out any problems with the hearing mechanics. The audiologist can also tell you if your daughter has trouble hearing in the presence of background noise. This will indicate that she has a heightened sensitivity to certain frequencies. But it is a speech pathologist that can help you diagnose the problem and recommend therapy or a series of therapies.

    We saw a speech therapist when my daughter was 4. She did a series of tests, recommended short term therapy and began working on the “symptoms” of the APD — e.g, trying to build her ability to execute multi-step directions, auditory comprehension exercises, etc. Basically after 6 months and much money spent, she “released” my daughter. I never saw any change in my daughter and really feel it was a complete waste of time.

    My daughter is now in 3rd grade, and after tutors and outside help, her 3rd grade teacher told me at our parent teacher conference that she is really starting to be affected academically. After that conference, I did a lot of research and sought out the most highly regarded speech pathologist in our area. She tested my daughter in a number of different ways. The final test that she administered was a different kind of hearing test (different from an audiologist). This test revealed that my daughter has heightened sensitivity to certain frequencies (you want an even level of sensitivity to the frequencies that occur most often in speech), left ear dominance (apparently you want right ear dominance for efficient language processing) and also some ear confusion. The sensitivity to the certain frequencies correlated to what we found out through our audiologist test — that under perfect conditions, my daughter hears at a rate of 90%. In the presence of background noise, her hearing drops to 60%.

    You can imagine how shocked and grateful I was to finally have found out exactly what the underlying problems were with my daughter. I was also exasperated that we hadn’t found out about this sooner! Why hadn’t the first speech therapist tested her for this? Anyway, most importantly, I was thrilled to have found someone who I believed could help her. She recommended Berard Auditory Integration Training (which she is licensed for) to even out my daughter’s sensitivities to certain frequencies and help her achieve more symmetric hearing.

    Because the senses are all integrated, I was told I may see changes in not only her “listening” and comprehending, but in other motor skills as well although we had never had a motor skills problem that I detected. Lo and behold today as she was doing her homework, I had to do a double take because the work was sooooooooooooo much neater and organized. She was very sloppy with her handwriting before. That has completely changed. I guess internally she was just “disorganized” before — but not anymore! The other thing I have noticed is that her expressive language is much better. When she is retelling an event, it is much easier to follow her. She has definitely made some great strides.

    One thing to note, when I asked my speech pathologist why our old speech therapist never tested for the underlying problems and recommended the AIT, she told me that apparently something like less than 2% of speech pathologists are even trained in this. I guess that is because ASHA has not had conclusive results in the research in order to officially recommend this. In our case, it has shown great promise but I don’t know if it works for everyone. I would just recommend that you go to a speech pathologist that is very highly regarded in your area and has all of the latest available therapies to offer you and to address the underlying problems before addressing the symptoms.

    Good luck and keep me posted on your progress!


  230. Jennifer said,

    30 January 2008 at 23:19

    Thank you for this wonderful information. Our 3 1/2 year old daughter was recently “red-flagged” by her preschool teacher for processing delays. The teacher reports a 2-3 second delay between the time she is given a directive and follows it. In addition, she has difficulty following 3 step directives. We’ve scheduled an evaluation by a pediatric audiologist next week. We want to do all we can to support her and maximize her learning potential. I would appreciate others input on therapies, programs, or activities that will help her. Someone recently recommended the “Fast ForWord” program. Has anyone used this?

  231. Chris said,

    30 January 2008 at 1:05

    Hello Everyone-

    We completed Auditory Integration Training last week and my daughter’s reading teacher told me today that she has seen a notable difference in my daughter who seems to be “with her” now. She also apparently wrote this amazing summary of something she read in class that just floored her reading teacher. I too have noticed her focus and attention has changed and that she is really listening to me when I speak to her. I also had a big observation last week that really hit me….

    She was bent over her desk changing her music player while I was sitting on her bed. She was not facing me and was totally engaged in what she was doing. I said to her “why don’t you take the things you need out of that bag (which was on her floor) and throw the bag away.” She finished what she was doing on her music player, picked up the bag, took out what she wanted, and threw the bag away all the while carrying on an unrelated conversation with me!!!!! This was SO out of character for her I couldn’t even believe it. I am so encouraged.

    I just wanted to share this information with everyone. I have no affiliation with any therapists, groups or training techniques. I am simply a mom who would do anything to help her kid. In my case, we have seen some success. I am told I can expect to continue to see results over several months.


    • Michele Hermet said,

      3 September 2012 at 11:36

      This is so heart warming to read a success story with AIT ! I am a strong believer ! I have seen so many people transformed by the therapy ! But it requires a good therapist, good equipment and the full participation and support for the family. I am happy for your daughter !

  232. lisa said,

    28 January 2008 at 22:22

    Hello I have an eight year old child with APD, and he is trying to understand his dissorder, while I work with children with LD I find myself reading up alot and I understand and help as much as I can. I think it’s much harder to try and get other people around us to understand about APD , and for them not to think of him as just a naughty boy. We have lots to learn but it’s nice to know that were not the only ones.

  233. Chris said,

    22 January 2008 at 3:43

    Thank you, Andrea. Did you ever undergo AIT yourself or know of others who did?


  234. qw88nb88 said,

    21 January 2008 at 22:31

    Unfortunately, AIT does not hold up well under controlled studies. I’m planning on doing a post on this sometime soon, but meanwhile here’s the American Speech-Hearing-Language Association’s Position Statement on Auditory Integration Training (C)2004:

    In 1994, the American Speech-Hearing-Language Association (ASHA) Subcommittee on Auditory Integration Training (AIT) concluded that AIT, a method proposed for treating a variety of auditory and nonauditory disorders, was experimental in nature and had not yet met scientific standards as a mainstream treatment. The subcommittee recommended that ASHA develop a position statement and guidelines regarding AIT as soon as more research findings became available. The 2002 ASHA Work Group on AIT, after reviewing empirical research in the area to date, concludes that AIT has not met scientific standards for efficacy that would justify its practice by audiologists and speech-language pathologists.


    • Michele Hermet said,

      3 September 2012 at 11:31

      There are NEW controlled studies out there. Many studies are not done in the right conditions. No wonder they fail… How can the efficiency or (inefficiency) of a treatment be demonstrated if the treatment is not applied as it should? It stay true however that this treatment remains experimental (which is not contradictory with the fact that it does or doesn’t work, because every individual is a special case, so it is very difficult, if not impossible to establish standard protocols. Also it is a type of therapy where the therapist him/herself, is as important as the therapy. Every person who has done sessions of psychotherapy, for example, know that it takes sometimes trying several therapists before finding the one. Even in the world of “officially approved science”, clinical studies are often biased depending on who pays for the study. And that some “scientifically tested” medications work in some cases and don’t in others. And I will not even start mentioning side effects! The tomatis therapy has NO negative side-effects, only reactions that are part of the process and sometimes necessitate the intervention of the therapist in order to readjust the settings. That is also why it is not recommended to do at-home treatment. Last but not least, there must be a holistic approach to help a condition. Tomatis is not a cure, it is an alternative treatment that must include serious changes in diet and daily routine. It is not an easy answer to auditory processing problems. To the best of my knowledge there are no easy answers.

  235. TamB said,

    21 January 2008 at 1:28

    Andrea – as per above, I had read somewhere on the site about auditory integration/training and computer programs that could possibly help with this. I have read about Lindamood and some others, but at age almost 19, I was not sure if this was a training that needed to be started earlier. She does great on daily work because of repetition, pretutoring, definitely more time, etc., but when she has tests, especially multiple choice and/or story problems especially, she does very poorly, even if she knows the process and can work through the problems, etc. I feel this is still a comprehension and expressive disorder for sure. We are working with the disability department at college, but as you know, there is not a lot of documented accomodations to help with APD specifically. We have the preferential seating, note taking, microphone, etc., but it seems to be more the recall on testing is the issue. For example, she did great in math class, worked with tutors and her teacher, did great, but when she would go to the testing center for quizzes and tests, she always struggled SEVERELY, but I cannot pinpoint the reason for this, whether it is confusion with reading the answers that are similar or another aspect, almost like she does not understand what they are asking for. She is an avid reader, but who knows what she comprehends for sure. She has come miles and miles, but just wondering if others struggle with this situation. This has been typical since 3rd grade, but I cannot understand and was hoping there is something I have not considered. Confused I guess. Thank you for your site again. TamB

    • Sisi said,

      24 January 2013 at 4:08

      I am 17 years old with CAPD and I have always been faced with that problem. Particularly in maths. I do fantastic in maths class and I understand the process, but once I hit a test time I do poorly. I don’t quite understand it myself, but it is a comprehension issue for me I think, I don’t understand what the question is asking of me. Despite all the study I do, and I truly feel like I have even solidified in my brain, once I hit the testing area, something happens. I don’t know if its the actual test or not.

  236. qw88nb88 said,

    19 January 2008 at 1:02

    That’s awesome Sarah, thank you for sharing this, especially your husband’s story!


  237. Sarah said,

    18 January 2008 at 20:00

    I just want to say to everyone, “KEEP UP THE FIGHT”. I have two sons and a husband all dx with severe Central Auditory Processing Disorder, and even though the school wont use the word “dyslexia”, they ALL have all the symptoms. They get a lot of help at school. It seems as though we are in front of the CSE every other month, to request a new service, or ammend thiers IEP’s. But we go, we document what we need, why we need it, and they have never said no. My husband dropped out of school when he was 15, because it was too hard and no one advocated for him. We know what can happen if you don’t fight. On the plus side he is in a full time program earning his highschool diploma in his 30’s. I am very proud of him. And he is very empowered by this experience. To quote him, ” This is first time in his life that he does not feel retarded”. Just keep advocating for your family and enjoy your life. There is no program that will “fix” this “disability”. My best advice is to learn to work with in it. Good luck everyone.

    • Dawn said,

      22 June 2012 at 1:15

      Tell your husband to hang in there! I am 53 and the last grade I completed was the 8th grade, got my ged at 45, am now a college student getting all A’s. I found this sight because I am doing a ENG research paper on hearing problems. I had no idea anyone else has my hearing impairment! I have “cues” for my professors when I don’t know what they are saying, and they have been so accomodating. I can’t wait to tell them there is a whole bunch more like me out there :)

    • Julie said,

      29 July 2012 at 21:43

      How do I know whether to do private or public school? My son has almost failed 4th grade in public school and has just been diagosed with APD this summer. One advocate said to let him begin to fail in the 5th grade, document everything, and then get a lawyer, the school will have to pay for private school ($20,000 a year in Ca)

  238. Chris said,

    17 January 2008 at 2:41


    I just stumbled across your site as my daughter who is in 3rd grade has been diagnosed with APD. She is currently undergoing Auditory Integration Training as recommended by her Speech Pathologist to retrain her ears to even out frequency sensitivities and to hear symmentrically (she is currently left ear dominant and also has ear confusion). When she was tested she was shown to have 90% hearing under perfect conditions and that dropped to 60% when background noise was present.

    I was wondering if anyone here has undergone Auditory Integration Training, experienced any results, or has even heard of it.


    • Michele Hermet said,

      19 August 2012 at 9:09

      Hello Chris,

      I am a practitioner of Auditory Integration training. Its a fascinating science. I suppose that you are referring to Audio-Psycho-Phonology, also called the Tomatis therapy or Listening Program. I know that it is very difficult to find a good therapist in the US. I have been treated myself by the inventor of this technique in the early 80s and I have studied in Belgium to become a therapist. Only recently I have started my practice in California. It’s not a cure, but it is extremely helpful! Unfortunately, most therapists make it very expensive (the equipment itself is indeed expensive!) and insurances don’t cover, except for a few… I am presently back in Belgium and witnessing every day the progress of children and adults alike with many forms of auditory processing problems and even motoric problems. Be patient… Depending on the case, it takes a while to get results. Sometimes, improvement shows weeks or months after the end of the treatment. But you will definitely notice a difference in many areas… Does you daughter listen to her mother’s voice recording during her therapy? Does the center where she is treated offer the “active phase”? Do you know the name of the machine they use? Do you know where the therapist has been trained?

  239. qw88nb88 said,

    15 January 2008 at 22:15

    I did not mention any computer programs. What are you looking for?

    And, what sorts of difficulties does she have on exams?

  240. TamB said,

    15 January 2008 at 20:36

    Andrea – thank you for your information. My now freshman in college has struggled and worked SO HARD since she was diagnosed in kindergarten. There was so little in the way of information at that time and now I am able to find so much more, but the frustration still exists. You have mentioned the computer programs to help – can you recommend something. It is so overwhelming to see so much and not know where to go. She did well in college, as in high school and middle school, on daily work with pretutoring and using resources available – total success story, but testing has always been her downfall and we have to find a way to help her with this. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks again for your site. Tam

    • Elizabeth said,

      9 June 2009 at 7:37


      I am college student so it’s frustrating to learn something new in the classroom while teachers is speaking. The college I attend offers Disable Student Services which allows extra time for testing and offers note takers in the classroom and tape recorders. They also have a software program called Kurzell 3000 Pro software is great program that help read your text books.

      First the staff would scan your textbook and then the Kurzweil software will read it at a pace you could understand. The great thing about this is you could wear head phones and replay if you can’t understand your text.

      If you have problems getting the program from her school you could qualify the Department of Rehabilitation from the state they will provide the help.

    • S said,

      28 April 2013 at 1:27

      I saw your post and I am curious if you were ever successful on finding aid on test taking? My son is a junior in high school and he to has been so successful. He will enter college soon and he has to work so hard on his school work. He is trying to decide what he wants to study. What did your child major in?

  241. qw88nb88 said,

    12 January 2008 at 18:04


    ALDs do work to an extent, but they may not be the best choice for the situation.

    For example, an FM system involves a microphone (for the teacher) and receiver headphones (for the student). Naturally this is highly visible, so not everyone wants to be singled out in this manner.

    The microphone must be positioned correctly, so the speaker’s voice does not fade in and out of range (you may have experienced this yourself when sitting in presentations or conferences). Of course, both pieces of the equipment needs to have fresh batteries and be in good repair, or it’s useless.

    Sometimes microphones with speakers are recommended for teachers so they can broadcast better to the students in the back of the room. Usually the speakers are not high quality, and such systems just add to the amount of noise, rather than improving the clarity of communication!

    Because the microphone is used by the primary speaker, it presents problems if anyone else in the classroom speaks. Either the mike is passed around when there are group discussions or questions, or the listener does not get comments and queries by the other students in the room. The latter not only removes a layer of information, but can also lead to reduce social inclusiveness because the person with the headphones loses the small commentaries that may not be part of the formal instruction but are part of the socialisation and informal culture of the classroom.

    I will say that there are special situations when an ALD such as this would be especially good, such as when the teacher is doing instruction during a bus ride, in noisy places like zoos, factory tours, science museums and so on. It should also be made clear (and probably reminded) to the teacher that PA announcements are often unintelligible to people with APD (or hearing loss) — this means that messages will need to be passed on, and the teacher should not rely on the student being able to follow those announcements, except where they are simply following the herd of students. (I’ve had my family page me at airports and places, and I not only couldn’t understand the page, I couldn’t even tell that I was the one being paged!)

    There are alternatives to using an ALD, which should be considered and probably tried before deciding to use the ALD.

    Your daughter should get “preferential seating”, which is often used for ADHD students as well. This means sitting near the teacher and/or instruction board or instruction area. The point is to reduce the amount of space and distractions between the student and the source of information.

    The teacher should be careful to not address the students when writing on the board. (Unfortunately, most teachers start out very conscientious, and then after a few days revert back to their old habits.) Your daughter will have to get in the habit of asking, “What was that?” or “Can you repeat that?” or she may have to advocate after the fact. Meaning, when everyone has started on the work, raising her hand, and then when the teacher comes by to talk with her, point out that the teacher was talking to the board (again) and she couldn’t understand everything. She could also have a special hand-signal to make when the teacher turns back around from the board, to alert the teacher of the missed communication.

    “Noise” is composed of a number of factors. Most people just think of the volume (measured in decibels). But there is also the complexity factor — it’s hard to focus on one sound source when there are other sound sources going on at the same time. There is also the noise-to-signal-ratio factor where clarity is important, and clarity can be lost from not just background noise, but also echoes, unclear speech, and poor transmission equipment (fuzzy speakers, tinny receivers and so on).

    ALDs are often recommended because the student (or employee) is having trouble hearing or understanding because the room is atmospherically noisy. This is in large part due to bad environmental design — too many hard surfaces, noisy HVAC, various kinds of equipment, lots of voices at once and so on. Please note that “noisy equipment” does not mean it has to be loud by OSHA standards — students who are distractible and/or have APD problems and/or hyperacussis will find the noise levels in an average classroom to be more of a problem than many of their peers. (This also applies to many students with autism.)

    Things like area rugs, draperies and acoustic tiles (or new, much more effective acoustic tiles) will help muffle a lot of the echo and reverberation. Turning off equipment when it’s not being used helps more than people think, and is also important to save energy. If there are times when multiple instruction is going on (for example, an aide helping a few students) then setting up an area with a couple of those portable, upholstered cubicle-type dividers will help not only your student, but also be more effective for the aide and the other students. (It’s always easier to “sell” an idea when the benefits to numbers of people are described.)

    Students with ADHD or APD should not even be in the “open classroom” design that was in vogue some decades ago, as having several different classes and multiple instructions and larger numbers of students milling around is just too much to deal with effectively.

    Have the instructor turn on captions to broadcast media — these are good for the ESL students, and they help the other students catch the terms and spelling of details they need from the program. It’s best for the teacher to not point out that they are turning on the captions for your daughter specifically — just turn them on, and if anyone asks, simply explain that they are on so everyone can more easily understand the dialog. That’s the truth; there’s no one need for one person to be singled out.

    Hope this feedback helps! (pun not intended)

    Further discussion on this issue in this post, ALDs in the Classroom.


    • Elizabeth said,

      9 June 2009 at 7:20

      Thank you, for your feed back. I have ADHD and APD it’s a challenge to hear the instructor giving lectures in the classroom while other students are talking over the person. I have a note talker that helps me while teacher is giving the lecture usually my notes are competely different then what the note taker has taken. It’s frustrated at times I am determined to overcome my weakness and improve on myself. I am happy to finally found a website that discuss this matter. It’s been a another challenge to explain others what I have for they simply say you could hear I don’t get it. So, when day it would be better educated to instructors to have the patience for their students with learning disablities. We are not lazy it’s just a curve ball for us to learn but eventually we meet at the same end.

  242. Karen said,

    7 January 2008 at 15:49

    Thanks Andrea for a such informative posting. My daughter was diagosed with CAPD and ADHD, she is in 3rd grade. She is in an inclusion class at school, and the elementary school is aware of her problem. The teacher said she would be glad to use an ALD with her. But my daughter is very sensitive and doesn’t want to become the class (as she says) wierdo. Kids aren’t very nice and she wants to fit in. I have a question for anyone, do these ALD’s really work and are they worth the money.
    Thanks, Karen

  243. qw88nb88 said,

    29 December 2007 at 15:47

    De rien. Spanish in high school was difficult, as words like cuanto (how much) and cuando (when) were very similar. My youngest also has APD and likewise found his two years of foreign language to be difficult. Like Tammy’s youngest, there is some denial about the level of difficulty present, possibly because the home environment is easier with the closed captions and whatnot.

    I’ve found that some languages are easier for lipreading than others; German and Dutch are more in the front of the mouth (and thus visible) whereas French is softer because it’s more at the back of the mouth. French sounds lovely because of this softer quality, but it’s more difficult to distinguish; a lot of people with APD issues do some (unconscious) lipreading.


    • Danny P said,

      24 February 2012 at 23:24

      I’m blown away having just found your blog. I’ve been diagnosed with many things throughout my life including ADHD, Bipolar Disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.

      So much of what I’m reading is making sense. I’m unnaturally good at language though. To me, it’s nothing but code. I was watching a movie in Spanish with my wife (She doesn’t speak Spanish at all, so we had on English subtitles.) I was telling some friends that the movie was in both languages, and the subtitles switched accordingly. The languages are codes to me, and it’s all about context. With my ADHD (and probably some kind of processing disorder) this makes sense to me.

      I have an insane memory for random things that make no sense to me. When I can sit down in a quiet place, I’m able to make sense of it all and connect random pieces of information. But I do need a general context first.

      I have been talking to my wife about how I’m learning to be ‘in the moment’ but that when I’m actually able to focus on one thing, I can be very forgetful. My memories are triggered largely by emotions, so if I’m not feeling anxious about what I have to do later, I forget that it has to happen.

      I worked at Best Buy for 6 months. For someone who’s ADHD and loves music, alphabetizing CD’s is a very tedious and painful task. Especially when the store opened and the noise started. I would tell my wife that my brain was shorting out. “I just can’t process thought” I would tell her.

      Funny story. I was getting excited while reading this, but the TV was on and my 6 month old started to cry. My frustration got so bad so quickly, I was angry and tense for no seeming reason and just had to leave.

      Crazy stuff.

  244. Jan Cogan said,

    29 December 2007 at 14:24

    After reading this article, I feel that I have a much better grasp on the difficulties faced by the student diagnosed with CAPD. I am a French teacher, and found the comments on learning a foreign language very enlightening. All teachers should have the opportunity to read this article. Merci beaucoup for sharing!

    • zosh said,

      19 March 2012 at 0:47

      I am in high school and was diagnosed with CAPD. I take two foreign languages witch is something people don’t understand. It’s hard to explain to them i love foreign language classes so much because for once in school i feel like me and all of the other children in the classroom are on even playing ground. Though listening comprehension quizzes are a real pain.

    • Harold Barrett said,

      13 June 2012 at 14:44

      Yes! I am an adult (very) and have been studying Spanish for twenty years. I read most materials well, including some novels, etc., and I write and speak well. But to this day, I often cannot put together what is said ,e.g. in a Spanish conversation group. Unless it is said very slowly, I comprehend only the occasional word. I’ve been waiting for a breakthrough, but it hasn’t happened. What should I do?

  245. Tammy said,

    27 December 2007 at 16:26

    Your comments are very helpful. At this point my older daughter loves captions and if she has a CAPD it is very minor since she is in her 20’s and has had very little problems. My younger daughter (in her teens) resists the captions and is diagnoses with CAPD. I don’t know if it is a sibling issue, denial, or what that causes the restance. She also has some visual processing issues as well, so maybe it complicates things for her. Only time will tell. She is a young woman with tenacity for sure. I’m very proud of her, but I need to understand “her world” better and you have helped a great deal. Thanks for all the time you put into this blog.

  246. qw88nb88 said,

    15 December 2007 at 2:05

    Tammy, I didn’t even learn what the problem was until I was in my 40’s! So there was no denial, just relief.

    On the other hand, I wasn’t really aware of how much it permeated everything in life until a few things happened. Firstly my work supervisor, and later an advisor made complaints about me. Secondly, after I got used to watching captioned television programmes, and then watched some without, I realised just how much I was missing or strained to understand.
    Closed captions are described in this post.


  247. Tammy said,

    14 December 2007 at 15:19

    Did you ever have a period in your life, especially your teens, where you were in denial of your CAPD? My daughter is in that place. Love to hear your comments.

  248. Tammy said,

    13 December 2007 at 20:53

    Wow, it is so helpful to read something in the first person. My 16 year old daughter has CAPD, as well as Apraxia of Speech and Visual Processing Disorder. She is high functioning, works hard just like you did in school, etc. She has good friends too, I am so thankful for many things in her life. But I don’t know what life feels like for her, and she doesn’t like discussing it. Your blog is very helpful to those of us with loved ones with CAPD. I hope eventually my daughter will read your blog.

  249. Linda said, said,

    5 December 2007 at 17:11

    Thank you so much for your sharing-it opened my mind and my heart. I am study for my teaching credential. I chose CAPD as the subject for my research project because I had no idea what it was. I want to know so that, as a teacher, I can be sensitive to its manifestations and try to help remediate when I can.
    All day I have been online doing research and except for a site, “Ladle Rat Rotten Hut”, the comprehension of what it might feel like eluded me…until I read your letter. It made a huge difference in my understanding, of course, I can’t say that I know what you feel like. I just appreciate what you are dealing with. Thank you for your helping to gain a better grasp.

  250. Holly said,

    26 November 2007 at 1:32

    Thank you for a great blog. My 9 year old son struggles daily with APD. But worse yet he struggles with adults and classmates who think he is stubborn and lazy. I have sent a copy to his school to be shared by all that work with him each day. I have also forwarded this to our relatives so that they can better understand him. You did a beautiful job putting in to words what I am sure he would say if he could. Thank you and best of luck to you. Holly

  251. JAB said,

    5 November 2007 at 5:42

    Referencing Barbara Ellen’s comment: I have found that discovering you have problem is a step in the right direction, but I never feel I have the right to make excuses. If you feel you must tell your friend start with a carefully thought out lead in question such as: Have you noticed how I don’t always catch things on the first time? After her response, dismiss it by saying something like: Yeah I hate when that happens and leave it at that. Carefully review what her response is and think about how she reacts. After a few days of thinking about her response decide if you still have a desire to tell her. This will really help you gage 1. what she truly thinks of you (intelligence) 2. how understanding she is to your situation 3. how severe it is to your relationship and 4. how to rationally proceed with telling her. I have sometimes had an urge to tell some and it passed with time. FYI by no means am not a professional.

  252. JAB said,

    5 November 2007 at 5:29

    I have been diagnosed with APD and processing speed since I was a child in grade school. I have always studied pretty hard and have been able to ‘get by’ and earn a fairly difficult college degree. I believe that I have a minor case as the difficulties described in the article above seem similar in nature to my problems but mine are less severe. My problem has become more apparent lately due to necessary communication at work (mainly via telephone/teleconference). I have never told anyone about my problem at work and very few people in my personal life… and have no desire to. I would like to know if anyone has any exercises that I am able to practice daily (15-20 mins a day) that could help make progress on coping. I know there is no true fix. I do not have a tutor or partner to practice with and everything online that I have read seems to be focused for the parents of younger kids struggling in school with parent/teacher interaction. I am a grown adult suffering with APD and need help….can someone offer assistance?


    • Daphne said,

      21 August 2009 at 1:29

      Reply to JAB: I have an apparently minor case of APD too (self-diagnosed), and it can be frustrating at times. I hate calling my little sister on the phone because I understand about every fifth word and have to puzzle my way through what she said. My husband also has an amazing way of make “yeah” sound like “nah” over the phone….sooo frustrating! One thing that sort of helped, if I could have kept up with it, was the word blend activity in the Nintendo DS game called Brain Age 2. The activity uses male and female voices speaking 2 to 3 words simultaneously, and you have to write out what each word was. I was getting better at figuring out the 2-word blends on the first try, but I sort of reverted since I didn’t keep up with it. It has a normal and advanced level. Try something like that to train your ears and brain. :)

    • Louise said,

      27 May 2012 at 11:21

      I have auditory processing and am 40 years of age .It came as a relief when I found out .it made me understand myself and my difficulties as a child at school. It still frustrates me at work and my struggles have begun again with my youngest son who has it. I don’t want the frustration to get him down so I am investigating the Fastforword program and adults can use this program too.

  253. Sue said,

    2 November 2007 at 19:37

    My daughter and I both have this problem. It is reassuring to see others share methods of coping. Closed caption television is indeed good to have so the two of us can watch tv effectively.

  254. Barb said,

    24 October 2007 at 0:12

    Here is some info on Auditory Processing Disorder.


  255. Edna Gerrity said,

    26 September 2007 at 15:31

    this is an excellent letter which i will share with my clients. It puts you in the place of someone who has APD and offers comfort and support.

  256. Darin said,

    12 September 2007 at 17:27

    Thank you for your information about APD. I will look more into it, but I think I can diagnose myself with APD. I also have a short-term memory. My employer repeats things to me over and over again in a fast paced restaurant. It’s now been nearly 20 years since it began due a car accident. I’m always taking notes and writing down names to help me remember.

  257. Sharon Boorum said,

    23 August 2007 at 5:43

    I have been to so many doctors, Dignosed with so many things including depression and dyslexia Now at age 39 I feel I finaly have hope. It is great to know that there is a term out there for me for which I suffer from .. Thank you so much. I am Just starting to learn about it any advice would be appricated.

  258. Dee said,

    25 June 2007 at 16:41

    Thanks for explaining APD from your point of view. My elementary school-aged child has it, and I’ve read a lot about it since her diagnosis. But looking through your eyes (or should I say listening through your ears?) really gave me insight. I have a better idea of what’s going on in her head, and I also have a better way of explaining it to her teachers. Thank you!

  259. 25 May 2007 at 0:17

    I really need help!!!

  260. 25 May 2007 at 0:16

    Thanks Sandra for explaining APD. I think more people should learn about APD. I have APD and many people assume I’m just hard of hearing. Many people also think I’m just stupid and don’t catch things the first time. Since I am in high school it is extremely difficult to get sympothy or understanding from my class mates. Now I never tell people about my dissorder, and have ran into some problems. My best friend, sometimes accuses me of not listening or ignoring her. I am afraid if I tell her I have APD that she will think I have a hearing problem or attention problem. she might also think I am stupid. It is easy to see I have to tell my friends, but how??

  261. Karen said,

    2 May 2007 at 18:21

    There’s a book that you might find helpful called “When the Brain Can’t Hear.”
    When the brain can’t hear

    • Todd said,

      21 July 2013 at 0:37

      Yes, what a great book, I checked it out at the library and it describes me perfectly! I only wish all of my bosses and the people I know could read this book to understand more fully about APD. I wish we all could be understood.

  262. qw88nb88 said,

    10 April 2007 at 0:29

    Unfortunately, I am not familiar with professionals in the Chicago area.

    Beware of the multitudes of “cures” and “treatments” to be found on the Web, and suggestions from well-intended but clueless neighbors, coworkers, et cetera (doubtless you could write volumes on this already, including outrage over the useless comments that your grandson simply needs to be “disciplined”).

    Here is a Web page with further information that you may feel useful, as it deals with school-related issues:

    Kindly let me know of other questions that I may be able to help you with,

  263. Lou Spitz said,

    9 April 2007 at 4:19

    To Whom, My grand son Aaron in Chicago has a similar hearing disorder, dificulty processing what people say. He has normal hearing range but has some dylexic like difficulty understanding what is said to him. Also a short term memory problem. I am sending this “living with (central) auditory processing disorder” article to his father, Jeff. Aaron has been attending Montessori since kindergarten and has had much difficulty with academics. He is a superior athlete and struggles with school. We are searching for a school to help him. I appreciate your article and would like your assist. Thanks, Lou Spitz

  264. Shelley Kaufman-Young said,

    20 March 2007 at 14:25

    I want to thank you for this article. I have tinnitus and auditory processing issues and dylexia. I am frustrated regularly by being “almost” right when I try to understand what people are saying to me. Often that means I am doing whatever it is they requested me to do all wrong. Or I have a proofreading error because I thought they told me to do it one way and I did it another. “Almost” and “not careful enough” are the words that run around my head today at review time. Why they just don’t say “broken, not fixable” is beyond me? In my non-business time, I rescue animals because they don’t judge. They just are grateful to be alive. I also write a blog about finding balance between never being enough to others and overcoming their opinions so I matter to myself. But it is (as you have observed) a daily battle. May your day go well for you have certainly brightened mine.

  265. Sandra D. said,

    13 March 2007 at 5:34

    Thank you for explaining this. I have dyslexia, and I thought I had a hearing problem even though volume increase never really helps. This has answered a question that I have had most of my life. Why can I not understand/comprehend what others do in the same way. I use my short term memory to decode! Brilliant. It makes sense to me now. Deep breath…. Thank you. Sandra.

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