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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Unhappy Feeling a little deflated - Auditory Processing Disorder

    I haven't posted here for a while, but desperately seeking someone to talk to about this. DS1 (5yrs) appears to have Auditory Processing issues, and has just started school. Nothing has really panned out like I was expecting. I was expecting that all the information I gave to the school (hearing test results, speech therapy results, etc) would help give the school some idea about what sort of issues we're facing. Turns out they haven't even read it. I approached the teacher early on to try and explain a bit about his difficulty understanding and suspected APD, but was told it was too early for her to notice any issues. Jump forward two weeks and I approached her again to ask how DS1 was coping and his teacher told us we should sit down for a talk about it.

    I think I was a bit naive in my hopes for the whole starting school thing. Naive, in that I was desperately hoping the teacher would work out what he needed and continue on without problems. He has been put into a class with a relatively new teacher (4 years experience), and as I am studying to become a teacher myself, I'm hesitant to say that he needs a teacher with more experience because how can a teacher possible get experience if their special needs kids are removed from their classrooms? but I realised, during our 'talk' that his teacher is very good at noticing what he can't do, but doesn't really seem to have any plan for how to help him. I am feeling really disheartened, but probably it's too early to judge. We are beginning the process of elimination now, hearing tests, eye tests, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, etc. From what I've heard the tests used to diagnose this particular disorder are for 7 year olds. This means we are due to get through 2 years of school before he can be assessed and diagnosed to receive adequate assisstance if needed. I've been reading and researching as much as I can, because this seems to be such a complex issue, so far beyond what I've ever dealt with, I just feel overwhelmed with what I need to do to help. I don't even know where to start.

    I feel like the talk with DS's teacher was a huge, battering reality-check. I really was hoping that everything would just work out . Hubby thinks we were right to send him to school this year rather than another year in pre-school, but I'm plagued with self-doubt. On one hand I think this issue is not developmental, and won't go away in a year, but on the other hand I wonder if he is too young to have to deal with the pressures of schooling when he has trouble just understanding what people are saying to him. Lord knows I am amazed with what he has learnt just in the short time he's been at school, but clearly he's not learning at the rate that other children are. How could he, when he can't decipher the verbal instructions!? he CAN learn, he's a smart cookie, but he's learnt to 'switch off' when he doesn't understand. I can't even begin to imagine how much he misses out when he's like that.

    Does anyone know anything about APD? When and where can these kids get assessed/ diagnosed? Is it through an audiologist? I am struggling to find information

  2. #2
    Zombie_eyes's Avatar
    Zombie_eyes is offline Formerly Diamondeyes
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    Im sorry i dont have any experience with apd, only spd. i hope u get some answers.

    My boys have asd, spd and language disorders which makes comprehension quite difficult, the older pne suffers more with comp than the younger at present. In school his first year, he failed completely because they refused to recognise the problem, they didnt even read the 12 page speech report. So stressful and frustrating.

    We are getting help now throughh the school purely because of the autism dx. If it wasnt for that he wouldnt have made it to yr 2 this yr. It is so incredibly unfair. Could u pull him out of school and try again next yr?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    My son has a speech disorder, motor planning problems and sensory issues.. His visual processing tested at above normal but the OT and his ST and we his parents have noticed he doesn't seem to understand sometimes when someone is talking to him. He is in his final year b4 prep though so can't help with the schooling stuff. I would have assumed you would need to see developmental paediatrician for a diagnosis? They send the kids off for whatever tests necessary and then make official dx.
    Sorry I can't help u further... PM me and we can chat more in depth :-)
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  4. #4
    TimTamsandTea's Avatar
    TimTamsandTea is offline ...if only all relationships were so perfectly sweet!
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    Nov 2010
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    will return when I can sit down and respond properly

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Hi there, are you in VIctoria?

    We took our children here http://listenandlearn.com.au/auditor...sing-disorder/

    and had success with treatment.

    We also found that the school had no information or ability to help with APD.
    It was very frustrating as we were told to just manage it.

    Our youngest was 4 and wasn't able to do the same assessment, but they were able to help him too.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Generally an auditory processing assessment can't be done until a child is at least 6-7 years. The assessments are completed by audiologists, but at 5 all they will be able to do is check his hearing is normal - which is useful to know, and hearing does have to be within normal limits for a diagnosis of APD to be eventually made.

    In terms of school, APD is a tough diagnosis to deal with. It's not a condition that is eligible for extra funding (in WA at least, though I imagine other states employ similar finding criteria), and as such is not a condition that teachers receive much/any training on - so many have no idea what to do. The strategies that do work for APD can be very difficult to implement in an early childhood environment too - eg eliminating background noise. Other strategies that can work include making sure the child is paying attention before giving important instructions and using visual cues/prompts where possible.

    Does your school have a school psychologist? They may be able to help the teacher to put strategies in place too.


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