In March of 2018, my son started his journey to learn if he had Auditory Processing Disorder. He was 21 years old. He had a long history of IEP’s with no real definitive diagnosis. It started with Hyperlexia when he was three. (Hyperlexia-early reader, no understanding of what he was reading) Then Pervasive Developmental Delay -Not Otherwise Specified (PPD-NOS). After a certain age that could no longer be used so we stayed with the Hyperlexia because he could get speech 5 days a week with his other accommodations. Teachers said autism, doctors did not. Didn’t matter, he was getting the accommodations he needed, but he was still struggling. Social skills were particularly bad.
As I said, he started testing in March of 2018. He was really struggling in college, and quite depressed. He started seeing a counselor and we bought him a membership to a yoga studio. Between the two, it helped him with the depression. Yoga is particularly good because they teach different methods of breathing and talk a lot of being in the present moment. Forgiving yourself and being kind to yourself. It is also exercise which helps with depression. He made a few friends at the studio. Even if he just saw them at yoga class, he felt like he was part of a community.
He was diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) in May of 2018. He had started doing Auditory Integration Training (AIT) a couple of weeks prior. We mostly noticed he wasn’t saying “what?” anymore.
He got his hearing aids at the end of June 2018 and continued with his AIT. Things started to change slowly. The audiologist gradually over a year turned up the volume on his hearing aids. The last adjustment in May of 2019 she tweaked the hearing aids for clarity and for the first time my son noticed an immediate difference. Up to that point he said he didn’t hear any difference. We noticed changes, he looks at you when you talk to him, his response might be slow but he answers you instead of saying “I don’t know.” It is a very slow progress and I imagen it feels even slower to us because we are so close to it. A teacher he hadn’t seen in two years told him last week that the change was remarkable. A friend this past weekend who hadn’t seen him in four years was amazed at the difference.
He will be 23 years old next week. After a two-year break to concentrate on the APD he is back in school. He is studying medical billing and coding. He has accommodations still, but he is able to advocate for himself much better than before. At the present time he still does AIT, but is also doing Vision Therapy to help boost his hearing. He does Brain HQ almost every day on his computer to help with processing. He joined a Toastmasters group to help be able to talk to people more easily. It is a safe environment to practice.
My son knows there is no cure for this, but his life has been much improved with the hearing aids and all the therapies he is doing to improve it. The biggest test has been being back to school. It has only been a couple of weeks but it is going much better than ever before. He is really excited about the future for the first time in a long time.
A Thankful Mother and Father