Auditory processing disorder (APD) is not always recognisable and is in fact, a fairly new acknowledged disability, a ‘specific learning disability’ which if diagnosed by an audiologist qualifies for reasonable services and accomodations.
But what if it had gone on for years without being diagnosed? It is relatively rare, and cannot be accurately detected in newborn screening. It usually presents itself or noticed when a child is already school aged when an adult pay specific attention to determine for school readiness. And even then it could be passed as Attention Deficit Disorder or other learning disability even incorrectly pronounce it as autism.
It is not surprising to learn that many adult went through their lives believing they were slow learners, that they were dumb, dreading simple conversations, school interviews, and prefer written exams to oral ones and quietly retreat to their safe havens not knowing they had auditory processing disorder.
Lectures would be time to space out, phone calls from loved ones would bring anxiety instead of comfort and song lyrics a lot harder to process. These people that do fantastic on tests and abhor bar settings, loud noises, mishearing words on already slurred setting.
Getting told that some brains are wired differently than normal, that they process information slower than is normal can make the person less anxious and become more patient with themselves. Most people with this condition are hard on themselves because they can see how easy it is for other people while they struggle with it.
They would understand it better had they been deaf but they know that they aren’t and that is what’s so frustrating. So sometimes they would act out but most times they would experience a lack of self-confidence and retreat to their books where it is safe and their ears would not play tricks on them.