May 17th, 2012 | Posted in Auditory Processing Disorder


Going on play dates, going to school, and participating in extracurricular activities come with a lot of painful experiences for children struggling with an APD. Over time, your child can begin to feel incompetent and start to believe that their siblings, friends or classmates who don’t struggle with listening skills are smarter than they are.

APD and many other auditory obstacles have nothing to do with intelligence.  Don’t give your child permission to feel less intelligent than their peers and refer to themselves as “dumb” or “stupid.” Remind them that everyone learns in different ways and struggles to make sense of things sometimes. Make sure to talk through situations that are baffling or confusing to both of you, so that your child understands that “not getting it” happens to everyone.

Remind your APD child that he or she is not alone. Children with APD often think they are the only ones wrestling with sound. Point out when you cannot hear well in noisy environments and describe how it makes you feel.  Explain to them that everyone has trouble listening in certain places, gets frustrated and that it’s perfectly fine to ask for help.

Don’t pass up opportunities to praise your child’s natural strengths and reward their accomplishments.  Children need pride and purpose and a feeling that they are loved. Reasonable and honest praise will make all the difference to them.

It can sometimes seem like we are at cross purposes with our kids. But children and parents really want the same things. No child wants to be unsuccessful at school and unhappy at home. A child with an APD can feel like they have no choices and no control. While they may not be able to control their APD, they still have the power of choice.

Both you and your child share the power to create environments that are conducive to listening and to listen better in situations that are less than ideal for communicating and learning. Successfully dealing with APD difficulties at home, school and out in the larger world requires a team effort. It takes a combination of your efforts to adapt a sound environment and advocate on behalf of your child, and your child’s own ability to adapt and apply what they understand about difficult listening environments, to achieve lasting success.

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