• October 2, 2023

Auditory processing disorder (APD) makes it challenging to pick up languages. People of all ages can be diagnosed with APD; for some, it starts at a really young age, and for others, it can start later in life as adults. When APD develops in adulthood, it is called adult-onset APD. In that case, it is usually due to a neurological condition such as a stroke or tumor. Childhood diagnoses usually do not involve these medical conditions.

Several symptoms point to the presence of APD, but the prominent feature in people with APD is that they’re not able to hear sounds in the usual way. This piece details APD and why the American Sign Language (ASL) is an effective learning and communications aid for people with APD and the second language I chose to learn!

APD Is Not A Problem with Understanding Meaning

Several misconceptions surround this auditory disorder, and in several cases, APD has gone undiagnosed for several years. This article was written by a person whose APD had gone undiagnosed for 40 years. Several cases similar to that story exist, and probably several more cases will exist in the future.

Suppose you’re wondering why APD goes undiagnosed. In that case, it’s mostly because it shares similar symptoms with disorders such as autism, selective mutism, and ADHD, among other sensory processing disorders.

For a person with APD, minor sound differences can alter the words they hear when other people are speaking. This challenge can increase significantly if they’re in a noisy place and someone is trying to say something to them. Raise your hand might sound slightly different as the listener hears a sentence with similar sounds to the initial sentence but not the exact words. For example, they could hear something like, haze your band, faze your hand, where’s your plan, and so on.

Medical specialists are unsure what causes APD. However, research shows that APD-onset is linked to illnesses like meningitis and chronic ear infections and genes. Although APD is not a problem with understanding meaning, it still poses a significant challenge for people with APD. APD also has no cure, so this one language can make a significant difference in managing APD for a lifetime.

ASL Makes All the Difference

ASL Makes All the Difference

If you entered this search ASL and Auditory Processing Disorder on any Q&A forums such as Reddit or Quora, you would immediately read several comments and narrations about how effective ASL is. It is growing popular for people with APD or Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) to learn the American Sign Language. Many people with APD state that they prefer signing to speaking.

Why’s that?

APD is known to affect the way people speak and their ability to read, write, and spell. ASL is a unique solution for meeting these challenges; it helps with learning in every aspect. When it comes to communicating without feeling dread or crushing self-consciousness, signing gives confidence, transforming an uncomfortable situation positively.

How You Can Help Someone With APD Today

Support is a major player in managing APD throughout life.

How You Can Help Someone With APD Today

When you can meaningfully support someone with APD in the classroom, at home, at work, or anywhere else in the community, it helps a great deal.

You could learn to sign because it helps them communicate with you more confidently. Family members of people with APD pick up ASL to support their child, sibling, or relative through the tough challenges. Also, when speaking with anyone with APD, call their attention by tapping their shoulder or arm lightly, speak to them while standing directly in front of them, and try not to speak so rapidly in noisy areas.

I hope this helps… you help someone with APD today!

Desmond utilizes his knowledge of education policy from his undergrad, his Masters of Education from Johns Hopkins, and a variety of advanced certifications such as CHPC and LWT to construct prime academic intervention programs and homework/executive functioning support for all his students.

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