I have this deficiency and there's a possibility my 5 year old has it as well.
The signs are simple: Inability to distinguish between words that sound similar. Easily distracted by background noises. Difficulty learning language skills. Misunderstands simple oral directions.
The sad part is that it stays with you forever, but many people have the ability to deal with it and find ways around the obsticles. For the company I am with, it allowed me to sharpen my writing abilities, so now I tend to help many coworkers with proposals and letters. I'm a slow learner in some respects, but I make up for it in becoming an expert in what interests me.
The best way to deal with it is to ensure that the speaker is concise and clear when they speak to the individual in a one-on-one situations or just to be clear in front of an audience. I used to have to sit in the front of the class. Distractions are our worst enemy.
People with this problem are not 'handicap' people. They just seem to have a lot of things happening aorund them, and they just want to focus on a particular activity. Unfortunately - "the sqeaky will gets the oil..."
Talk plainly to the person, without yelling. Speak clearly. Repeat what you say, if requested. Try to find a quiet place to talk, with little background noise. Allow the person to see your face when you talk to them--don't talk from another room or from behind them, when possible. Seat the person in the middle of the table at a restaurant, so the person can better hear & participate in conversations around them.
Signs are misunderstanding what is said, not hearing people talking to them, acting irritable when trying to hear in group settings, acting irritable when there is background noise (like clicking pens in classes!), complaints that people don't speak clearly enough, lots of asking for repetitions of sentences, feeling left out in social conversations.
Just to add a bit. I have several students with APD. Some of them respond to a FM system, which uses a microphone to enhance my voice and make it easier to pick out. Not all students respond to this. I also make sure to speak slowly and clearly to those students. I repeat directions in clear language without a lot of extra words. They sit closer to the front of the room to hear me more clearly and I often will repeat directions for individual parts of assignments.
Hi, go to www.schwablearning.org and sign up for free to post on their parent to parent message board. THere are lots of people there with experience
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