Friday, March 26, 2010

Say What? What May Be Going On When Someone Misunderstands What You Just Said!

Image of Auditory Verbal from FacebookImage of Auditory Verbal
I've been concentrating so much on my vision lately that I haven't done too much thinking about my hearing.  I have Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) which means that I have normal hearing as far as my ears are concerned but not normal processing of the information that my brain picks up.  I am just coming to terms with what that means in my day to day life.

Here's a reblog from someone who has very similar problems to those that I have had with my hearing

Although my hearing is perfect, I yet have intermittent problems with perceiving and decoding what people are saying. It’s like having poor cell phone reception, where the signal gets static or drops out...

Verbal directions are hard to keep straight. A few summers ago I worked at a research farm, and the field boss Terry explained to me how to drive the tractor. At the time I had no trouble understanding what he was talking about, but the next day I was frustrated to find that I was unable to remember all the details and steps of what he had told me, and he was annoyed that a college student should have difficulty remembering something so simple!

Testing by a licensed audiologist has revealed that under absolutely quiet conditions my comprehension (i.e., processing of spoken words) is 80% left ear and 86% right ear. Under noisy conditions (e.g. machinery and/or multiple voices), my comprehension is reduced to just 68% left ear and 52% right ear.  

I have developed a variety of compensatory strategies, as I must deal with this disorder all through the day. Outlined below are a few strategies that would be helpful for me and for us when communicating. However, these are only partially successful, and my abilities to compensate for the APD deteriorate when I am tired or sick
  • Provide me agendas and notes ahead of time, an hour or day before the lecture, to allow me to both review the concepts, and to cue in to new terms so I can anticipate them.
  • Allow preferential seating that is up front and away from machinery. This will allow me to see the speaker, as I do a little lip-reading.
  • Temperature-permitting, kindly shut the classroom door to reduce noise from hallway traffic.
  • Use the closed-captions (subtitles) option when showing videos.
  • Provide assignments or other information in writing; this can be done in e-mails, et cetera. Give me directions in writing, as e-mails, or as a summary after a discussion.
  • Allow the use of a tape player during meetings, classes and during any private appointments.
  • When appropriate, allow the use of an assistive listening device (ALD). These are typically used in large meeting rooms. It consists of a receiver with headphones for myself, and a wireless mike for the speaker. This allows the information to transmit directly through the headphones while eliminating most extraneous noises. Using an ALD such as an FM system may be helpful in large lecture halls

Central Auditory Processing Disorder: Strategies for Use With Children and Adolescents