Last year around this time when I first became active in this group I got the wonderful oppertunity to not only learn so much more about myself and the disability that I have had diagnosed for the last 7 years but didn't really understand, but I also got the privledge of meeting some wonderful people young and old who suffer from APD or have children who live with it. However, we were all brought together for one purpose and that was to help each bring understanding to one another. We have all spent the last year swaping past experience stories along with updating eachother on IEP meetings and coming together to get advice or to give advice about how to help ourselves do better.
I will admit, there are so many times in my life where I feel so frustrated and hurt and alone and I just think to myself "Why me? Why was I punished with this disability? Why am I not like the other kids?". These times usually happen when I am studying for a test and I am trying so hard to understand a concept and after weeks of studying I think I finally understand it after many hours of getting help, but yet, I still get a test mark that I am not happy with, or when I am in class and I am still confussed on a math concept that the rest of the class seems to understand and the teacher has to move on because we are running out of time yet im still in the dark. However, in saying all that, even though those days do occur, there are other days much like today when I feel like having this disability yes has had its bad times but it also helps me spread the unspoken word of this disability and to help others understand it, but most of all, the times that this disability gives me the feeling of the most reward is when I am told that I have made a difference. When parents email me saying that they are so thank-ful for my blogs because they helped their child to understand their disability better, or when I hear from another person with the disability and they tell me they feel inspired to try something again because of my hard work. So yes, I guess the saying that "After every rain, there is a rainbow" deffinitly applies to my life with APD.
In saying all this, I want to finish by thanking all the people in my life who have helped me in more ways than they can imagine. My family, the people on the facebook groups who are always there to answer my questions and offer me support, The friends I have been so fortunate to make through this journey who may not always understand me but are supportive and kind to me, and as well as the friends I have been lucky to meet in the past year who live with APD like me and are always there when I need someone to talk to because they do completly understand what I am feeling!
As well, because this is APD awareness day, I am going to include at the bottom of this blog some common symptoms of this disability for the new people who have never heard of APD and are just now reading my blog:)
Signs and Symptoms : (*Please note that not all may apply*)
- Difficulty hearing in noisy environments
- Frequently misunderstands oral instructions/questions
- Says “huh” or “what” frequently
- Often needs directions or information repeated
- Difficulty remembering spoken information
- Difficulty with reading, comprehension, spelling, vocabulary,writing, or learning a foreign language
- Difficulty with phonics or distinguishing speech sounds
- Difficulty with organizational skills
- Difficulty following multi-step directions
- Difficulty maintaining focus on an activity if other sounds arepresent or child is easily distracted by other sounds in theenvironment
- Difficulty following long conversations
- Difficulty taking notes
- Difficulty with verbal (word) math problems
As well, here are the five main area types of APD:
1. when a child can't pay attention if there's noise in the background. Noisy, low-structured classrooms could be very frustrating.
2. when a child has difficulty remembering information such as directions, lists, or study materials. It can be immediate ("I can't remember it now") and/or delayed ("I can't remember it when I need it for later").
3. when a child has difficulty hearing the difference between words or sounds that are similar (COAT/BOAT or CH/SH). This can affect following directions, and reading, spelling, and writing skills, among others.
4. when a child can't stay focused on listening long enough to complete a task or requirement (such as listening to a lecture in school). Kids with CAPD often have trouble maintaining attention, although health, motivation, and attitude also can play a role.
5. when higher-level listening tasks are difficult. Auditory cohesion skills — drawing inferences from conversations, understanding riddles, or comprehending verbal math problems — require heightened auditory processing and language levels. They develop best when all the other skills (levels 1 through 4 above) are intact.