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Real questions asked by Real Parents on Living with APD

Real questions asked by Real Parents on Living with APD

This blog is written by Anna:

Hi my name is Anna and I’m sixteen. I excel in athletics, love working with younger children, love being with friends and family, love listening to music, and just being a normal teenager. Oh, and I also have Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD or APD).

I found this out when I was about 12 when I was in the 7th grade. It did not occur to me at that age much and I pushed the fact that I had APD aside for awhile. As school work, and social issues started becoming harder it was easier for me to see the APD in me. I have been paying more attention to it in high school, and now understand what APD is and how to explain it.

I do best explaining things, and especially my APD through writing which I had discovered through blogging about it.

To learn more about how APD affects me and many others swirling around the world, please visit my blog at apdwarrior17.blogspot.com !!   You can also contact me at apdwarrior17@gmail.com

~ I promise you that for every disability you have, you are blessed with more than enough abilities to overcome your challenges – Nick Vujicic

It has taken me quite awhile to answer these questions because of my busy life, but I have finally finished all of them. I have tried my best to explain them with lots of detail. I hope all parent’s can benefit from them!

 

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Do you drive? Do you find it hard? Wondering how apd teens manage getting their driving license??
Yes, I do drive.

The only hard part about driving for me is listening to my passenger’s directions. When my friends try to help me (like tell me to turn left or right, when to turn, what street will be after that, and stuff like that…) it’s hard sometimes because of the radio and if there’s other friends in the car they are talking or singing and I won’t hear the person giving directions.

I catch myself turning the radio down and repeatedly telling my friends to stop talking for a second until they do so. I try having the person I’m most comfortable with helping me with directions/the most patient sit in the front.

The only other thing I’d say that makes driving hard, but this goes for everyone are the distractions. The more the distractions I have in the car, the more anxious I get. Because of my APD, I can get very distracted by one little thing. If my friends are throwing something, or pushing each other playfully in the back I can get distracted, as for anyone. I tend to tell them to stop, but haven’t had many situations like that where I have had to.

I really don’t think my APD affects my driving that much, besides me being directionally challenged. Other than that, I have just as much “skill” as any other teenager has when it comes to driving.

Do you have a job?

I don’t have a “employee” job, but yes I do have a job. I babysit, and LOVE IT! I really can’t see myself working as a waitress, or at a cash register, or making sandwiches at Subway.

Those jobs just seem so stressful. I would MUCH rather have jobs LIKE babysitting that I find enjoyable. I have to really interact with someone or something. I am VERY hands-on. Right now, I can’t see myself at a job that requires strict tasks. Yes, babysitting has tasks, but not tasks like working in a store that you could really mess-up at get fired.

I am starting to look at working at a day-care center or something like that. But yes my job is babysitting and I love it. I am a firm believer in finding a job you love and stick with it, and stay away from jobs that would make you a crabby person. 😀

Will you get a diploma and do you have to do “grade level work” to get that diploma?

Yes, I plan on graduating next year (I’m a junior/in my 11th year right now), so I will get a diploma. I do have to do grade level work, but I have accommodations that help me accomplish grade level work with less stress. Some of my accommodations are:

1.Sit in front of the room (I am much more focused and it reduces distractions that may be behind me. I can hear and see the teacher better. If I can see the teacher, it helps to figure out what they are saying by making eye-contact, looking at their hand motions, and “reading their lips”)

2. Get notes from the teacher (Writing and trying to listen at the same time is very difficult)

3. The teacher has to use their microphones (below is a link of the exact microphone used):

http://www.suntree.brevard.k12.fl.us/Technology/Audio-Microphone.pdf

4. Testing is taken place in a separate room (I take them in my schools guidance office).

5. I can have as much time on tests as needed (This goes for class tests. It hasn’t been decided about ACT, SAT on how much time I can have yet)

6. Extended time on homework if necessary

7. Receive an extra copy of each of my textbooks/English chapter books to leave at home (Sometimes my mom or dad will look ahead so when it comes time for homework, they will know how to help me ahead of time instead of re-learning it the night of which will take more time to finish. It is also really nice so I don’t have to worry about forgetting a book at school)

Most of my teachers are very understanding about my APD. A lot of these accommodations I still have to remind teachers and ask them every day for, which can be frustrating, but since it really helps me I need to make sure I get them.

Some of my teachers even do more for me, like allow me to listen to music during work-time if it’s too loud, allow me to have an outline to look at for an essay on the test, break my tests up into separate days if it’s long, give me assignments ahead of time, etc…

How I manage to get passed grade-level work will come from making sure I ask my teachers for accommodations, and other things that I feel will help me in the class. I have to be an advocate for myself, and I still am working on that.

Do your friends ever tease you?

If you are referring tease as to “joking around”, then YES all the time! I know my friends are just joking, but for me its personnel the things they say sometimes. It may seem as if I’m laughing with them, but inside I feel a little pain, but never show them.

There’s A LOT of sarcastic “stupid” jokes. For example… My peers could say “Wooow! You didn’t know that?!” or “Really, Anna?” or “What you just said made no sense. Haha” or “Sometimes I worry about you” or “Oh my gosh it’s not that hard!” or “C’mon! We don’t have all day!” My friends will also do this… The action where they will say something, and I kind of know it was about me (but again they’ll be “joking”) and I’ll ask, “Wait, say that again? Haha” (wondering what they said). They will then have this quick pause of silence but still noticeable, look at each other to figure out how each other should react, giggle and THEN say, “Don’t worry about it!”

Now you see… This kind of teasing is very well hidden, and requires a lot of brain power for me to piece it all together sometimes, and it takes just a little bit of time.  And by the time I figure it all out I do feel stupid because

1. I understand what they were referring to most of the time…my APD

2. I just figured it out and now they have moved on to a new topic

3. They know I didn’t understand and they know I just acted like I did. And some other reasons as well, but those are the major ones.

Now, because this kind of teasing is very subtle, when I was younger, I didn’t really recognize it as teasing. I just always thought they were laughing with me. Now that I’m older, and I’ve seen this kind of teasing over and over again, I can easily pick up on it. My parents told me that when I was younger they felt so bad for me when this teasing happened because they understood what was happening, but I didn’t so I would get teased for not seeing the joke.  And really, I didn’t see it! When I look back now, I can so see what was going on and why I might be “judged” by some of my classmates today. I would say I started really understanding the teasing when I was 7 or 8 years old.

 

More posts on questions and answers from answer to follow in the coming weeks.

Thanks Anna for sharing your real life story.

Sandra

Kids Speech Matters

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