Hello! This blog is about my daughter Hailey (currently 12 years old) and her experiences living with auditory processing disorder. Auditory Processing Disorder is Hailey's primary issue, however she has also been given the labels Sensory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia, Visual Processing Disorder, Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder and Phonology Disorder at various points in her life.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Social Skills and Auditory Processing Disorder: Dealing with Non-Stop Talkers

Lately I’ve noticed that my daughter with auditory processing disorder does not like to hang out with people who talk non-stop. When I asked her why she doesn’t enjoy the company of certain people, she explained that she feels it takes too much energy to have to listen to all that talk and never get to talk in return.

So not knowing the answers and wanting to understand my daughter, I took some time to notice how it feels and what I do when I encounter people who talk non-stop.  These are the people who talk a lot, talk fast and usually talk loud.  They are the ones who tend to monopolize a conversation and honestly I don’t think they do it to be unkind in any way; in fact, I think for some people, it might be a way they deal with their need to control a conversation.

I realized that what one has to do in the situation of trying to converse with someone who talks non-stop, is to jump in on the conversation when you notice a pause.  Moreover, if you want to talk about a certain subject that has been brought up, you have to do this before the speaker moves on to another topic.  Of course this all happens in fractions of seconds really, because you have to push your way in by speaking up quickly and loudly when the speaker takes the most miniscule of pauses that was probably just to take a breath.  Personally, I don’t enjoy that kind of conversation, but I have learned to deal with it; I’ve learned the skills necessary to manage that interaction.

Then I had to think about how a person with auditory processing disorder would manage that interaction.  Can my daughter process what is being said and what she wants to say quick enough to jump in to the tiniest of pauses and make it flow relevantly?  If I find that difficult and tiring, how much more difficult and tiring is it for her?

Understandably, my daughter feels forever relegated to the realm of listener in those situations.  She cannot process auditory input or output at a speed to be able to force a mutual conversation with a non-stop talker.  Like probably all human beings, she needs to feel that her relationships and conversations are mutually respectful.  For her, this means she needs her conversation partners to take a pause sometimes, to ask for her input, and to give her the space she needs to speak and feel heard.


  1. Hi, this is the disorder that I think I have had since I was a baby and I am 41 now. I have had the worst time dealing with the non-stop talker, and really, who wouldn't?

    It's hard enough to jump in on a conversation let alone the non-stop talkers. I always thought they were rude and brash. So, I usually beware of people like that because I cannot resonate with people like that. So, I found that it is best to find like minds. People who are polite enough to allow others to contribute to the relationship via the interaction known as speech.

    Besides, the Non-stop talker tends to be filling some need of their own. It's as if they have to keep talking and talking to fill something they are missing. Lack of nurture? Perhaps it's attention so, they keep talking and talking until that needs is met.

    Who knows, but I am thinking that my son. he's age 5 now, he has APD, he's got this bright, has this great imagination, is very sociable, but he struggles with processing. So, I am glad I found your blog, I am hoping it can provide some insight. Thanks!

    1. I hope it helps provide some insight to you as well. Thank you for your comment. I always appreciate when people post a reply. I also prefer a more mutual conversation with people who pause and take turns. If you have anything you'd like to hear about our journey, let me know and I'll do my best. :) Good luck to you and your son.

  2. My daughter is 10 and has been recently diagnosed with a processing disorder. This conversation with your daughter hits close to home with me. I always felt my daughter struggled with something but couldn't pinpoint what it was. (She had a history of speech delay with early intervention and an extreme sensitivity to sound- like the garage door or refrigerator ice machine - and I always called her my turtle because of her quietness in loud situations or conversations). Now that the school is implementing some specific interventions (Visual cues, graphic organizers, repeated instructions with comprehensions checks, etc), I'm now trying to find things I can do at home to help her with social situations. She's a dancer and that means a lot on activities with multiple sources of extraneous noises. Her last competition, she went into her "shell", and her teammates didn't understand (which made her anxiety escalate and the snowball effect ensued). I'm glad I found your blog....maybe I can find some solutions to help her.