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.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

We Need to Educate ALL Children About Learning Disabilities and Other Differences

Girl 1:  "Jimmy chews erasers at school, ewwweee."

Adult:  "Really?"

Girl 1:  "Yeah, he's the weird kid in the corner."

Girl 2:  "He has a quiet corner away from everyone else.  And he wears big headphones."

Girl 1:  "He also has a special blanket and mat thingy.  He's really weird."

Adult:  "Do the other kids play with him?"

Girl 1: "No......(she becomes lost in thought).....There is this one girl in school who is a real bully."

And then the topic went on to bullying.  This conversation I had with some school age girls I know was enlightening for me.  I realized that my daughter could have been "the weird kid in the corner" had she went to elementary school.  Certainly at ages five to seven, she got stressed easily, needed sensory input, liked to chew on things - even non-edible things, would have needed noise cancelling headphones, and probably would have spaced out a lot.  It broke my heart really.

So, me being me, I let them tell me about the bully at their school and we discussed why people bully and what they can do about it.  Then we segued back to the boy in the corner.  We talked about how he might be feeling stressed and needed the headphones, blanket, and mat to help him feel better. My daughter told them about her headphones and briefly about her Auditory Processing Disorder and Dyslexia.

Hopefully it helped.  I think it did to some extent, however I am sure they are not going to rush over and befriend the "weird boy in the corner" anytime soon.  Maybe though, they will at least have some compassion for him and stick up for him sometime.


We need to educate all children about learning disabilities and disorders.  There is a real need for books for kids about processing disorders and learning disabilities.  Other children need to understand that kids aren't "weird" to annoy them or be made fun of or take the teacher's attention inordinately.  What a difference it would make for all the children!

Loraine Alderman and Yvonne Capitelli wrote a book for children about a child with Auditory Processing Disorder.  It is the first book about APD written for children and I hope it helps many children understand this disorder/learning disability better. Here is a link to the book if you are interested: I Get It!  I Get It! How John Figures It Out

(I've also added an Amazon widget on the right sidebar with some books about children with learning disabilities or other disabilities/differences.)

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