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.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Super Ears - When Your Child with APD Can Hear Whispers From Across the Room

We jokingly say that our sweet Hailey has super ears.  With her particular aspects of auditory processing disorder, she can hear sounds far away as if they were close by.  Due to this ability, we cannot whisper anything and expect her not to hear it.

When she was just a little toddler, I remember having her sitting in the grocery cart in front of me while I strolled down the aisles.  Suddenly she would start nervously repeating "Baby! Baby! Baby!" and sucking her fingers and rubbing her "nonny" (her little blanket she carried around for comfort).  This was my sign that she was in distress and she was telling me why: some baby somewhere was crying.  So I would stop and listen and sure enough, somewhere in the distance, across the store, there was just the faintest sound of some infant crying.  It was uncanny how she could do this over and over again.

Now that our sweet Hailey is 12 years old, we forget sometimes that she can do this amazing hearing thing and we'll whisper something in an adjoining room to where she is. Of course, like most parents, we think we are speaking "privately" by doing this, but sure enough when we walk in the room with our girl, she asks a question or makes a comment that reminds us that she hears us, even when we think she does not.

Of course, with Hailey's auditory processing disorder, she hasn't always processed what she heard us whisper correctly and then we are left with either having to explain everything or say, "Sweetie, we didn't mean for you to hear that and we'd rather not talk about it with you."  To which comment she sighs, understanding and yet feeling left out.  (Then I worry that I need to talk to her because I have no idea what she thinks she heard.)

Does APD affect you or your child in this way?  Do you or he/she have super ears?

Lindsey Wagner from the 1970's television show "The Bionic Woman" (in the show her character had a bionic ear and could hear sounds from extremely far away).


  1. Can hardly imagine what it's like to have different ears. It scares me at times to think that hearing could suddenly be gone. Hope Hailey is doing well :-)

    1. :) Thank you for commenting Natalie. It is bizarre thinking about how differently people can process things like auditory input. Hailey is doing very well at the moment; she's currently a happy 12 year old.