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.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Having APD and Being Overwhelmed By Classes

So I told you all that I would keep you updated on Hailey's progress in taking academic type classes for the first time....

My sweet girl Hailey has auditory processing disorder, is homeschooled, almost 13, and decided to try taking some classes at a local homeschool center.  She signed up for 4 classes that meet one day a week.  At first, she was very excited about "going to school" and she loved seeing her friends and going to class with them and eating lunch together.  However, it didn't take long before the novelty wore off and she was simply overwhelmed.

Her creative writing class ended up being so bad she had to quit.  The teacher did not understand her needs and did a lot of auditory teaching (lecturing) without enough visual support for Hailey. None of the homework assignments were ever written down despite my speaking to the teacher, the principal, and even writing a letter to the principal which was then forwarded on to the other administrative staff.  Futhermore, the teacher started seeing Hailey as a troublemaker because I, her mother, was constantly asking for more than this teacher wanted to give.  The teacher had an attitude around Hailey and never said one nice word to her or about her work ever, nor did she meet any of our requests.  Hailey was in tears just thinking about having to go and so we decided to just quit that class.  

So Hailey continued to take tennis, art, and theater improv.  The theater improv was not ideal, but it was working; this teacher was willing to make accommodations and find ways for Hailey to be successful in the class.  For instance, she was able to recite a smaller memorized poem in class and to do it in sign language as well as speaking - which actually helped Hailey remember it better.

Lunch, which Hailey originally thought was exciting, quickly became "too noisy", "too many kids" and she felt she had to eat "too fast."  Yesterday she actually asked me to stay and eat lunch with her in our car so that she could get away from it all and relax.

The classes are 12 weeks long and we have 2 more to go at this point.  Hailey is really no longer interested in the classes and is simply finishing them up to have completed them.  She has found that it takes so much energy just to be in the classes and try to process everything, that she is not sure it is worth the effort.  She comes home exhausted and needs the whole next day just to unwind.

Unfortunately, she has also stopped putting so much effort into socializing with her friends at class and she just wants to avoid them.  This makes me sad because she really likes these kids, but she is just too exhausted to try anymore.  Yesterday she looked like she was practically cowering away from them as she held her head low and visibly shrunk her body as far away from them as she could; she never acts this way!

Despite it all, she still wants to take community college classes in a few years. She said she just wants to make sure she never has more than one class in a day.