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.

10 comments:

  1. I hope things will get better. My son was also this way last year but he puts in earplugs if he needs to at school which helps him.

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    1. <3 Thank you. She hates the feel of earplugs in her ears (we tried the moldable wax kind), but maybe she'll wear it just for these last two days of classes. She has over the ear ones, but she won't wear them there because they make her stand out too much.

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  2. elizabeth call,almy44@verizon.netNovember 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Tell to take her time and keep doing the best she can thats all that should be expected. In the outside world it doesnt matter how smart you are or how fast just be yourself if you find one friend thats all you need popularity or having many friends can cause more worry thanyou need God made everyone individual and we all have different gifts that contribute to society remember you are loved

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    1. Thank you Aunt Elizabeth. We love you lots.

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  3. Hi Bev. I think it's great that Hailey gave it her best shot. I'm sure she learned a lot from the experiences she's had the past weeks. I was hoping she'd feel better about the experience. My own daughter responds much the same way. I'm SO thankful we can homeschool!

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    1. Thank you Tracy. I do think she learned alot and I cannot imagine doing anything other than homeschooling her; it has been the best decision we made. I am glad your daughter has that opportunity too. :)

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  4. I get pretty excited when I read posts from informed and engaged Moms like you. And after I saw all the diagnoses your daughter and family have had to wade through, I was also glad to see that homeschooling was your family's background (http://goo.gl/lzvNB). I too have a daughter who learns differently. She's a sophomore in high school and is going to be starting her second semester in sign language.

    You're absolutely right that the combination of "manual" language (the ASL signs), "head" language (language our children are trying to form in their heads), and movement with the signs to signify meaning and emotion is wonderfully helpful to our hearing children who learn differently. I too have seen major memory improvements and better grammar structures in our hearing children with language issues who study sign language. I look forward to reading more of your blots. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you Dr. Jeff. I took the liberty of going to the link your provided and was very impressed with your website and services at Aspire: Innovative Language Interventions. If I were in Southlake, Texas and needed a speech and language pathologist, I would definitely pay you a visit.

      I am so glad to hear that your daughter is doing well and sign language is working out as a great tool for her to use. My daughter is a little apprehensive about starting to work with the sign language tutor after her school-type experiences recently, but I think it will be a very different type of experience. She prefers me to be her teacher, however I need help on this one, so we will work with the tutor together. I definitely hope we find sign language to be a tool she can rely on to help her and we will be sure to share our experiences here for others to read about.

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  5. Bev - You are doing it right in my non-expert-but-been-there-done-that-lived-it opinion, which is next to worthless. Maybe I just got lucky with Amanda. - Mark
    www.goamanda.com

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    1. Thank you Mark. Amanda seems to be doing fantastically well! GIve my congratulations to Amanda on working so hard and achieving so much already in her life. You and your wife must also have done a great job parenting her; I would highly value your opinion on raising a child with auditory processing disorder. :)

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