Our son Jesse was 12 years old when he was diagnosed with a central auditory processing disorder. What a blessing to finally know why learning was a struggle for him!
It all came about during a casual conversation with an audiologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. I happen to work at the Cincinnati Children's Anderson Neighborhood Location. One Saturday morning, I mentioned a few of Jess's symptoms. I described his struggle with reading comprehension, his inability to detect subtle humor, his ease of distractibility. All of these can be applicable to ADD and/or ADHD.
The audiologist suggested a speech / language evaluation after his hearing was tested. The audio logic exam came back positive for a processing disorder. It was this component that made the difference from ADHD. We then moved on to the speech / language evaluation. This test showed that Jesse had a moderate language delay. When the two are put together, you have the profile of a student that will do his best to perform, yet will tend to be behind his peers. Consequently, his self-esteem, no matter how his parents and family try to build it, is deflated.
Enter our audiologist! She offered us a position within a dichotic listening therapy program. The plan was to meet three times a week for six weeks. So we met to determine if these listening and phonological exercises could make a measurable difference. Sure enough, they did. Jesse was able to achieve success after only nine sessions!
In my opinion, the greatest motivator for Jess's accomplishment was our audiologist. She was always straightforward and honest with him. She was positive and encouraging. Most of all, she believed in him. It was that belief that made him want to come to the sessions. It was that belief that made him work hard for her after being at school all day. Now, six months later, we are seeing the fruits of their labor.
Jesse has an Individualized Education Program, usually called an IEP, in place. This is a written statement of the educational program designed to meet your child's special needs. His teachers are being educated in this disorder and the affect it can have on his learning. He feels better about himself! He is becoming more expressive with his language. Over the summer, his reading improved by one whole level! He is also raising his hand in class. Yes, he may not always have the right answer, but he would not know that unless he tried.
We are so grateful to our audiologist and Cincinnati Children's for their belief and commitment to continue and encourage research and procedural development in order to bring the best opportunities to our children!
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