Living with Auditory Processing Disorder can be challenging in any situation, but traditional learning environments are especially tough. Students with APD can hear just fine, but their brains don't process and remember the information like everyone else. While a typical brain can quickly interpret and store information in seconds, a learner with APD experiences a delay. Imagine other students quickly filing papers into specific folders while the APD learner struggles to locate the right folder and keep up with newly incoming papers.
If your child has APD it's important to communicate with their teacher. Here are three ways to help the teacher understand what an APD learner needs.
1. Make a List of Specific Techniques That Help
A teacher may have theoretical understanding of APD, but that doesn't mean they are immediately attuned to your learner's specific needs. Provide the teacher with a detailed list of how they can best help your child. Things like seating the child near the front of the room, providing written instructions in addition to verbal ones, teaching the child to take good notes are a few tangible things a teacher can do.
2. Schedule Regular Check-Ins
You may need more than bi-annual parent-teacher conferences to ensure that your child's teacher is effectively managing your child's APD. Check in at least once a month, or as needed, and encourage the teacher to reach out with questions. The more open the lines of communication, the more likely the teacher will open up about the aspects of auditory processing disorder that are affecting your child's performance.
3. Provide Resources for Success
Have a teacher who is still not getting it? Education goes both ways. Don't shy away from sending the teacher helpful articles from the Mayo Clinic or other trusted sources. These resources will drive home the importance of a quiet working environment for students with APD, and other significant findings.
Having a student with APD requires an adjustment to the traditional teaching plan. Most teachers are able and willing to accommodate your student, but you're their best advocate. Provide background resources, give them a list of specific to-do's, and check in on progress periodically.