Hearing exam

It is evening now, and I have only just got around to writing this blog post.


I can’t say that it is because I have been tapping away at the computer, compiling a masterpiece. No, it is the first day of the Easter Holidays.


I have been so busy with motherly stuff today that no writing (other than this blog post) has been done.


So, in the spirit of straying from the Norm, I will talk about the troubles that have been happening surrounding my son.


Ever since he could talk, there has been something not quite right with my boy. He was supposed to be referred at 2 and a half to a paediatrician, but as we moved away, this never happened. Since then, health professionals and care providers have noticed issues with his speech, and his ability to make sense of words. A hearing test showed he could hear. He was branded a boy that doesn’t listen.


We have struggled with this for so many years, and it was only a chance conversation that led me to the possibility of Auditory Processing Disorder. Yeah, I never heard of it either.

So off I went, back to the doctors. He commissioned a hearing test. My son passed. That was that. My son can hear, so he is just seeking attention.


I cried. For days. APD is not an inability to hear, more a processing issue (the clue is in the name!). Thinking I was imagining all the problems, I looked through his red book. There, in black and white, aged 2 years and 1 month, my son is noted as having a problem. At 2 years and 5 months, a note saying ‘plan to refer for full assessment’. We moved. At 3 years, noted an issue with comprehension.


At school, aged 4, the Special Needs teacher came and said that he was struggling hearing. First test came back okay. Two years later, the same test came back okay. I asked the teachers for backup. They say there isn’t a problem any more. He just doesn’t listen. This is despite the fact that during a meeting not that long ago they said they experienced the same issues I do……..


So now, I am left wondering….what next? Do I fight? Or do I hope he grows out of it?

If you are struggling, just like me, visit this site. It has helped me no end so far.


  1. liz young says:

    Hey Sam – I’ve been following your story on TB and sympathizing. You will come through it, you know, even if at times it is overwhelming. Kids are resilient, Mums are too, and as long as you love him he’ll be ok even if he’s a bit different from the norm. Keep looking for answers but don’t let him feel he’s letting you down by being different. šŸ™‚

    • Sam Perkins says:

      Thanks Liz! There is a wealth of help out there. The problem with Dylan’s possible problem, is that there isn’t any specific help out there for us yet. Is it deafness? Or is it Autism? No one seems to want to take full responsibility.
      And despite all the help, it is me who ultimately has to fight the fight.
      I won’t let him feel he’s letting me down. In fact, he knows I love him. He will often say that I love him and live for him. He isn’t wrong LOL

      • Kathryn says:

        You should fight for what you know. Ask for second opinions, ask for referrals, you’re entitled to that much. Because this is such a newly recognised disorder not all doctors will think to follow up on it. In the end, no there is no cure and limited help, but sometimes labels help. If schools can be told that there is this issue they are in a better position to take it into account in a more positive way than labelling him a boy that doesn’t listen.
        My mum fought for my brother who had severe dyslexia in a world that didn’t really recognise it at the time. She has told me so often since then how glad she is that she did because now he is in a better position in his life than he would have been if she’d just let it ride. He is now an IT manager and doing far better than me.
        So go ahead and fight, it is hard, but you are not on your own because you know how many people there are around that will support you through it.

      • Sam Perkins says:

        I will. But it is so scary! I am just recouping the troops.

        Tomorrow I am meeting a friend with a son who is also named Dylan. Double trouble in every sense of the word. We both are fighting for our son’s.

        With friends like you and the others, I know I will, eventually, get where I need to be.

  2. mellonfamily says:

    hi sam. APD is one of the mystery LD’s, perhaps because it wasn’t formally diagnosed until the 1960’s. my homeschooled son is 13 so i still have a lot to learn and many questions HOWEVER, i am quite far around the next curve than you are right now. just dropping you a note because i am knee deep right now in learning wordpress and creating homeschool portfolios and other things required by PA state homeschool law. i promise to get back to you in june as i have very specific steps you can take to help your son. in fact, my own son jumped from reading 3 sentences from a primer before becoming exhausted to a 5th grade reading level in 2 years. so don’t despair, i will get back to you as soon as i can.

    in the meantime, if you like, i highly recommend sally shaywitz’s book called Overcoming Dyslexia. I know our kids have apd but many things that help kids with one LD can often be just as helpful to others. funny, but i personally haven’t really found books specifically on apd very helpful.

    hang in there,

    • Sam Perkins says:

      Thanks for your input. We are slowly progressing. I do wonder if he is autistic (as well as or instead of) but I am going to breathe and see what happens at his next appointments first. I am open to any diagnosis or a nfa. Whether he has something or not, he is different. It might be attention. I have no idea! I have given up second guessing now. I can be a good mum and make sure he gets help without playing doctor. But I would still love to learn more, as many things already suggested have improved our life already.

      • mellonfamily says:

        pretty much done one son’s portfolio before diving into second son’s so taking a moment to drop you another line.

        #1 THERE IS ONLY ONE PROFESSIONAL WHO CAN DIAGNOSE YOUR CHILD and that is an audiologist – but not just any audiologist, it has to be one that also specializes in learning disabilities. this is critically important to understand: some LD’s have remarkably similar symptoms for very different reasons, for eg, APD and the ADD’s. it is now suspected that a significant percentage of kids diagnosed with an ADD actually have APD.

        no one else can diagnose apd because it IS a hearing problem. however, the problem is not with their ears, it’s what does the brain do with the information that the ears bring in. i swear both of my boys have what i call “dog” hearing. they just hear things i can’t. however, my older son cannot take notes in class – it will cause him to stop hearing what is being said and he often talks too loud because the way he sounds to himself sounds normal to him. my younger son continued to mispronounce words much longer than normal – like saying “comcrete” instead of “concrete” because that is what he thought he heard!

        #2 that’s all that my kids have but it is very common for kids to have other issues as well, not just apd alone. a qualified audiologist can tell you this also. the audiologist can discern if there are other issues and what they are and whether apd is involved or not.

        you have 2 very important steps to take as soon as possible:

        a)it sounds like your son is about age 6 which is the perfect age for testing, i think, so ask everyone including other doctors (like your pediatrician?) because doctors know each other, and children’s hospitals that might be near you and find an audiologist who is also educated about LD’s. for eg, look for an audiologist who also puts forth that they offer hearing AND “speech services”, for eg. this is a strong indicator that they can diagnose apd and other issues.

        b) start asking around searching on internet, teachers stores for really good “phonemic awareness” activities. this is hands down, the best thing you can do for your child. if you aren’t knowing already, learn the difference between phonemic awareness (those itty bitty sounds that make up words) and phonics (the rules of the road, so to speak). i could be wrong, but i would lay down money that your son is lagging in this area more than you may realize.

        since school year is almost over, the time is about ideal to move on both of these things. don’t stress yourself or your kid out – your choosing to be relaxed about it was the best first move you could have made. but do move forward on these 2 things.

        and remember – you are NOT alone.

      • Sam Perkins says:

        I don’t know if I have added what went on at the speech therapists. He has had his first assessment (Audiology still waiting, due to a cock up with the referral!). I was told that he is where he should be speaking wise, in that he can pretty much say the words needed. But, like you have mentioned, Dylan will say he is Maked, instead of naked, and the n and m seem to be his main confusion.

        But the speech therapist did pick up on the thing that everyone else notices (which is also indicative of autism among other things) and that is that his understanding and comprehension seem odd. He was sequencing and he referred to the girl as a girl until the last picture, where he suddenly called her a him. I told the therapist this is very normal for Dylan. When asked how his week went by his nana, he demanded specific days. He couldn’t account for a whole week (in that it was either a good or bad one). And despite his amazingness at Maths, being top of his class, he has to be brought down a group when doing verbal maths questions. He cannot translate a question such as ‘Mrs Jones has ten apples, but ate two. How many has she got now?’ Quite simple when written down as 10-2, but Dylan really struggles.

        I will look into Phonemic awareness. Hadn’t heard of that before now. It’s hard to get people to understand the difficulties that we have. He has been put on the pupil premium with his phonics and spelling, in that he knows certain sounds (I think it is all the ones beginning with ‘o’ such as oi, ow, and ou) but he cannot use them in words. I wonder if this is also symptomatic?

        Anyway, not long before his next appointment and hopefully he will be in with audiology soon!

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