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A Visual Demonstration of Auditory Processing Disorder

Here you see a group of my (unlucky, unsuspecting) friends who are going to help me demonstrate something that can be hard to appreciate.

This is a visual correlate of auditory processing issues and how auditory training works to address these issues. (Please note, this is not ACTUAL auditory training, just an illustration to make a point.)

Part I:

Step 1: My friends all stand in a line facing one direction.

Step 2: I show the person at the back of the line a series of movements.

Step 3: She recreates the movements, to the best of her ability, for the person next in line.

Step 4: The movements continue down the line until the last person.

What this illustrates: The ear is connected to the brain with a series of neural connections and centers for processing. The earlier on in the process where difficulties occur with the transmission, the more the representation in the brain (the last person) will be incorrect.

Because the communication breaks down relatively early in the piece, this could represent how a person with more of a peripheral problem (hearing loss) could also have a distorted representation of sound in the brain.

Brace yourselves, but I'm saying that even people with hearing loss can have auditory processing problems.

Part II: People are often asking me how auditory training works to improve auditory processing.

I explain it like this: the first time a person bikes down a mountain to create a mountain bike track- it is bumpy, error-ridden, and rough. As grooves begin to wear into the ground, the transmission becomes more automatic and smooth.

What we do with auditory training is we are making neural connection more robust and smooth by using repetition and redundancy. See how we demonstrate this in Part II.

A huge thanks to my friends for helping me put this together last night and for Kavita Kaul for the inspiration to make this video! While this is a bit of an oversimplification, I hope that it helps people understand APD from a different perspective. What do you think?

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