When the brain can't hear Author:Teri James Bellis, PhD WHEN THE BRAIN CAN?T HEAR — Unraveling the Mystery of Auditory Processing Disorder — # # # — Teri James Bellis, Ph.D. — A bright normal little boy with hearing sensitivity well within the standard range, four-year-old Clay exhibits good motor skills and plays appropriately with toys. However, he doesn?t turn his head when his name is called, follow ... more »simple directions, or answer questions like, ?What is your name?? Clay communicates only by gestures, grunts, and unrecognizable gibberish.
The strong, silent type, at age 17, Jeff is the starring offensive lineman on his high school football team. The offers for full-ride sports scholarships from major universities have started coming in, but Jeff is worried. Reading is a struggle. He has difficulty following information presented in lectures. Often, he is unable to hear the quarterback of his team call plays during the huddle. A C-student, Jeff is sure he?s just too stupid to succeed in college.
Bryce, age 42, and his wife Cheryl just can?t seem to communicate. She swears she told him five times while they were washing the breakfast dishes that they had a parent-teacher conference that afternoon at three-o-clock. Bryce insists that she never told him and that?s why he missed the meeting. ?He never listens anymore,? says Cheryl.
Evelyn has a pretty typical age-related hearing impairment and, at age 72, has been fitted with hearing aids in both ears. But they don?t seem to help. According to Evelyn, whether she wears them or not, she still can?t understand what people are saying. The hearing aids just make everything louder, not clearer.
What do these four people, so divergent in age and symptoms, have in common? They all suffer from Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), which occurs when the ear and the brain do not coordinate fully. For the estimated seven million Americans suffering from APD, four million of whom are children, there has been no central resource to turn to for comprehensive, authoritative advice. Until now.
WHEN THE BRAIN CAN?T HEAR: Unraveling the Mystery of Auditory Processing Disorder (PB Press; February 12, 2002; $25.00) by Teri James Bellis, Ph.D., is the first book written especially for the layperson about this widespread but little known disorder, which crosses all gender, age, ethnic, and socioeconomic boundaries. The aural equivalent of dyslexia, APD is primarily an ?input? problem that affects the way an individual processes auditory information, especially speech, jumbling words or distorting the meaning of what is said. Dr. Bellis is regarded as one of the world?s foremost experts on this disorder, draws on years of research as well as her own personal experience as a victim of adult-onset APD for this definitive sourcebook that delineates its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment in both children and adults.
One of the main difficulties with APD is misdiagnosis, because many of its behaviors may look like a learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, or mental retardation. And, until the past few years, most physicians and pediatricians have been wholly unaware of APD, while others, who knew of it, have debated its existence.
In WHEN THE BRAIN CAN?T HEAR, Dr. Bellis begins by showing how APD can affect a person?s spelling, reading, receptive language, speech, problem-solving, and socialization skills. She stresses the need to avoid attributing any and all disorders involving learning, language, and related abilities to it. She also asserts that because APD is so different from one person to the next, there is no single right approach to dealing with this complex disorder.
Cutting through the confusion that surrounds APD, in this compassionate, definitive guide, Dr. Bellis provides vital, in-depth information on:
APD in children, from infants and toddlers through teens and young adults;
Adult APD in middle-aged men, postmenopausal women, and the elderly;
The accurate diagnosis of APD;
Primary and secondary subtypes of APD and their associated symptoms;
The three basic principles of APD management: environmental modification, remediation (direct therapy) techniques, and compensatory strategies.
Diagnostic and prescriptive, WHEN THE BRAIN CAN?T HEAR also:
Lists the warning signs of APD in preschool, elementary-school, high school, and college students;
Addresses how APD affects children educationally, and adults socially and professionally;
Gives guidelines for what to expect from a central auditory assessment;
Details the diagnostic tests for APD;
Discusses when a listening problem is not APD;
Explains why APD can be difficult to detect in adults;
Outlines ways to improve the acoustic or listening environment at school, work, and home;
Provides the most up-to-date information about various auditory therapy activities that train the brain and help with APD;
Provides strategies for living, learning, and communicating more successfully with APD.
Compelling case histories of those who have APD put a human face on this disorder, lending the book both credibility and heart.
In WHEN THE BRAIN CAN?T HEAR, Teri James Bellis, Ph.D., breaks fresh ground as she seeks to increase awareness of and provide much-needed answers about Auditory Processing Disorder. Sensitive and informative, this important sourcebook is a must-read for any parent, teacher, or medical professional wanting to learn more about APD, whether they or someone they know is struggling with it.
About the Author:
Teri James Bellis, Ph.D., is a professor of audiology at the University of South Dakota and the author of the authoritative text for professionals on diagnosis and treatment of APD, Assessment and Management of Central Auditory Processing Disorders in the Educational Setting: From Science to Practice. She has 15 years experience in APD research and lectures on the topic worldwide. Her writing has been featured in numerous medical and academic publications, including Journal of Neuroscience. Dr. Bellis lives in South Dakota.« less