Any ideas why my son is not learning? Auditory Processing Disorder?

Michelle - posted on 04/20/2009 ( 34 moms have responded )

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Hello, I have an almost 7yr old boy who has been struggling with learning since age 2. He has trouble memorizing simple things like his name, phone number, letters, etc. He still struggles to say the ABC's from beginning to end. He has been IQ tested by the school and found to be normal IQ. He will look at something, say it and then forget it soon after. His kindergarten teacher thought he was doing this on purpose until I set her straight. Thankfully his first-grade teachers have been more open, but he still struggles. He is out of his class for interventions from 8am - 11am and then again right after lunch. We made the decision to retain him in first-grade and struggle with our decision. I know 2nd grade would be impossible. He still cannot journal with the other children.



If this sounds familiar to anyone, please write back. Thanks!

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Loretta - posted on 02/28/2013

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My daughter just turned 5 years old and she does not know all of her letters. I will tell her what they are and a few minutes later she will forget them. It seems like she has issues retaining information. Is there anything I can do?

Roli - posted on 04/08/2013

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Hi.. I have a son age 7,since nursery he is unable to write properly,he does not hold his pencil in a proper way, when I force him to use his three fingures his hand shakes a little and he puts lots of effort doing it,as he is in 1st standard now it becomes very difficult for him to cop with his class work,I'm really worried for him as he does not wants to study now,but other wise he is an intelligent kid,he shows great curiosity for his surroundings,another problem which he is facing is he does not speak properly,he speaks like a small kid people often doesn't understand what he says which makes him very irritated,plz help I don't want my child to suffer.......Roli INDIA

Cristy - posted on 05/01/2013

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My almost 6-year-old has the same exact problem and will be starting kindergarden this fall. We have been working on his abc's diligently for the past year and still cannot recognize past letter "b". They noticed this at his kindergarden asssessment this week and explained how hard it has been. I will say the letter move on to something else and as soon as I come back to the letter he will have forgotten even if I try to tell him what I am doing. It's like he can't hold onto it and new info at the same time.

Linda - posted on 08/16/2010

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Michelle, I have 3 children with APD and my 2 boys also have a stuttering disfluency. I would recomend that you have your son tested through the school systems for the APD and see what they say if it is not that then it could also be Asbergers which is a form of Autism.. I would talk to you Specail Education Teachers at school and insist on him being tested, because you know that something is not right.. First they told me my son had ADD and i refused to put him on meds because he didn't have all the systems of ADD. Here are some things to look at for APD: most are male, they have normal pure tone hearing thresholds, they generally respond inconsistantly to auditory stimuli, they have short attention spans and fatigue easily when confronted with long or complex activities, they are easily ditracted by both auditory and visual stimuli, like if thing are going on in the room he pays attention to it instead of what he is suppose to, they listen attentively but have difficulty following long and complex verbal commands, like you give him to or three thing to do and he can't remeber all of them. that is because he is processing the first thing you say.. He asks you to repeat things, directions alot,they are often unable to remeber infomation presented verbally, for both short and long term memory. They may have difficulty in counting, alphabet or days of the week, months of the year and addresses and phone numbers.. Look up Auditroy disorders in school children and the one that is from kids health has a list of the signs and things to know.. I hope I helped and didn't overwhelm you .. GOOD LUCK!!!!

Patricia - posted on 11/11/2013

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Hi Michelle.....because your post is from 2009, I am wondering if you have any answers? My son is in grade one and your post could have been describing him. He was delayed with his speech but is talking (alright) now.....it seems as though the more I push him with anything, the more he pushes back not wanting to. I have 2 other sons and a daughter who seem to enjoy learning but not this guy. I have been to a psychiatrist and pediatrician who both gave me many booklets to complete and then ran them through a scanner. These answers have indicated he has "autism" but in my heart of heart, I just don't believe it! He loves me, hugs me and is very social (not sure about school). If you can give me any direction, I would SO appreciate it. I feel lost and don't know how to help him. Thanks in advance!

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Saida - posted on 06/07/2014

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hi,i have 2 son. one is in class 4. he is inteligent.i dont know. he understand but his problem is forgot.

Nancy - posted on 05/21/2014

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It's nice to see I am not alone. Kindergarten is almost over and he only somewhat knows abc, definitely knows w and x. I always have to tell him what "Abc" is, and he will remember it the whole day, then the next day he will forget them all over again. He's also not interested, probably because he keeps forgetting what they are. He plays hockey now and I've put letters on pylons, I got him to say out loud which letter hes going to shoot the puck to. He had q and r and only went for q. We will see if he remembers it tomorrow! I'll be the happiest person ever if he does!
I relate so much to the 6 yr old stories, that is exactly my son. His teacher told me yesterday he still doesn't recognize his letters. And now I'm up at 2 am worried about him!:(

Nancy - posted on 05/21/2014

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It's nice to see I am not alone. Kindergarten is almost over and he only somewhat knows abc, definitely knows w and x. I always have to tell him what "Abc" is, and he will remember it the whole day, then the next day he will forget them all over again. He's also not interested, probably because he keeps forgetting what they are. He plays hockey now and I've put letters on pylons, I got him to say out loud which letter hes going to shoot the puck to. He had q and r and only went for q. We will see if he remembers it tomorrow! I'll be the happiest person ever if he does!
I relate so much to the 6 yr old stories, that is exactly my son. His teacher told me yesterday he still doesn't recognize his letters. And now I'm up at 2 am worried about him!:(

Danielle - posted on 03/20/2014

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My daughter turned 5 this past November, she can say her alphabet and count to 20 with little trouble and if you ask her to point out a letter or number she can not do it. Other then this she doesn't seem to have any other problems. I work with her and when we have worked on a specific letter or number and switch to another then come back to the original letter or number she has completely forgotten it.

Dena - posted on 03/12/2014

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I feel like you wrote exactly what I need to say I have a son that is six he's in kindergarten and it's very very very difficult to get information to stick in with him he just can't remember his ABCs and I feel like if we don't go ever over everything constantly he just cannot retain information . Looking for help I just constantly get the runaround from the school and the doctors and therapist in the psychologist and I just am trying to find a way to help him and not really sure what to do. He's been diagnosed with ADD but we're so aware that he definitely has some learning disabilities just want to figure out what they are so we can help

Jackie - posted on 03/03/2014

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What about dyspraxia? My 7 year old daughter has the same things. Trouble writing, coloring, can't tell you her birthday even though we have been working on it for 3 years. could not even tell you how old she was until she turned 5. confuses easily when talking about today, tomorrow, and days of the week. She also has symptoms of ADD, I have done research for 3 years and one of the most characteristic disorders is Dyspraxia, sometimes called developmental coordination disorder. I will do more reading on Auditory processing.

Margaret Chiara - posted on 02/02/2014

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Hi Lindie.

Your post was right on. I have the same with my five year old son. So frustrating that few if any in the school systems have much awareness of dyslexia. If they´ve actually heard of it, they tend to, as you mention, have wrong assumptions about what it entails.

Where my boy goes to school they continue to tell me because he´s five, he´s too young to make any assumptions. (even though the majority of his class mates are moving along in leaps and bounds) But working with him one on one I see that he just doesn´t get the whole building of sound blocks concept, and that is very typical of a specific type of dyslexia. He too has suffered much from teachers who say he is "immature, lazy, bad because he doesn´t pay attention" etc. Can´t say how many times I have gone over to explain to them that he doesn´t pay attention because he doesn´t get what they´re explaining and he get´s bored or overwhelmed. So sad there isn´t more education about dyslexia in teacher in preschool/primary teacher formation

Lindie - posted on 01/27/2014

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I am reading this and all i can think of is my daughter who is 5. I thought putting her in preschool would make evwrything click but she is not one step further. I began to research and talk to a specialist. She was diagnosed with dyslexia. It is ine of the most overlooked and undiagnosed learning disabilities. Most ofthe time these kids fall behind or are told they have add ir adhd but never really do. Because it was detected early she will get the help she needs and not have to play catch up. Please research it because dyslexia is not whay i thought it was initially.

Zeeshan - posted on 01/08/2014

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my son is 8 year old he has problem of reading sentences and sepling when i teach him that time he is reading but after he is fogot i am very upset what can i do to reading and learning sepling

Shannon - posted on 10/17/2013

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As far as those with kids struggling with the alphabet, my son is 3 and has a more severe APD, so I combine verbal and visual learning. What has worked best is big felt stuffed letters (almost like stuffed animals, if you can sew you can probably make them yourself). I would hold one where he could see and say "A! A, a, a, a," and do silly things like tap the letter on his head or belly. He then could hold the letter and I'd say again. Making it a game with big visual stimuli worked, he can now identify ALL the letters. Hope this can help someone : )

Teresa - posted on 08/20/2013

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Yes, my daughter is facing the same issue. I was wondering why she wasn't learning in preschool and then kindergarten. Luckily, I started seeking help for her in the beginning of kindergarten. She starts first grade tomorrow for the first time and my goal is to work with her everyday at home as challenging as it is going to be dealing with a third grader and high school junior. Maybe we can share ideas. I wish you the best!

Ismelda - posted on 06/04/2013

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My son is also 7 and cant even remember his age. He was recently diagnosed with APD. They did all kinds of test and that's what they came up with. He is in the school and has a EIP so I guess he isnt held to the same standards as a regular 1st grader. He was tested for ADHD and came out negative. I still think he has it as everyone in my husband's family including my husband has ADD. Its frustrating as he knows monster jam truck name, but not the alphabet.

Nicola - posted on 02/05/2013

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When my son was born he was 10 pound, and looked weird, i Put the swelling in his face down to the birth, his dad went home and told my parents there was something wrong with him and to preper themselves cause of the way he looked, his words was he is scary, ( i just saw my baby)...the docs thought he was down syndrome, he was tested and didnt have downs. But he has got minor Learning difficulties and needs one to one help at school. He didnt speak till he was almost 4, and just started to read and write. He has come on leaps and bounds and is a VERY VERY clever boy. He looks normal actually he is extremley good looking, and Im not just saying that cause hes my son, but his tantrums and preciseness is causing problems, what do i do? Im now a single mother and dont know which way to turn x

SHAWNA - posted on 09/06/2012

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Well I know you were LOOKING for answering on here, but I actually have some questions because you're further along in the process than I am. My son is 5. Still in preschool, due to the late birthday. Thankfully this is the case because I have similar problems. He's having a very hard time picking up things that he should be, testing as intellegent, and also forgets things we work on immediatley, He looooved his teacher last year and seemed to be sad if he missed even an hour of school but now, he says the teacher is mean and "unnecessarily stern," with only him. -- It's taken a week and a half with him out of school, to figure out some of what's going on. I am guessing that his pattern of learning is different and his behaivior is different than what is generally expected. I have a.d.d. and his dad has a.d.h.d.

I've heard many people like me say this next thing, exactly the way I do, with the emphasis' on the words and everything. In reference to understanding what someone is asking me to do, I'd say, "okay but tell me HOOOW." And in conversation with other a.d.d. folks, I hear, "I can do anything that you ask me to do but it must be detailed and mechanically explained to me."

I showed my son that it's not JUST "draw a straight line," but I have to show him the intracacies of it. Such as:

Hold your pencil with a little more grip or to use a little more muscle in his hand. Ofcourse he went straight overboard and I instructed a little less, little more... until it was right.

Then where to put the bottom of his hand in relationship to what letter he was attemping to write, and how to turn the paper to make the mechanics easiest. (Also where to put your hand when dealing with writing at the top, middle, and bottom of the page because it's all different and all pose different techniques and challenges to address.)

That he should start at the top of the line and hold a loose hand while the point was at the top line and then to (in essence) pull his hand tighter, slowly, with the muscles in his hand and stop when he gets to the bottom line.

When we did it this way, he made a perfect straight line and I gave him lots of praise.

I'm still figuring out EVVVVERYTHING else now and it's not easy and it seems schools do not like it very much. Any thoughts?

Angie - posted on 05/23/2012

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Hello Moms,
I wanted to say thank you all for your post. I homeschool my children and I have seen my 7 yr old son struggling to remember his letters and sight words. I had an 11 yr old who has ADHD. I know my younger son doesn't have that. I was looking for some answers and I read all of the post you all have put on here and it has me thinking that he might have APD. When is was 2 yrs old he did go to speech class but they just said he could hear well out of his left ear due to ear infections.My insurance doesn't pay for testing. I will take him and have him tested the summer too. I will come back and post what the tested results were and what they Dr recommend .Bless all of you great moms for doing your best to help your children. I just wanted to say that I started homeschooling due to the problems my old son had at school when he was I the 1 st grade. I had to spend so much time with his home work and meetings with his teacher that it became so upsetting my husband and I agreed to try homeschooling we could not afford private school either. My ADHD son is doing great. It is hard homeschooling but I feel We have made the right choice. Thank you all,Angie

Vera - posted on 04/11/2012

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He is in the 1st grade now, but he is way behind in his reading and testing skills the school administration are wanting to hold him back in the 1st grade. But his teacher is awesome and takes time with him and have asked for me to get him tested as well. He have tubes put in his ears due to fluid being retained in his left ear and that made sounds in his classroom muffled and caused some of the problems with his letter and word pronuctations.....I'm glad you responded and I am going to check into this auditory processing disorder... Thank you very much and we very much appreciate your response.

Shannon - posted on 04/03/2012

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Hi How is your son doing now? My son was diagnosed a yr ago today with auditory processing disorder.He is 7 yrs old and the teachers last yr in kindergarden said they had no idea whats wrong with him but I need to take him to specialist,neurologists.His letters,numbers,last name was impossible. He has been going to extra help out side of school with speech pathologists.He now can read. He can't say his abc's but he knows them. It was a struggle,And something just clicked. Now he can read. Not at his grade level, but the school said he was never going to learn. He cant memorize 3 things at a time, still working on it. But it's only been a yr. The best thing I did which was hard was keeping him with a special ed teacher and went to regular class at art and fun thing. I think that helped alot. He is in 1st grade and i'm glad i didn't hold him back.His journal is not even readable. But he is so proud of it. The teachers want him to have a computer because they think his listeneng and learning is a struggle so they think him typing would be easier.I agree. His doctor says he has auditory dyslexia.

Shannon - posted on 04/03/2012

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Hi How is your son doing now? My son was diagnosed a yr ago today with auditory processing disorder.He is 7 yrs old and the teachers last yr in kindergarden said they had no idea whats wrong with him but I need to take him to specialist,neurologists.His letters,numbers,last name was impossible. He has been going to extra help out side of school with speech pathologists.He now can read. He can't say his abc's but he knows them. It was a struggle,And something just clicked. Now he can read. Not at his grade level, but the school said he was never going to learn. He cant memorize 3 things at a time, still working on it. But it's only been a yr. The best thing I did which was hard was keeping him with a special ed teacher and went to regular class at art and fun thing. I think that helped alot. He is in 1st grade and i'm glad i didn't hold him back.His journal is not even readable. But he is so proud of it. The teachers want him to have a computer because they think his listeneng and learning is a struggle so they think him typing would be easier.I agree. His doctor says he has auditory dyslexia.

Vera - posted on 09/09/2010

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Oh My Goodness, help my son is the same way. Myles is only 5 and in Kindergarten, but he does not retain any of his alphabets or numbers. Yes, he can say them, but if you ask him to point out an A,B, or C, he cannot! now, when he settles down to learn or trace his letters, he starts to sweat real bad, complains about being hot, and keep blinking his eyes like he can't see the letters. But I just got his eyes checked and the doctors said he has perfect vision. I'm starting to get worried about him! What did you do?

Sabrina - posted on 09/06/2010

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I have a 6 yo that has been diagnosed with APD. We deal with exactly the same issues, including a school that doesn't seem to understand that she isn't intentionally being bad. Get him tested, because I was told that the symptoms can be APD, or an autism spectrum disorder. Once you find out exactly what the issue is, you can better target the solution. Good luck, and you're not alone.

Crystal - posted on 05/25/2010

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hi i have a 8 year old that was dignosed with ADD in kindagarden
and she is now going to the 4th grade with a pre-k level she has
problems remembing things it took 3 years for her to learn to write her name she still can not read we put her in speail class
and it seems to help she does not feel like she is diffrent from others in a normal class she would get fustrated b/c she could not learn like the other children

Linda - posted on 02/24/2010

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My son had trouble remembering his letters. He is now 16, we did many different things. His problem was visual but you know I think in hindsight he had auditory issues too. He is a regular b student after years of therapy blah blah I won't go on with all we did. One particular program that I thought was excellent for memory was audiblox. This is something you can do at home. You know all these programs have their strengths but for memory this is my favorite. It is really for young kids. 7 is a great age for it. I even used it on my other neurotypical child.

Tammy - posted on 12/19/2009

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i have 11 yr old child and she was falling further and further behind she just wasn't catching on and we finally figured out she was having trouble with attention she was having problems understanding the work because she was paying attention in class and we have her medication which we were so against for a while but she is doing alot better and her grades are going up
i hope that helps
Tammy Yobbka

Melina - posted on 11/28/2009

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Just had my 7 year old daughter tested today for APD. She has significant delays with auditory memory and also cannot deal with any kind of distraction while she is listening. Her IQ tests were high. APD is a true disability - alot of doctor's try to prescribe drugs to cover it up. My oldest is ADHD and on medication, so I'm not anti-medication. My middle child is a brain tumor survivor with lots of LD issues.

Meredith - posted on 10/17/2009

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I am having my daughter tested for APD on Monday! I would just like to FINALLY find out what is going on so we can get her the help she needs! She is 6 years old (will be 7 next month) and in the first grade but working on a preschool level. We have the same issues- she cant count to 20 correctly, cant finish her alphabet, can remember a simple song like 'the itsy bitsy spider'... but the school did a developemental test and everything came back normal! Well sure, she can do puzzles! She has been in speech therapy for 4 years and continues to go 4 times a week. I had to take it on MYSELF to call different audiologists and find someone who would test her, I dont know where you live but we are going to Radford University's Speech & Hearing Clinic. She isnt autistic, we have been to neurologists- I am so ready to find out what is going on so that we can help her! Can your son read & spell? We are really, REALLY, struggling with those... Anyway, that is my story- lets keep in touch!

Michelle - posted on 05/31/2009

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Thank you for everyone's advice. I plan on getting him tested over the summer. He is repeating first grade and not too pleased about it, so I need to find a way to help him this year. Thanks again!

Linda - posted on 05/30/2009

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Hi Michelle, My name is LInda and I have 3 children with Auditory Processing Disorder, and I am sorry to say that it soundes to me that your son mayhave it.. Since he has a short term memory issue, if you give him 2 or 3 step directions, does he look at you like you are CRAZY??? If so it is prolly cause he is processing the 1st thing you gave him and doesn't remember the other stuff you said.. I think you need to push the school to test him for it. And they will fight you ever step but just be strong and PUSH. I hope things work out and you find out what you need to help your son and you.. I know it is very frustrating when you have no idea, I went through it for 7 years before they find out with my older son who is now 17.. We still struggle everyday but we have learned to make accomodations for the situations we face everyday...GOOD LUCK!!!

[deleted account]

It absolutely sounds familiar. I am not sure about the APD. My son who is now almost 10 has very similiar issues. One audiologist said he had APD. I took him to others and sought ALOT of advice from school, docs' ect.... went to a 2nd Audiologist and was told he didn't. He was leading me to believe that some docs don't put a lot of stock into the APD. He encouraged us to have our son go through a neuro-psyche educational eval. Turns out he has attention/ focus issues. A form of ADD w/ out the hyper part. He has been on Straterra for about 3 months. Huge improvement in school work for the first 6 weeks. AMAZING... it has leveled off now though. Not sure what that means. This is new to us too! Worth looking into the testing though. Good luck...

Angel - posted on 04/26/2009

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Hi Michelle, I am not familiar with Auditory processing disorder in an of itself but I am familiar with everything you described as my daughter with Downs Syndrome has many of the same issues. Have you had him evaluated by someone other than the school staff and how willing is the staff to incorporate adaptive lessons for him? For my daughter visual cues are absolutely necessary (flashcards, and a multitude of other simple tools) and sign language prompts have made all the difference in the world. It is proven that all children can benefit from sign language, not just those who are deaf. And there is something about the physical action of the sign that helps the brain make the connection with the auditory request and process the information and retain it longer. There is a web site called signing time and they have an incredible line of video tapes for children (and parents learn along with them) if you are interested in looking into it or at least learning more about the benefits of suplimenting spoken language with even a few key signs. Good luck to you and your son.

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