A Personal Story of Hope
Shelley Francis is a certified audiologist with a passion for helping children with auditory processing weaknesses, which was inspired by the challenges her brother faced growing up with an undiagnosed learning disability. Shelley’s brother Tom not only suffered challenges and failures growing up in school, but also bouts of depression and fear of failure later in his adult life. In 1992, Shelley helped Tom discover that many of his challenges as an adult were due to an underlying auditory processing problem that had gone unrecognized in childhood and adolescence. After Shelley diagnosed and treated him, Tom decided to return to school and later graduated with a degree in anthropology.
Tom was very smart as a boy although unable to succeed in school. Tom carried his early failures with him into his adult life, which later manifested into emotional struggles and depression. A firsthand witness to the struggles her brother faced, Shelley set out in 1992 to help the many children suffering with this challenge and to bring Auditory Processing Disorder to the forefront.
Through the process of educating families and professionals, Shelley began specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). Frustrated with the lack of programs available to help the children in her practice, Shelley began developing some of her own therapies and techniques. Shelley helped the children improve in areas of personal struggle by addressing the underlying weaknesses and parents immediately recognized dramatic results. Parents also began reporting great success stories to which teachers and other professionals began inquiring about Shelley’s services.
As Shelley developed a greater understanding of Auditory Processing Disorder and its impact on children’s development, she soon realized that the children in her practice needed more than she was able to give. Shelley understood both the financial impact and time restrictions tied to her practice that impeded her ability to provide all the necessary services. Frustrated once again, Shelley felt that she needed to do more to help not only the children in her practice but children everywhere. Shelley also set out to help children without auditory processing weaknesses improve listening skills and ultimately, language and learning.
With the help of technology, Shelley decided to begin developing a program that parents could implement at home with their children. Shelley’s passion and desire to empower parents to help their children at home, along with her creation of a daily “listening diet” necessary to improve auditory processing skills, led to the developing of TheListeningLab.com.
Shelley understands how easy it can be to lose the skill of listening and she recognizes the importance of developing good listening skills at an early age. It is her passion to help children succeed and reach their true potential, as much as it is her desire to help parents understand Auditory Processing Disorder and to empower them to help their children. It is Shelley’s dream to greatly reduce the impact that APD has on the lives of families everywhere.
Shelley Francis is the founder of TheListeningLab.com. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in speech pathology and a teaching certificate for special education from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacodoches Texas in 1984. Shelley later graduated with a Master’s degree in Audiology from North Texas State University in Denton Texas in 1986.
In 1989, Shelley opened Hear Care, her own practice in East Meadow, New York, where she specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss. As her practice grew, she began to see more children presented with hearing problems in the presence of a normal hearing test.
In 1992, Shelley Francis began devoting her practice to understanding, diagnosing and helping children with auditory processing weaknesses and challenges.
Today, Shelley remains motivated by both her passion to help children and unique perspective in the area of Auditory Processing Disorder. Through speaking engagements and consultations, Shelley notably shares her empathy, compassion and knowledge.