The APD and Social Issue Connection
Many children with auditory processing delays also struggle with social and psychological issues. In fact, there are many different types of social and psychological issues currently linked to auditory processing delays. Fear of failure, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and feelings of not belonging or inadequacy can all surface in a child with auditory processing delays. Behavioral problems including substance abuse and juvenile delinquency have also been linked to auditory processing delays.
More Than Learning and Academic Problems
In some cases, the social and psychological issues associated with auditory processing weaknesses can present a much greater problem than typical learning and academic problems. In some ways, these problems may all be related. Children with learning disabilities - and especially undiagnosed learning disabilities - often experience failure. Faced with repeated failure, these children start to accept failure as inevitable regardless of how hard they try to succeed. These children often accept the notion that they are not smart and that failure is a part of who they are. This can cause a child to simply give up.
Success and Self-Value
Children spend most of their waking hours in school. Many children form their own self-value based on their ability to succeed in school. Unless a child is placed in an environment in which he or she can be successful, these children often form a low self-value and ultimately develop low self-esteem. Low self-esteem in children often transfers over into adult life, which can manifest into difficulties in both career and interpersonal relationships. Issues with failure can create a vicious cycle for both children and adults, which can further support their own feelings of inadequacies. Feelings of failure can spiral downward towards depression, anxiety and social isolation, which in turn can lead to additional problems including substance abuse and other addictions.
Learning from Social Exposure
Auditory processing delays and weaknesses can also greatly affect the development of social skills. Much of what we learn in the area of social development comes from processing both auditorily and visually the way people react with one another. Many of the social mannerisms that we learn come from simple exposure. If a young child hears a person say “thank you” every time someone holds a door open for them, then he or she will eventually thank someone who holds the door for him or her. A child who sees and hears compliments given to others will soon learn to compliment others as well. We even learn to read body language and facial expressions, all through exposure.
This same type of sensory input bombards children with sensory processing deficits all throughout the day. Children eventually have to shut out and disconnect with the world around them simply to cope with this overwhelming sensory input. These children thus miss out on the passive learning that takes place in social situations such that social skills must be taught to them.
Not Just a “Chatter Box”
Children with auditory processing weaknesses find listening to be a lot of work. As a result, many quickly discover that if they spend more time talking, then they don’t have to listen as often. “Chatter box” is a term that is often used to describe a child with auditory processing weaknesses. Interestingly, talking a lot and listening very little is a common strategy that many poor listeners use to cope with their issue.
Sense of Self
Aside from poor listening, children with sensory processing deficiencies who have trouble processing and connecting to the world around them often develop poor fine and/or gross motor skills. Since many social skills are learned by simple exposure, children with APD have not only social and psychological issues but also problems with sense of self.
A “Daily Listening Diet”
When auditory processing deficits become a piece of the puzzle, a “daily listening diet” can prove quite helpful. Learn why a daily listening diet is a critical element in remediating an auditory processing problem.