HomedyslexiaThe Auditory Side of Dyslexia

My ear, signifying auditory dyslexiaI hadn’t heard of the term auditory dyslexia until I started researching the way my brain works. Upon reflection on what I see every day about dyslexia, that’s because the focus is always on the reading/writing aspect of the neurology.

What is Auditory Dyslexia?

I’ve also seen this referred to as phonological dyslexia. It’s a type of dyslexia originating in processing how we hear language. Subtle sounds are difficult to tell apart, like the “e” in “help” and the “a” in “cat”, and auditory memory is usually poor.

This is also what makes background noise difficult to filter out in classrooms, public places or workplaces. It also influences how we speak and is part of what makes matching sounds up with letters so difficult.

It’s the most common form of dyslexia, and one I know intimately.

Hidden Symptoms

Despite the fact this is so common, hearing related symptoms are usually overlooked. This is partly because the majority of attention is placed on reading/writing.

Reading and writing are vital parts of education, but we shouldn’t forget spoken language is learned first. Processing written language is a human invented skill, and spoken language evolved from a natural need to communicate.

Another reason this side of dyslexia is often overlooked is that we don’t often discuss how we hear things unless we’re having a hard time. Then, we usually think of problems with our ears before how we actually process sound.

When we combine these two elements, kids who struggle with this side of dyslexia are still labeled as inattentive or lazy. Sometimes, I wonder if the kids diagnosed with ADHD but don’t respond to medication are just having trouble with their auditory processing.

When a child has trouble understanding spoken instructions or focusing in a class full of children, they’re not being lazy. They simply can’t process auditory information the same way as most of their peers can.

In the end, these symptoms aren’t actually hidden. They’re just overlooked.

This week’s #AbilityChat will be all about this side of dyslexia. I’m looking forward to seeing what people have to say about it.

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