Adults with APD, particularly if it arose in adulthood so they have prior experience of good hearing, can provide insight into the experience of hearing with APD.
Dr Louise Carroll QSO, JP, GDPPA , MPM, previously Chief Executive Officer of the National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing has Auditory Processing Disorder and uses hearing aids and a remote microphone (RM) system. She describes her hearing experience as follows.
“Without my hearing aids or RM system, speech seems fast, fragmented and confusing. Voices lack tonality. My directional hearing is poor and voices from behind are particularly difficult to hear. It’s very difficult to distinguish a voice from any other sound that is present. For example, if the refrigerator switches on (a sound barely noticeable to most people) it seems to me to swamp anyone speaking. With my hearing aids I hear much better, losing only perhaps 25% of speech. With both my hearing aids and RM system I can usually hear 100%. But I am still exhausted from listening at the end of the work day and want to take my hearing aids off as soon as I get home.”
One child with APD when first fitted with a remote microphone hearing aid system echoed the comment about lack of tonality in voices. He listened to the teacher and teacher aide for a moment then remarked with surprise that they had different voices. “I didn’t know people had different voices” he said.