To Hear or Here, That is The Question: Detailing my Battle with ADP

As you know, my name is Eliana Sidlow. I am 18 years old. What you don’t know is that I have ADP. ADP, short for Auditory Processing Disorder, is a speech and language deficit that affects my reading, writing, and overall language skills. While I hear everything going on around me, I don’t process auditory input the way everyone else does.

I often confuse phonemes (words that are different because of one letter). Imagine not being able to tell the difference between words like cat, rat, or bat. I’m not a fan of noisy places simply because I find a lot of noise to be overstimulating. My speech or sentence structure in general can come out backwards resembling something that maybe a third or fourth grader said. I’ll interpret information literally. For example, if I hear a joke for the first time, I’ll usually need someone to explain it to me.

Things Can Get Tough

To combat these symptoms, I rely heavily on lipreading and intense auditory focus to tune in to what one or a few people are saying at a given moment. Not getting a joke or misunderstanding comments or conversations which transpire in a noisy place can make me feel helplessly left out of the loop. I am not always privy to the nuances of language with regards to reading books, literature, the Bible, or the Talmud, nor do I always understand what takes place on pages when more easily I can understand with pictures. All of this adds up to things oftentimes getting tough.

So Who Am I Really?

That’s not my whole story, not even close. Let me reintroduce myself:

Greetings world. My name is Eliana Sidlow. I am a hard working student. However, I have something called ADP, which leads me to be a slow reader and writer. It’s tough to configure a proper picture of what I take in through the senses or describe exactly the feelings that comprise my experiences. But there is no need to worry. With a bit of extra time to read, get directions, complete tasks, and some practice, I can do just about the same job as any kid who doesn’t have to battle ADP.

While my mechanisms to counteract my ADP symptoms work for school or reading, I hope to one day find some remedy in place of self-confidence. This remedy won’t dare to hide the reality that my conduct – my words – are a mere mask of disruption, behaving uncontrollably. It won’t hide that my words are a shell to my true mind, a mind which is an inner-world of depth and beauty which to others for so long has been hidden.

Let’s Fix This Together

People are far more than the words they use to gain acceptance or to escape rejection. They’re complex organisms, multilayered beings with a certain something that can’t ever be fully expressed. For me, the curse of communication is the inability to fully lay out to another being my understanding of the world.

Let’s find a way to move past words. Let’s find a deeper way to understand others. Let’s develop an understanding of ADP and have patience for those who battle it.

Until that day, I’ll pray and I’ll hope. I’ll pray that the words I come up with in my mind are the ones I’ll say, and I’ll hope that I will understand others and they will understand me.

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Eliana Sidlow
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