Auditory Processing Disorder can be made easier to live with.
Learn to Lip Read
After a bad hearing day at school I wrote in my diary that I wished I could lip read. Once I left school I started going to Lip Reading classes at Deaf Connections. It was slow progress but now it helps me every day. If I don’t hear part of a word, I can usually see it. One less thing to worry about when I’m tired or there’s background noise.
Personal Listening Devices
Camilla the Johansen therapist recommended that I get one of these for college. I’m moving into full-time Higher education soon, and many lectures await. Personal Listening Devices filter out background noise, making listening less effort for the wearer. The teacher or lecturer wears a microphone (often on a cord around their neck) and the listener wears a receiver with ear phones, helping them to hear more clearly.
I got the chance to try a personal listening device at a demonstration. I could hear the presenter’s voice very clearly through the ear buds, and adjust the different pitches to suit my hearing.
For college, Camilla suggested I look at personal listeners made by the companies, Connevans and Phonak.
If I’m calling or get a call when I’m in a shopping centre or beside heavy traffic, I plug in the ear phones that came with my mobile phone and the caller’s voice is directed into my ears, cutting out most of the background noise.
If you have very sensitive hearing and hate loud sounds, ear plugs are just the thing for you. You don’t need top-of-the-range ear plugs. Silicone ear plugs (Boots, £7) work well for trips to the cinema.
I highly recommend Alpine Music Safe earplugs, which are designed for musicians and cost about £20. You can find them online and in most music shops. These earplugs reduce noise levels while keeping sounds clear. And since they’re not waxy, my hair doesn’t get stuck to them. I used to wear Alpine earplugs when I had a bad hearing day and everyday noises were overwhelmingly loud. Nowadays, they are still great for loud films at cinemas, if I go to gigs, and when I play drums. I don’t practice without them.
Most good TV, box sets and films have subtitles (and if they don’t they should). Even if you can hear the words, reading them takes the effort out of listening and you can sit back and enjoy the film.
If your family don’t want subtitles, throw a tantrum because this is discrimination!