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When the Brain Can't Hear: Unraveling the Mystery of Auditory Processing Disorder

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In this landmark book, Dr. Teri James Bellis, one of the world's leading authorities on auditory processing disorder (APD), explains the nature of this devastating condition and provides insightful case studies that illustrate its effect on the lives of its sufferers. Millions of Americans struggle silently with APD. For many of them, holding a simple conversation can be ne In this landmark book, Dr. Teri James Bellis, one of the world's leading authorities on auditory processing disorder (APD), explains the nature of this devastating condition and provides insightful case studies that illustrate its effect on the lives of its sufferers. Millions of Americans struggle silently with APD. For many of them, holding a simple conversation can be next to impossible. As sound travels through an imperfect auditory pathway, words become jumbled, distorted, and unintelligible. As Dr. Bellis notes, the most profound impact of this highly specific impediment to auditory comprehension may be on the young. Facing a severely reduced ability to read, spell, comprehend, and communicate, children with APD are subject to anxiety, academic failure, and a damaged sense of self. Often, they are misdiagnosed. Discussing the latest and most promising clinical advances and treatment options, and providing a host of proven strategies for coping, Dr. Bellis takes much of the mystery out of APD. If you or anyone you know has difficulty comprehending spoken language, or if your child is struggling in school, this important book may have the answers you need.


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In this landmark book, Dr. Teri James Bellis, one of the world's leading authorities on auditory processing disorder (APD), explains the nature of this devastating condition and provides insightful case studies that illustrate its effect on the lives of its sufferers. Millions of Americans struggle silently with APD. For many of them, holding a simple conversation can be ne In this landmark book, Dr. Teri James Bellis, one of the world's leading authorities on auditory processing disorder (APD), explains the nature of this devastating condition and provides insightful case studies that illustrate its effect on the lives of its sufferers. Millions of Americans struggle silently with APD. For many of them, holding a simple conversation can be next to impossible. As sound travels through an imperfect auditory pathway, words become jumbled, distorted, and unintelligible. As Dr. Bellis notes, the most profound impact of this highly specific impediment to auditory comprehension may be on the young. Facing a severely reduced ability to read, spell, comprehend, and communicate, children with APD are subject to anxiety, academic failure, and a damaged sense of self. Often, they are misdiagnosed. Discussing the latest and most promising clinical advances and treatment options, and providing a host of proven strategies for coping, Dr. Bellis takes much of the mystery out of APD. If you or anyone you know has difficulty comprehending spoken language, or if your child is struggling in school, this important book may have the answers you need.

30 review for When the Brain Can't Hear: Unraveling the Mystery of Auditory Processing Disorder

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I read this book to see if it matched the symptoms I have. There was some interesting info, but it would be a better resource for a parent that is worried about their child. As an adult there is just as good of info on the internet. I skipped alot of sections as a result. Probably the best thing for me to do would be to visit an audiologist instead of continuing to read about it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lissa Notreallywolf

    This was an informative book, and recommended for anyone who deals with someone with selective listening issues, cocktail party syndrome or a kid who just can't seem to take instruction. I especially liked the points she makes about disability being a changing landscape, and that brain processing changes with injury, age or "change of life" issues. In dealing with aging people, hearing loss can be made more prominent by the brain slowing or shutting down. This is an excellent resource for people This was an informative book, and recommended for anyone who deals with someone with selective listening issues, cocktail party syndrome or a kid who just can't seem to take instruction. I especially liked the points she makes about disability being a changing landscape, and that brain processing changes with injury, age or "change of life" issues. In dealing with aging people, hearing loss can be made more prominent by the brain slowing or shutting down. This is an excellent resource for people who have tried hearing aids only to find they make the problem in comprehension worse, or to explain why wearing a single unit is more effective than two. In addition, it was enlightening to find out the neurological implications of long term hearing loss and restoration has on the processing attributes of the brain. Bellis's language is accessible to the layperson and compassionate in tone. She and her husband serve as case studies for two types of processing deficit, and I applaud her candor about the difficulty in coordinating each partner's needs.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I read this book while preparing for a class presentation for (C)APD. I would recommend this book to any parents or other family members of an individual with (C)APD. I would also recommend this book to professionals for several reasons, it's a great overview of this disorder, and it's always good to read what you might recommend to your clients and families. This book is a great introduction to (central) auditory processing disorder, treatment methods (for adults and children) and several case I read this book while preparing for a class presentation for (C)APD. I would recommend this book to any parents or other family members of an individual with (C)APD. I would also recommend this book to professionals for several reasons, it's a great overview of this disorder, and it's always good to read what you might recommend to your clients and families. This book is a great introduction to (central) auditory processing disorder, treatment methods (for adults and children) and several case studies. This book is a great, but if you're looking for more detail about treatment procedures, I would recommend: Assessment & Management of Central Auditory Processing Disorders in the Educational Setting: From Science to Practice 2nd Edition.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Myth

    I wanted to make some comments in regards to APD. I was diagnosed when I was a child and have had to live with this disorder my whole life. From sound sensitivity, not being able to localize sound to not being able to interpret the meaning of people's messages, it seems like I've experienced problems on both side of the right/left spectrum. I've so far, found the chapter about the "faces of APD" the most interesting, since I wasn't aware of different types, but it confirmed a suspicion I've had a I wanted to make some comments in regards to APD. I was diagnosed when I was a child and have had to live with this disorder my whole life. From sound sensitivity, not being able to localize sound to not being able to interpret the meaning of people's messages, it seems like I've experienced problems on both side of the right/left spectrum. I've so far, found the chapter about the "faces of APD" the most interesting, since I wasn't aware of different types, but it confirmed a suspicion I've had about it. I "have APD with in both sides of my brain". I put this in quotes, because that's per se. I believe my connection with APD doesn't go from hearing to brain, rather it goes from brain to hearing. Thus I never expected my greatest help to come from an audiologist. This seems to have been the same case with my mom when she learned of my APD. The audiologist didn't provide a lot of help at the time and I ended up going to a different sort of specialist and eventually a brain interrogation therapist. It become obvious to these therapist that the sides of my brain were not interacting well with each other. One of the early signs of this was the fact that I didn't crawl as a baby. I also played with my left ear when I was tired and still do that... Reading When the Brain Can't Hear I planned to learn more about my disorder and about ways to cope with it. It seems to me there is still a lot that is unclear about APDs and I think it's likely neurology will eventually make sense of it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sheridan

    I did not read this whole book. I got it to see if my son may have this. I skimmed through the book and got to the part where it discusses diagnosis of a person. That section was great. It covered what you should do before getting diagnosed to see if APD is even an option. It covered the different types of APD and symptoms. I realized that my son does not fall into any of these categories. So I did not choose to go back and read the book. I gave it 5 stars, because from my skimming and the parts I did not read this whole book. I got it to see if my son may have this. I skimmed through the book and got to the part where it discusses diagnosis of a person. That section was great. It covered what you should do before getting diagnosed to see if APD is even an option. It covered the different types of APD and symptoms. I realized that my son does not fall into any of these categories. So I did not choose to go back and read the book. I gave it 5 stars, because from my skimming and the parts I read, it was a very well laid out book, with good information. If you think someone you know may have APD, this is a great resource to get!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Juliana Haught

    This gave a good look into Auditory Processing Disorder, though not too much into the type that I and my children have. It seemed to look especially at acquired APD, rather than inherited. I'd be interested to read more as research delves deeper. This gave a good look into Auditory Processing Disorder, though not too much into the type that I and my children have. It seemed to look especially at acquired APD, rather than inherited. I'd be interested to read more as research delves deeper.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This was a hard read for me (personally/emotionally) and has taken me many months to weave back and forth through different sections, reading what I thought I needed to know and then going back to review and re-read other sections I realized would have been helpful. I have a child who I'm sure is about to be diagnosed with APD and it is indeed a mystery... After reading this I feel both equipped and a bit anxious. The author does a great job of breaking things down and I have a much better sense This was a hard read for me (personally/emotionally) and has taken me many months to weave back and forth through different sections, reading what I thought I needed to know and then going back to review and re-read other sections I realized would have been helpful. I have a child who I'm sure is about to be diagnosed with APD and it is indeed a mystery... After reading this I feel both equipped and a bit anxious. The author does a great job of breaking things down and I have a much better sense of what is coming as we look at testing and at-home strategies to improve her homeschooling experience. I have a lot more thoughts swimming around in my head but this is all I can articulate tonight.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I learned more about APD than I had known. I wish that there was a more concise version, the case studies and examples were pretty long which made it take to long to get to the useful information in the book. I do think that this would be really helpful for a parent or adult with a new diagnosis to read. I may purchase this book in the future for reference with my students, but I want to see what else is out there first. For those of you (Mom) who read my first review, and complained about my spe I learned more about APD than I had known. I wish that there was a more concise version, the case studies and examples were pretty long which made it take to long to get to the useful information in the book. I do think that this would be really helpful for a parent or adult with a new diagnosis to read. I may purchase this book in the future for reference with my students, but I want to see what else is out there first. For those of you (Mom) who read my first review, and complained about my spelling errors it obviously didn't do a whole lot to help me with my own struggles with APD. ;)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    I'd have liked this hetter if she had sspent more time discussing non academic coping techniques (ie social environment) and the possible link to depression, which seems common, as this disorder leaves the individual witu difficulties socially. I'd have liked this hetter if she had sspent more time discussing non academic coping techniques (ie social environment) and the possible link to depression, which seems common, as this disorder leaves the individual witu difficulties socially.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nikki Stafford

    2.5 stars. In my ongoing reading on various issues in the brain, I picked up this book, because one of my children was diagnosed with CAP disorder a few years ago. We've been working with him to improve and rewire his brain to deal with it over a few years, and I didn't realize there was actually a complete book on the topic until I happened to be browsing online and found it, so I picked it up more out of interest than requiring any further knowledge on the topic (there was almost nothing in th 2.5 stars. In my ongoing reading on various issues in the brain, I picked up this book, because one of my children was diagnosed with CAP disorder a few years ago. We've been working with him to improve and rewire his brain to deal with it over a few years, and I didn't realize there was actually a complete book on the topic until I happened to be browsing online and found it, so I picked it up more out of interest than requiring any further knowledge on the topic (there was almost nothing in the book I didn't already know through my own years of research). This is an very good resource for any researchers or family doctors or teachers who want to know more about APD, but it's not a very good resource for parents. Most of the book is simply talking about signs to look for and when you might want to go to a doctor (tl;dr version: Just go to your doctor and don't waste your time on 200 pages of case studies), and then at the very end she says something that goes against every single educator, researcher, doctor, and therapist I've dealt with on the subject: that parents need to realize APD children have a limited future and need to accept their kid can't do certain things. Uh... not actually true. The brain is incredibly plastic and can be retrained, and my son has gone from an APD of 10% comprehension through the left ear to 60% in a few years, and we are pretty confident we can make it to the 100 just through therapies and activities. I appreciate that this is what she does for a living, but if she's telling parents to dial back their expectations on these kids, I say go look at another book if you're a parent. Because it can be done. (I'm currently reading through "The Brain That Changes Itself," which has a chapter on APD and how it can be overcome and has been many times in various case studies, and it provides a MUCH more optimistic picture than this book). This book is for the researchers; not for the parents.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emily Fitterman

    Written with the layman in mind, the text wasn’t complicated with a lot of scientific jargon but easy to understand. Not to be used to self-diagnose (let a trained audiologist do that), the author offers a good range of ideas and therapies for all ages, including adults. As a parent of a child with APD, I’m always looking for answers on how to make her life easier. This book solidified what I already knew and built upon that foundation.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Very easy read. Very enjoyable and informative. Lots of examples. I personally would have appreciated a bit more of a breakdown of the specific types of APD and the specific approaches of each, because I'm the type that likes to be fully prepared. But, this is probably informative enough for most people. I really appreciated the fact that she was encouraging in stating that much could be done, but also realistic in pointing out that not everyone will be able to completely overcome all areas of d Very easy read. Very enjoyable and informative. Lots of examples. I personally would have appreciated a bit more of a breakdown of the specific types of APD and the specific approaches of each, because I'm the type that likes to be fully prepared. But, this is probably informative enough for most people. I really appreciated the fact that she was encouraging in stating that much could be done, but also realistic in pointing out that not everyone will be able to completely overcome all areas of difficulty and may be limited from doing things. Just as you probably have no chance of being a professional basketball player no matter how much you practice; we all have our limitations. :-) I definitely recommend this book to those who have or are parents of someone with auditory processing disorder or who suspect it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan Forsgren

    This is a powerful book that helped me understand many situations that were driving me crazy. I had an illness when I was young that effected my brain in many of the ways described in the book. I now comprehend way I react the way I do to some things. I am not CRAZY. I have been given the tools to help me improve my communications with others.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Teri is a friend as well as one of *the* experts on auditory processing disorders. So I was predisposed to think well of this book. But I am pleased to say that she can make really complicated material understandable. And brain function is definitely complicated ;-)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Very informative and interesting. The author presented several different cases of APD which helped me better grasp this disorder. I would recommend this book to SLPs, teachers, and other professionalsn who work with children.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Very good book on auditory processing. I gives you information in terms that make sense and is decided into different topics to discuss testing all the way through to different things that might help people with APD.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

    This book was so good at explaining what my son is going through. It was a help to know that we aren't the only ones out there dealing with this disorder. This book was so good at explaining what my son is going through. It was a help to know that we aren't the only ones out there dealing with this disorder.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gina Barnett

    explains the mismatch between intelligent but under-functioning kids

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lynette

    Extremely interesting...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Awesome book dealing with APD!!! So insightful and sensitive to people who have to struggle so hard to "get it". It helps me understand my own self and family members better. Awesome book dealing with APD!!! So insightful and sensitive to people who have to struggle so hard to "get it". It helps me understand my own self and family members better.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Loved it. So helpful.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book is helping immensely with understanding the difference between hearing issues and auditory processing issues.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deanne

    Very helpful, good information! It even explain how to go get tested and what to expect. I liked that it talked about adult-onset APD. (I'm sure I've got it!) Very helpful, good information! It even explain how to go get tested and what to expect. I liked that it talked about adult-onset APD. (I'm sure I've got it!)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Crossett

    Great book on Auditory Processing Disorder

  25. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This book explained so much to me about audio processing - a persons comments, responses when they have difficulty w/hearing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    This book is a comprehensive guide to APD. My son has ADD and through this book I have learned that he probably does not have APD but just a very bad case of ADD and now I know what to do next.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    An easy to understand and easy to read introduction to a very complex disorder.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Absolutely wonderful resource for people wanting to learn more about Auditory Processing Disorder.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Cook

    Very repetitive. Only an audiologist can diagnose, I get it!! Wasn’t expecting so many case studies and examples only to be told you can’t diagnose from behavior or a checklist. Some of it was informative - most of the symptoms of APD can mimic other conditions. Some of it actually made me question if APD is even real - author mentions there is no formal or systematic way of diagnosing. Would have liked more advice on treatment. So APD may or may not exist, coexist with other conditions such as Very repetitive. Only an audiologist can diagnose, I get it!! Wasn’t expecting so many case studies and examples only to be told you can’t diagnose from behavior or a checklist. Some of it was informative - most of the symptoms of APD can mimic other conditions. Some of it actually made me question if APD is even real - author mentions there is no formal or systematic way of diagnosing. Would have liked more advice on treatment. So APD may or may not exist, coexist with other conditions such as ADHD and autism, there’s no systematic ways of diagnosing, and no cure - just a few ways to cope. One can either grow out of it, or grow into it and one shouldn’t rely on technology so that the brain learns to compensate. I hope research begins ASAP in this area but not sure what the prevalence of this condition is, I don’t think the author mentioned it?

  30. 4 out of 5

    Esther Williams

    I have a child with severe auditory processing disorder. This books was very helpful in explaining the disorder but there is so much information and sometimes conflicting symptoms it's hard to grasp reading it all the first time. I'm glad I downloaded this book so I can go back to it many times for reference. She goes into the disorder, examples of other people's symptoms with it ( they aren't all the same depending on where in the brain you may have troubles with) , APD in children, APD in adul I have a child with severe auditory processing disorder. This books was very helpful in explaining the disorder but there is so much information and sometimes conflicting symptoms it's hard to grasp reading it all the first time. I'm glad I downloaded this book so I can go back to it many times for reference. She goes into the disorder, examples of other people's symptoms with it ( they aren't all the same depending on where in the brain you may have troubles with) , APD in children, APD in adults, how to get diagnosed, the many types of APD, how to treat it, how to live with it, accommodations that may help you better live with it because for the most part, there is no cure, you have to adapt living with it. She was very positive and real with the information. She gave me hope that my daughter can thrive with it.

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