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Our Journey with Low-Gain Hearing Aids (LGHAs), Autism, and APD

Progress update two months after my son began his trial LGHAs

About a month ago, I shared a post about my son’s new low-gain hearing aids. He is 26, autistic, and has a severe APD (auditory processing disorder). I mentioned that he has limited verbal abilities and that we had been searching for many years for ways to improve his hearing abilities.

At the time of my last post, we had already begun to see improvements. You can read about them here:

Since then, we have seen many more developments, so I thought I’d give you a quick update as to how they are helping:

  • His ability to take part in conversations is improving.
  • He is initiating many more conversations.
  • His comprehension of what is being said has improved significantly.
  • His response time when asked a question or when conversing has decreased significantly.
  • The number of times he “repeats back” things that were said to him or the questions he was asked has decreased. Instead, he responds conversationally.
  • He initiated and was able to carry on conversations on the phone in English (we live in Israel, and he primarily communicates in Hebrew)

In addition, this morning, we had a very interesting interaction. I noticed that he was making a lot of loud squeaky noises when he was outside on the patio. He does this quite often, particularly if he is excited about something. I imagine it is a type of auditory/verbal stimming.

I went outside and said: “Good morning, how are you? I noticed you are making a lot of squeaky noises; what’s up?

He responded: “Bring me my hearing aids, please!”

I asked: “Are you squeaking because you don’t have your hearing aids? When you wear them, you don’t feel you need to squeak?”

And then he surprised me by saying: “That’s right, when I wear them, I don’t need to squeak!”

I asked: “Do they help you?”

He replied immediately: “Yes”

I then thought about this for a minute and realized that there have been fewer “squeaks” around the house lately. I wonder if the hearing aids help him to balance incoming sounds and, therefore, he doesn’t need to elicit his own sounds to balance his system or quiet his overstimulated brain from too much irregular auditory input.

Perhaps one day, he will be able to explain to me how he feels…

But I do know one thing for sure- neurology is fascinating!

***To learn more about our journey with neurodiversity, sensory processing, and more, I invite you to check out my blog and to read my book “Moving Forward: Reflections on Autism, Neurodiversity, Brain Surgery, and Faith”.

#APD #AuditoryProcessingDisorder #SPD #SensoryProcessing #HearingAids #LGHA #autism #neurodiversity #IrlenSyndrome #Visual Processing #Neurodivergent

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Jacki Edry

Jacki Edry

Jacki Edry is a graduate of Hampshire College and has an extensive background in education, writing, and marketing. She has been exploring the world of autism and neurodiversity for over thirty-five years. 

8 Responses

  1. This post is literally making me cry. I am so happy for you and for him.

    At 25 1/2 my son was just diagnosed with autism… I’m learning a lot and so grateful. AND completely overwhelmed.

    Still. . . Grateful.

  2. Could Boaz’s unusual vocalizations be like the sounds he is hearing due to auditory processing issues and the low-gain hearing aids are helping him to process sounds more accurately?

    1. I imagine so…and hope one day he will tell me exactly what is going on! Thanks!

  3. This is fascinating re: the need to counter the sounds he hears with his own verbal stimulation. Thanks for sharing!

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