Autism & Auditory Processing – My Autistic Experience

Hey, internet humans, NeuroRebel here, and this week, we’re talking about auditory processing differences, sometimes referred to as auditory processing disorder and what it’s like for your brain not to process the things you’re hearing correctly. So if you’re interested at all in what this is like stay tuned.


Hey, internet humans, NeuroRebel here, and this week, we’re talking about auditory processing differences, sometimes referred to as auditory processing disorder and what it’s like for your brain not to process the things you’re hearing correctly. So if you’re interested at all in what this is like stay tuned.

[00:00:53] When we talk about auditory processing differences, or auditory processing disorder, it’s important, first, to notice that it’s actually not a problem with your ears.

[00:01:11] Technically, it impacts how you hear things, but it isn’t from your ear. It’s from your brain and how your brain is processing and interpreting words and information as this coming in.

[00:01:25] It’s not something that say getting hearing aids might necessarily help, because it is how you are processing the information in your brain.

[00:01:34] What are some examples of auditory processing disorder?

[00:01:37] How might, you know if this impacts you or someone that you care about?

[00:01:42] From my experience, little things, like when I hear someone saying words, I may miss hear a word or multiple words in the sentence.

[00:01:56] Someone may say “dog” and I hear “frog”. Someone may say “90” and I hear “19” – little nuances in the words.

[00:02:08] I, from a young age, have gotten into that habit of not necessarily trusting what it is I hear,  depending on context clues.

[00:02:18] Sometimes there’ll be a word that I hear in the middle of a sentence that makes absolutely no sense or is completely out of place.

[00:02:27] Then I’ll go through, scrolling in my head, for other words that could possibly make more sense to go in place of the word, that I’ve heard that I am fairly sure I have heard incorrectly.

[00:02:39] This happens daily -multiple times a day, regularly throughout my life.

[00:02:47] This also means that words going in may go in. They may be heard, but it’s literally in one ear out the other ear situation, where it’s going in, nothing is being registered and nothing is being captured.

[00:03:03] This can get you in trouble, because people think you’re intentionally not listening to them.  This isn’t the same as your brain, just not processing, grabbing and hanging onto the information as it is passing through the whirlwind of your mind.

[00:03:20] My ability to process information and hear clearly and understand the words coming out of people’s mouths can change day to day and situationally.

[00:03:37] For example, if I am feeling particularly tired and exhausted, or I’ve been in an environment that is heavily over-stimulating and overwhelming for too long, and maybe it’s just the end of the day and I’m ready to go to bed or take a nap and sit down and close my mouth, it gets harder.

[00:04:01] There are more processing errors, brain typos in what I’m hearing, coming into my head.

[00:04:07] Brain typos, everywhere! More typos the tireder I become.

[00:04:13] It’s also very hard to hear people in environments where it is noisy or busy, and there’s a lot of competing sensory information, making it difficult for me to process and focus on, by giving extra attention to what it is that I need to hear, that can also make it harder for me to process correctly.

[00:04:39] You ever heard Charlie Brown where the teachers like “womp womp womp womp womp womp”? You can’t make out any of the words.

[00:04:48] That is what it feels like, sometimes, if you put me in one of these noisy bars or shops where everyone’s talking, the  plates are clanking, the people are scooting chairs on the floor.

[00:05:02] Everything is so intense and loud and my brain doesn’t filter it out. It’s all at the same volume. The people talking in the background that people talking right next to me to spoons, stirring the coffee machines, grinding.

[00:05:18] It’s all at one volume.  I can’t pick out any one thing. Especially words in conversation, because this isn’t hard for me on any given day, in ideal conditions.

[00:05:33] Those kinds of environments aren’t even really fun for me. I try not to spend a lot of time in them because they exhaust me, wear me down, and burn me out.

[00:05:49] So what do you do? What do you do if you are struggling to process, understand and comprehend what people are saying?

[00:06:01]These are different ways having  auditory processing differences can impact you. 

[00:06:09] What works for me may not be the answer for everyone. Each and every single Autistic person is different. We are all individuals. There is no one size fits all answer.

[00:06:20] I really do hope that some things that are helpful to me will also be helpful to some of you out there today who find this video on the internet world.

[00:06:33] One thing that has been a big change in my life, since learning I am Neurodivergent, and have these processing difficulties: if someone  wants to hang out with me or meet up, or we’re going to do anything where there needs to be a conversation happening that needs to happen somewhere, that is quiet, not too busy and doesn’t have a lot of background noise.

[00:07:00]I can’t succeed in an environment where you need me to hear and I can’t hear and process understand and understand what you’re saying to me.

[00:07:12] Once we’ve got the environment set up, then if we’re talking important tasks and deadlines and things that need to be done on a timely fashion, I’m going to need some tools or to get all of the details and deadlines in writing if you’re not going to let me take time to write down or type up all of these notes for myself.

[00:07:42] I’m also probably going to ask you to kind of slow down and I will read back my understanding of what you had shared with me to make sure there have been no processing errors that are going to cause problems and misunderstandings in the future.

[00:08:04] Knowledge is power.

[00:08:06] I didn’t think or know to ask for any of this for a lot of years of my life.

[00:08:11] If, you know my story, you may know that I didn’t know I was Autistic, Neurodivergent, or had processing difficulties,  despite the fact that they have a large impact on my life for almost 30 years.

[00:08:25] When I figured it out, and started to put these things in place, it’s made my life a lot better.

[00:08:31] Another thing I’ve had to learn to ask for is a break.

[00:08:37] Sometimes I need a break from all of the sounds that are constantly assaulting my brain.

[00:08:45] Remember I said, it’s all at the same volume. It’s all cranked up to 11 with a one out of 10 scale.

[00:08:52] We’re cranked to 11!

[00:08:54] Make it stop!

[00:08:55] I can take a break by removing myself from the situation going somewhere quiet, or using some sort of noise, canceling, sound dampening, headphone device, or putting in some soft and soothing music.

[00:09:14] I’m getting better now at realizing when I’m getting to that point where I’m going to need a break, because everything is getting to be too much, before I reached that crisis point -where I’ve gone over the line.

[00:09:28] One step over the line too far.

[00:09:32] I’m learning how to stop myself before I get to that point. Because for a lot of years, I was just reaching that point and plowing on through it because I didn’t understand my limits and I wasn’t being very kind to myself either.

[00:09:49] I was holding myself to a neuro-typical standard, trying to squish a square peg into a round hole, destroying the peg.

[00:09:58] Humans, thank you so much for hanging out with me this week.

[00:10:03] I do put out new videos every Wednesday, so don’t forget to subscribe and turn on the notifications so you never miss an update.

[00:10:13] If you found this content anywhere near useful, helpful, please go ahead and hit that share button to help someone else who may also benefit from the content find it as well.

[00:10:24] Always,  a huge, special thank you to my Patreon subscribers, Facebook supporters, and now YouTube subscribers for being the wind beneath my blogs wings.

[00:10:39] I hate when that one comes out. That is so cheesy, but it’s true. I really couldn’t do it without you.

[00:10:45] A huge special thank you for helping me to continue to put out high quality content.

[00:10:53] Just as a little, thanks to those of you who do subscribe to my content, you get videos like this one early, before they are released to the general public. Like I said, it’s a very small way to thank you for your support.

[00:11:06] I am eternally grateful for each and everyone  of you, whether you’re subscribing and supporting, or  liking, commenting, sharing, and giving your video ideas and suggestions.

[00:11:17] I couldn’t do it without you.

[00:11:19] We will talk to you next week. See you later. Bye humans!


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One thought on “Autism & Auditory Processing – My Autistic Experience

  1. have lost track of a twitter friend who taught me much of what you discuss…FAYE is their name.I miss all of them. i m @Speakermentors on twitter.

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