Went with Meg to Boystown Institute the other day for her audiology examination. Ouch. That was an eye opener. After her hearing tested out normal we went to see the ENT doctor who says her hearing is a little on the low normal size and should be followed up in 6 months to a year, but nothing too significant. Hearing aids may help, but they may not, he can’t say for sure. Then Meg went on to explain to him how much trouble she has hearing in situations where there are more than a couple of people, or at parties, malls, large open spaces, etc. Hmmmm. Now that seemed to pique his interest. After a few more questions he concluded that she probably has Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). Sort of like dyslexia, but it involves her auditory nerve instead of her optic nerve. The ears are working, the auditory nerve is working, but the brain is scrambling the message it hears. Oh. I hadn’t ever heard of it before, but when I came home and did some research, I was floored. These articles could have been written about Meg when she was a child. How did I miss this? I had her hearing tested and it was “fine”. In fourth grade Steve and her teacher almost duked it out at parent-teacher conference because the teacher told him Meghan was just goofing off. This was the first year she had been in a “pod” with 3 other 4th grade classes, divided only by room dividers. The noise and confusion must have been exhausting for her, yet we didn’t investigate further why she was having so much trouble. I just listened to the teacher and principal when they told me she didn’t belong in the one 4th grade classroom that was apart from the rest. (Well, actually I went to visit that classroom and she didn’t belong there, the children were quite a bit behind Meg developmentally.) But still. I should have done something.
I remember the day we were driving home from school and she told me she had learned a new word in school – this is kind of the way the conversation went:
Meg: Hey, I learned a new word in school today.
Me: Cool… What was it?
Me: (Puzzled, prolonged silence).
Meg: Did you hear me?
Me: Yeah.. There’s no such word, Meg.
Meg: Yes there IS!
Me: No, honey, I don’t think there is. (In the meantime, I’m trying to remember 3rd grade vocabulary and how they could teach her a word I don’t know. Not that I know everything, but really, third grade?)
Meg: It’s reardevere.
Me: (Because sometimes Meg got a little confused) Do you mean rear view mirror?
Meg: (Getting a little huffy by this point.) I do NOT mean rear view mirror. The word was reardevere!
Me: What does it mean? (Okay, so maybe I don’t know everything.)
Meg: It’s another word for your hiney!
Me: (The light bulb comes on) Oh! Do you mean derriere?
Meg: That’s what I SAID!
Now this didn’t happen constantly, but it did happen often enough that maybe I should have taken notice that something wasn’t right. But did I? Oh no…. So now, when she’s 26 years old, she finds out something that probably would have made her life a lot easier if it had been addressed when she was younger. Oh hell.
I’m never going to be mother of the year.