When we first met Jackie in June 2019, she remembered thinking as a child, "my ears don't work the way they are supposed to."
Academically, Jackie stated she struggled quite a bit at school, specifically with reading comprehension, spelling, writing, and was even told “not to bother” with calculus. She remembers other children always found academic work easier than she did.
Jackie remembers as much as she tried, a lot of information that she learned “didn't stay” in her head. She states this was frustrating and upsetting. At home, Jackie recalls telling her mum she felt she was not hearing properly who said she “needed to pay more attention.” She states he had a hard time at home and was often, “the butt of jokes.” She even stated she was called “dumb” and “stupid” by her father. She felt like she, “was a waste of space.”
In her 20s and 30s, Jackie reports she didn’t go out much in comparison to her peers and stayed away from parties because she struggled to understand what was being said. In the event she was in this situation, she notes she would sit outside and always felt more comfortable if there was a pet around, as she felt isolated from other people.
When she was 30-years-of-age, Jackie stated she went back to school to learn about the film industry. Here, her teacher asked if she ever had her ears checked. She notes others around her often informed her that when she thought she was talking quietly - she wasn't. She noted other things like hearing individuals with accents properly was quite challenging.
At the time of interview, Jackie stated she struggled to hear in meetings at her place of work if there were a number of people, especially if more than one person was talking or they spoke without facing her. Jackie notes she always asked for repetition, would cup her ears at times, often smiled and nodded (which didn’t always pan out), and would ask people to step outside to talk in her working environment. Well into her working life, Jackie found telling people she struggled to hear was really helpful. When she was 35-years-of-age, Jackie stated she went to an audiologist as her ears felt blocked all of the time. She notes every hearing test she's attended hasn't been able to find anything wrong with her hearing. Jackie stated she knew she wasn’t “living fully.” and wanted to look into this further. She finally came into contact with an ORL specialist who recommended an Auditory Processing Disorder evaluation.
Jackie's Pre and Post Test Results
Jackie's Post-Therapy Interview
After therapy, Jackie reports she was surprised at how simple and effective the therapy was. She notes it was like “going back to school and re-learning the basics.” She was thrilled to report improved self-esteem and less fatigue in relation to tasks that previously took much effort. Jackie reports she has since had discussions with her family surrounding this difficulty growing up and notes they have been very receptive to this and appear to have re-thought the way they previously treated her.
Jackie notes a major improvement in her ability to enjoy music and understand the lyrics. She remembers thinking everyone just heard a few words in the lyrics to songs and an “ah ha” moment whilst driving in her car and hearing all of the words to a song she had heard many times, for the first time. She states, “I get to appreciate the art more and the intent behind it.” She also notes greater enjoyment watching TV programs at home with the ability to hear and understand the dialogue and jokes!
Jackie wants others to know and understand that there are tools out there to improve auditory processing due to the impacts that she has seen in her day to day life prior to this therapy. Jackie describes her present situation as, “exactly where I’m supposed to be.”