Until 6 years, or so, ago I never knew Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) existed.
I was diagnosed after to going for a hearing test. My youngest son was diagnosed with it, following thorough testing, a few years later.
In hindsight, I have had it all my life but never had a name for it.
The good news it isn't life threatening*.
But it makes a big difference in lots of little ways.
So what is it?
Well as the NHS says (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/auditory-processing-disorder/Pages/Introduction.aspx ) it is a hearing and listening problem.
To put it in simple terms, it is the inability to process sounds normally. The range of frequency effected includes the human voice - typical eh? The ways it manifests itself is summed up in this list:
I can tick all these.
The condition can make you seem stupid ("can't remember simple instructions , "always needs things repeating", "how can he have misunderstood that) and it leads to mistakes and misunderstandings .
It can also mean that people think you ignorant or that you just weren't listening.
Now don't get me wrong, sometimes I don't listen to people - I'm no angel - but when I do and people think I don't it bugs me.
I also find that, when my APD causes an issue (even a small one) then when I say to people "I'm sorry, but you know I have this hearing thing" they look at you like you're making an excuse.
I don't want to have this wrong with me, neither does my son, but we do.
For all the crap side of it, it leads to some genuinely funny moments.
The things I think people say, when I question it with them, often makes them and me smile.
Conversations between my son and I are often full of misheard words leading to laughter.
It is a disability, it's invisible, and some people probably think I just need to pay more attention but hey ho, what can you do.
* it's not life threatening unless you don't hear someone shouting "mind that bus" or "don't press that button". ;)