Could you learn a foreign language with APD?

Yes and no.

I took Spanish for 4 years in high school. I was a whiz at memorizing words and sentence creation. On written tests, I could read each question and respond correctly. However, when it came to responding to a question the teacher verbally asked me, I was unsure of what I heard and how to respond. I ended up with a B grade on average.

In college, I took 2 years of Japanese. At the time, it seemed like an important language to learn based on all the cars & electronics they were importing to the US. Their stuff was powering our economy. I was working towards a business type major in college so I thought it would help. I got A's in each of the first 4 semesters. I could learn and memorize all the alphabets, create and speak sentences, and on written tests I could read the questions and respond correctly. However, when it came time for the professor to verbally interact with me, I struggled immensely. I was never sure that I heard the right question and some of the time I did not hear it correctly. Furthermore, the speed at which the professor spoke did not provide me enough time to process the question and respond within any reasonable time frame.

Learning a 2nd language with Auditory Processing Disorder is a significant obstacle to overcome. A school or class setting, without any outside assistance, can range from an OK experience to total debacle. You need to go at a slower pace 1-on-1 with a teacher or tutor who understands APD. If your child is enrolled in school where a foreign language is required, hire a tutor who can coordinate with the teacher.

As well, your child needs to have already had auditory help and training for distinguishing sounds and syllables in their primary language. Otherwise, comprehending sounds and syllables in a foreign language is entirely futile.

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