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I've been frustrated by my CAPD the past few days, because it has been cropping up at work as I start on a new team. There's a guy here with a strong accent that makes it near impossible to understand him without a lot of concentration, and all the initial technical conversation is difficult to follow.

I've also been further delighted by using ASL more lately. I came up with a neat analogy to why I'm feeling better about ASL than spoken English, despite knowing English better.

Trying to understand spoken English is like trying to read some English text on a TV screen with a bad connection, causing it to be covered in static. Trying to understand ASL is more like seeing a relatively clear picture on the TV, but the text is all in Spanish.

In the analogy, I feel more comfortable with the latter situation because I can try to learn Spanish. I can't try to learn anti-static. When the static is bad, I simply can't understand what's written on the TV, or if I do, it takes incredible concentration and effort to do so.

What's additionally frustrating to me is that the "static" comes and goes. Usually, there's not much of it and I understand things just fine. But other times, the "static" increases, sometimes to levels that make it nearly impossible for me to understand people.

A lot of my fear and trepidation around doing things like visiting offices, using phones, etc. comes from my fear of that "static." I wonder, "When I call the doctor, will I get a lot of "static," or will I get a clear line?" "When I go to this office, will there be "static" or not?" I'm fine if the "static" doesn't appear, but if it does, I can't understand what's going on very well.

And because I hear so well when the "static" isn't around, people expect me to hear and understand well all the time, which simply isn't the case.

(EDIT: I wonder if the analogy can also be used to explain the difference between typical deafness and CAPD. Whereas I see the whole image, but covered in static, they see a relatively clear image, but it is missing significant pieces. We both struggle to understand it, but for different reasons.)

Date: 2012-01-20 08:23 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
a very good metaphor.
you might use this when explaining your situation to professionals, particularly medical professionals.

I'm discovering that the older I get, the more difficult it is to retain auditory input. Auditory is NOT my primary learning modality anyway and it's getting gradually worse. =(

Date: 2012-01-21 12:36 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I like that 'static' analogy.

I've always described background noises just as being a distraction, but liking it to static is closer to the truth, as it overlies everything that is going on.


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