Wow, this took us a while to get here. And, here is Shelley Francis’ office in East Meadow. So, when I wrote about the beginning of our journey I had mentioned that Tyler was going to speech in NYC. Well, he had an excellent speech therapist that he worked with 2 times a week. She came to me one day and said…”Rose, I think Tyler has Auditory Processing Disorder but don’t worry I know a lot of people that have this and navigate the world just fine.” Oh, ok what do you say to that? So, I went home and read everything there is to know about Auditory Processing Disorder. Which included approx 20 published articles and a book called When the Brain Can’t Hear written by Teri James Bellis this book is excellent by the way, and would recommend it to anyone that is wondering what this disorder is all about. One side note about me. I used to work in Pharmaceutical Advertising so I can research the heck out of anything medical…but need to call my sisters to find a simple coupon online (lol). Anyway, so I researched this disorder and it said that you couldn’t actually diagnose it until age 7. Not 100 percent true they are changing guidelines to address it. But either way, there are some pretty significant signs. But again there are so many legs to this label and you can have 1 or all. Tyler’s issue is primarily decoding. And again, not a doctor so my upcoming description of it is not the best. This is just how it was explained to me in simplistic terms. Basically, he has trouble identifying if words sound the same or are different from one another (and he gets the concept of same and different visually). He also struggles with processing multiple step directions, answering “w” questions and simple phonics. So, after a short stint at vision therapy (another post coming), the vision doctor led me to Shelly. Shelly is a gift from above. This is an area that I have seen the quickest improvement in Tyler. He has only been going to Shelly since the end of September and he is now able to follow (more easily) multiple step directions (as commented by his teacher at BCW) and he is doing phonics—starting to sound out words. This is a child that wasn’t even 100 percent confident in his alphabet this past September now he knows the sounds of all his letters and can even differentiate between the letters that are very similar like “n” and “m”. If you think that there may be a processing issue with your child, I urge you to go see Shelley. She gave Tyler an evaluation, reviewed the concerns with us (mentioned a few above) and now meets with him weekly for 30 minutes for 1 on 1 and then he does assignments on the computer for a complete 45 min session. At times, Tyler loves working on the computer so Shelly keeps him going for an hour (no extra cost to me). This has been one of our best investments yet. She also does AIT (I will cover this in a separate post) If you are interested in more info, send me a post and I can get it to you. Also, she gives you a bill and you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement if your insurance covers speech services. I will keep you posted on Tyler’s progress. Also, my sister told me to get the Letter Factory by Leap Frog. Tyler loves this and so does my younger daughter Kayla. It helps to complement the phonics. Shelley L. Francis 576 Merrick Avenue East Meadow, NY 11554 Ph: 516-489-9327

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