Social Media Makes Kids Feel Less AloneLast week I read a story that brought tears to my eyes because it involved changing the perceptions of a very young girl, Grace. Almost 11 years old, Grace has been diagnosed with auditory processing disorder (APD). Her parents have done a lot to try and help her, but still she has struggled to feel okay with her challenges. She felt very alone.

Despite her young age, she has tried to comprehend what APD is. She knows somehow she is different than other people, but never really grasped how she is different. That is, until two young women had the courage to tell their own story with APD. Two teenagers who decided to start blogs that explained their day-to-day experience with auditory processing difficulties.

Robyn is a teenager about to go to college to become a special educator. She began her blog, Living with APD – A Teen’s Point of View, to help other young people, but also to help us parents who are trying to understand how APD effects the lives of our children. Robyn says, “I hope to be able to make people with this disorder feel less alone, because I have been there. I felt alone for so many years and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!”

Lindsey will be a senior in high school next year. She began her blog as a way to reach to others struggling with the disorder. She has always felt so isolated because of APD, and even believed, “I honestly thought that I was the only one in the world with Auditory Processing Disorder…that the doctor took everything that was wrong with me and made a name for it.” Lindsey also hopes that other young people will read her blog and learn that they are not alone.

Little did Lindsey and Robyn know that within a week of starting their blogs they would change someones life. Grace and her mother printed out the blogs and together read about teenagers with APD. After reading and digesting the posts, Grace came to her parents and said,

“I am special.. no one else has this near me.. only me..
I feel so good to have people who understand…
I didn’t really understand my problem till now.
They are just like me. I am beginning to understand my problem better…”

That night Grace fell asleep clutching the blog posts in her hand. A life transformed for the better, because social media brought her connections with others just like her.

Bonnie Landau
Bonnie Landau
Bonnie Landau is a special education advocate and educational consultant in Ventura County, California. Her goal is to help parents find strategies and solutions to help their children succeed in school and in life. Bonnie is the author of Special Ed Mom Survival Guide: How to Prevail in the Special Education Process and Find Life-long Strategies for You and Your Child.