Wait, What Was It Again?

Now that I know how Dylan processes information, I understand a lot more about why he has trouble with the specific things that cause him trouble.

For example, being an audial processor explains why he can’t finish his algebra test – and why he has so much trouble with the subject. Imagine someone reading an algebraic equation once, and expecting an immediate solution.

When I look at an algebraic equation, I sort of absorb it into my head. I see, on the paper and in my brain:

2x + 5 = 13

Then I shift it around in my brain until I get the answer. (It’s 4.)

But for Dylan, who sees the problem on the paper, he can’t shift it around in his head, because he’s not absorbing it visually. He hears “2x + 5 = 13” – or, more likely, he hears “2x plus 5” – and then he forgets the rest. So he looks back down at the paper. “2x plus 5 … 2x plus 5 … 2x plus 5…” Then, when he thinks he has it, he adds the rest: “2x plus 5 equals 13.”

I can only imagine what the teacher is saying in the meantime.

Then Dylan has to hear the voices in his head, working out the problem. He doesn’t see the equation in his head, so he can’t shift the numbers around. He hears it saying “2x plus 5 … 13 minus 5 … um, 8… then what was it? oh yeah, 2x. So what did I say it was? 8, right. So 8 … wait, what was it again? 2x plus 5…”. It’s substantially easier for him to just guess, plug it in, and hope – which is what he often does.

I’m amazed that he’s gotten anything done at all, ever.

Scouring the internet for information on how to help him succeed with his extreme audial processing ability, oddly, has yielded one consistent result:


There are even many pages claiming that vision processing disorder mimics ADHD and that lots of people have been misdiagnosed with ADHD when, in fact, they have a vision processing disorder.

It says that people with vision processing disorder often have trouble with organization, handwriting and math. Six out of eight symptoms describe Dylan.

They say vision processing disorders are genetic – and we already know one important truth: Shane has one.

We spent $20,000 in not-covered-by-insurance vision processing “treatments” so that Shane was able to learn to read, write and understand what he saw. It took Shane two years of regular exercises to learn to properly process what he saw. As a result, he can read and write like a normal person now.

During Shane’s treatments, I considered having Dylan tested. But we’d spent so much money on Shane’s treatment, we couldn’t add another $500 evaluation to the mix.

But what if Dylan’s vision processing problem is what caused all of Dylan’s problems?

Since he’s not been tested, it’s hard to know what the $500 evaluation will say – or if it will turn into $20,000 more in vision processing therapy. And it’s hard to know if Dylan has a vision processing disorder, or if the treatment will actually help Dylan with anything.

So I just sit. And try to decide what to do.

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