Auditory Memory

For the longest time I struggled with remembering sounds I just heard.

When doing auditory therapy with hearing aids as a child, I would sometimes forget what I had just heard.  For example, I would have two words in front of me and the speech therapist would say each of those two words to allow me to become familiar with how those words sounded.  Then she would cover her mouth up and I had to guess which one she was saying.

Sometimes by the time she covered up her mouth I forgot what those two words sounded like and would just guess.

When I got my CI, my auditory memory became even worse (which I didn’t think was possible).  When doing auditory therapy on my laptop I would have 4 words on the screen and had to figure out which one was said.  An example would be “suitcase”…by the time I heard the second part “…case…” I forgot what the first half sounded like.  This was VERY frustrating because I would end up clicking “repeat” several times until the program stopped me from repeating (it only allowed a certain number of repeats) and oftentimes I would sit there staring at the computer trying to remember what I had just heard and I just couldn’t.

After a few months I realized I needed to force myself to learn how to retain what I had heard and I slowly decreased the numbers of repeats I allowed myself.  It was a long process before my auditory memory started to improve.   Now, I don’t do aural rehab as much anymore (*shakes finger at myself*) but when I do I can definitely tell a huge difference in my auditory memory.  I can hear a word once and if I don’t figure it out immediately…I can look at all 4 words and “replay” in my mind what I heard to figure it out.

Auditory memory is something that a lot of people don’t realize is important.  I had no idea how difficult this would be for me and how I would have no ability to retain anything I heard at the beginning of my CI journey.  It basically took me over a  year before I became comfortable with my auditory memory.  My auditory memory is definitely not like a hearing person’s but am pleased with how far I have come in terms of remembering what I heard!

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