Thursday, September 15, 2016

Auditory Processing: The Pain of Hearing Shofar

In my latest blog, I discuss how having auditory processing disorder has caused our family to change what otherwise would be a typical religious activity of hearing the shofar, or ram's horn, blown during the Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish New Year, holiday.

The purpose of blowing the shofar, is to signal to God that it is time to open up the Book of Life. It is during the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that God decides your year to come.

But as with many things that come with raising autistic children holiday traditions are some of the things you change. Holidays: Permission Granted to Celebrate as You Please.


The days are getting shorter, and the shadows are getting longer. Rosh Hashanah is around the corner. 

Growing up I remember being taught that on Rosh Hashanah it is a mitzvah to hear shofar. 

Yet as a family, we have not heard shofar for decades. It is simply too painful for my sons.

No, we are not dealing with an emotional trauma. This pain is caused by a physical, yet unseen disability: Auditory processing disorder. A disability, that can stand alone, but is very common in those with autism spectrum disorders.

Initially, we believed that auditory processing was merely a glitch in the uptake of oral information. There needed to be a pause for those with this processing issue to organize, understand, and assimilate the information being presented. But, auditory processing issues are not simply the inability to process oral information in real time. It can also lead to severe pain when faced with certain sounds; anything from a horn beep, to the din of a school cafeteria, to the rush of city traffic.