Aspergers and ‘hearing dyslexia’

This is another one of my very personal looks at living with Aspergers – both as an Aspie, and as a parent of Aspie kids.  While doctors and psychologists can tell us a lot about Asperger Syndrome, it seems to affect different people differently – even siblings can have incredibly different ways in which they are affected.  Not only does each person’s underlying personality determine the best (and worst) ways of handling it, there are often many physiological conditions which occur along with it and affect the skill-set available to be drawn upon.

One of the conditions that often occurs along with Aspergers and/or ADD is dyslexia – I know that when I was learning to read and write, I had a lot of trouble with it (and, to a very small degree, I still do).  What surprised me, however, was that just like people with dyslexia see letters either reversed, or in the wrong order, some people hear sounds ‘jumbled up’ in much the same way!  The technical term for this is Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), but I find it easier to think of it as ‘sound dyslexia’ or ‘hearing dyslexia’.  Apparently, this condition is not easy to test for, and many doctors do not even think of testing for it….yet it can have very major impact on the development of a child learning language for the very first time – whether neurotypical or Aspergers or Autistic.

Just like people with dyslexia can see letters reversed, or in the wrong order, people with APD can hear sound within words ‘reversed’, or lasting the wrong length of time so several sounds become superimposed over top of each other and very, very difficult to ‘separate out’ and understand….especially when one is just learning that different sequences of sounds can actually carry different meanings. 

Please, imagine that you have this – not correctible by a hearing aid, because the problem is not mechanical, but by the way sound is processed in the brain.  Because you cannot effectively (or reliably – the problem is notoriously intermittent) differentiate between words or phrases, it is very difficult to ‘catalogue’ or ‘make sense of’ sounds and their associated meanings.  Now add to it the Aspies’ inability to comprehend facial expressions, tone of voice or body language.  Frankly, I do not know how these young children can make any sense of the world about them at all!

How to overcome this?

One has to work within the child’s interests and strengths.  It is my hope that sharing what worked for our younger son may help you develop strategies which may work for yours.

When our younger son had problems learning to speak, it did not look to us like a problem.  Instead, it looked as a willful behaviour:  we were told he was refusing to use language in order to manipulate us, the parents.  It was a call for attention, we were told. 

But, that just did not ring true to me.  While we would read him every evening, and while he had our full focus and attention, he would still be unable to follow even the sipmlest stories.  He loved counting picture books with a number and that ‘count’ of objects.  That he could follow, and would lift the correct number of fingers – even try to say the numbers.  Sometimes, he even liked ‘word’ books – ones that showed a picture of an object and had the word for it written beneath the object.

But the moment we tried to read him even very simple stories, we lost him.  He would fidget, climb, jump, and generally do anything to demonstrate his complete lack of interest.  Thinking he wanted more of the attention focused on him (as we were told this was attention-getting behaviour), I would start telling him stories.  This way, there was no book and he was my sole focus.  Same reaction.

Eventually, he got interested – but on a very different level.  Accepting the ‘book routine’, he started picking out letters, one at a time.  The joy on his face as he would yell over top of my voice (as I was reading):  “A!!!  A!!!  A!!!”  I would confirm that yes, that was indeed ‘A’, and tell him how clever he was to have recognized it.

He’s settle down and look interested.  But he was not interested in the story.  No, because I would barely read another paragraph when he woud get excited again:  “D!!! D!!! D!!!”  Again, I would praise him, and try to resume reading.  But, it was not a ‘relaxing time’ that would get one ready for bedtime…

Eventually, I gave up reading him stories and broke out the ‘Alphabet books’.  I had thought he was too young for them, but if he loved reading the letters, I whas happy to oblige him.  For the first time, he was making ‘human’ sounds, one letter at a time!  And at this point, I saw that as a reason to celebrate.

We also added ‘bathtime’ to the fun.  He loved his letters, so I got soap crayons and we had great fun using the white ceramic tiles on the wall by the tub as our canvas!  I would let him pick a letter and then write every three-letter word which started with that letter.  As I would write them, I would read the letter, then the word!  And, surely enough, my son would read each letter with me.  B-A-T.  BA-. BAT.

Miracle of miracles:  he learned to speak!

Of course, he would NOT EVER repeat a word until he had learned what letters it was made up of, how it broke down to syllables, and how it fit together.  I suppose he was the only toddler I had ever encountered who had learned to READ before he learned to SPEAK!!!

Now, he has a little lisp when he speaks, but he has an above-average vocabulary.  

Another factor, which was happening at this time, and which I think was incredibly beneficial to our son as he tried to decode the mystery of communications, was his interaction with our dog.  Good natured and well trained, he was also very intelligent – and showed incredible patience with both the boys.  And while any pet will be beneficial, a well trained dog in the home can be very valuable in a situation like this. 

Why? 

Because the communication lines are so very clear.  Our dog was trained to obey a limited number very distinct-sounding commands, accompanied by hand signals.  In addition, the dog’s response to these commands was consistent and predictable.  His overall body language was also a much ‘simpler’ communication than the ‘human’ type.  To a young person who is having trouble understanding the underlying rules of communication, this can just be the key to unlock the mystery. 

We did not ‘get’ what was happening, and thought he was just ‘playing pretend’ when our son began to immitate the dog’s actions when we would give the dog a command.  And since the dog loved to ‘practice’ his commands for treats every day, I switched the ‘treat’ from a dog bicuit to an animal cracker….and let them both practice together. 

It may seem silly to people who are not ‘dog lovers’, but many kids love pretending to be ‘the dog’.  It is partly a game, and partly to see what reaction this would get.  And since I thought it was fun, and I was happy that he was interacting, I was delighted.  I would say ‘Sit!’ – and both boy and dog would sit!  I would give them a cracker each, they would happily eat them up, and look to me for the next command!  And he was happy – he finally understood some ‘stuff’!

Perhaps not every child would respond in this way, but then again, my guy is one of a kind!  Yet, I do hope that his story might help people understand that kids who ‘seem’ to be ‘manipulative’ or ‘acting out’ might not be doing that at all.  They may simply not understand what is going or around them, and be trying ‘weird’ ways to make sense of them.  And they may also be very frustrated….

But if you can find the key that will unlock the mystery, they will learn!  And they will be much, much happier – it is rewarding for everyone!  Even the dog…     ;o)

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28 Responses to “Aspergers and ‘hearing dyslexia’”

  1. Animal-speak: squirrels « Xanthippa’s Chamberpot Says:

    […] Aspergers and ‘hearing dyslexia’ […]

  2. meep Says:

    I’ll tell you how I overcame it. By being hyperlexic!.I read at a college level by the age of 8. I suspect it was a coping mechanism, since I cannot get much reliable information from any other source really. I read LOTS and LOTS of books and learned to extrapolate to real world situations. I will still have moments quite often when I can write down the word I want to use but have no idea how to pronounce it.

  3. Aspergers and memory - part 1: ’sequencing’ « Xanthippa’s Chamberpot Says:

    […] Let’s RollParticularly fun day at CERNWelcome to Xanthippa’s ChamberpotAspergers, drawing and artAspergers and ‘hearing dyslexia’Another person could be jailed for telling jokes!Aspergers and writingXKCD – Aspie […]

  4. Apergers and reading - practical strategies « Xanthippa’s Chamberpot Says:

    […] And, I have done my best to address this ‘block’ in an earlier post: Aspergers – ‘reluctance’/’freezing up’ explained. It might also be useful to read my posts on how I motivated my older son to learn how to read (he is now a speed-reader, with 100% comprehension of what he reads at a rate of ‘2 paperbacks/day’…) and how I tought my younger son to speak… […]

  5. There's HOPE Says:

    Our daughter is 19, attends college and doing quite well. She’s always loved to read, but simple directions or commands are still sometimes a small challenge for her. We did not know until recently what the ‘problem’ was and being a close knit family, we would become frustrated, and/or kid around with her! But if you tell her to ‘look in the upper left drawer and find your socks’, she would go to another drawer until you repeated it 1-2x, and watched as she moved along until she found the socks. We didn’t have a clue! So now we are in the process of maybe finding a support group for ‘hearing dyslexia’. She’s adjusted to the college life, is living at home right now but her study time is perhaps longer than most. She has learned to process information her own way. So, for those parents of younger children, stay encouraged.

    Xanthippa says:
    Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and for sharing your daughter’s story! Good luck to her!

    • Ami Vinson Says:

      Thanks, this is very encouraging! However, I’m a bit curious about something…did she get through her elementary/secondary school years without you knowing there was an issue? My daughter is ten and we’ve been having “issues” for years now. We’ve just been trying to figure out what “it” is as we go. Different levels of the “disorder,” I suppose? I would love any insight you may have. Thank you!

  6. Online Dyslexia Test Says:

    Hi! thanks for sharing really helpful.

  7. Peter Says:

    Thank you for your explanation and personal explanation of ‘hearing dyslexia’. It is a powerful help to me on my own journey foward. Peace, Peter

    Xanthippa says: Any little bit that my experience helps others like me makes the struggle more worthwhile!

  8. sarah Says:

    I am slightly dyslexic and dyspraxic. I play in a brass band on percussion. Now I know why that when the conductor sings a fast rhythm to me it could be any random rhythm as far as I’m concerned. I can’t always match his sound to the notes on the music.

  9. Jerome Reisling Says:

    been following ur website for three days. really love your posts. by the way i am doing a research regarding this subject. do you happen to know any great blogs or online forums that I might get more? thanks a lot.

    Xan says:

    Sorry, I don’t know many. Try Wrong Planet – people there might know more and they do have a forum, though I do not frequent it and so cannot speak to its quality. Same goes for Aspergian Pride – I know of them, but not much else. And for Aspie Pride. And Aspies for Freedom.

  10. Zoe Says:

    When I hear someone talk, about half the time, they may as well be speaking Chinese. The cadence, and the length of the words I’ll hear normally, and the sounds will normally rhyme with the thing that the person actually said… But it’s all incomprehensible nonsense. When someone talks to me, I literally guess a third of what they’re saying based on context. It can be a little confusing.

    Went and bothered my doctor about it, because it was driving me MAD, until he finally took it seriously, and got a vague answer about auditory processing disorders before he more or less told me to get out. >_> So thanks for the link ‘n stuff.

    The phrase “hearing dyslexia” will be VERY useful for explaining this in the future. I get tired of saying I’m “hard of hearing” when I’m not. Thanks.

    Xan says:
    You are welcome!

    And, yes – I took my son to all kinds of MDs and never heard the phrase ‘auditory processing disorder’ or ‘hearing dyslexia’ once! Had to find it out myself. Sometimes I wonder why we bother having them….doctors, that is!

    • Ami Vinson Says:

      Zoe, I’m so sorry to hear of this! What you say sounds very much like what I think my 10 year old daughter is dealing with. One time I asked her if she understood what I was saying to her (she was maybe 7) and she said, “I hear what you’re saying but the words are all in the wrong places.” Does that sound familiar to you?! We’ve had her tested for autism & they said she’s not autistic…but I know something is out of whack! How long have you functioned like this?!

  11. terry lynch Says:

    I am recently diagnosed w/Asperger’s. As long as I can remember I have had difficulty hearing, especially during full moons, new moons and oppressive weather systems. I also get irritable, depressed, and get headaches at these times. My wife tells me I have about 10 good days a month.
    The nature of my hearing problem is such that I have difficulty interpreting function words such as pronouns and prepositions, but not content words (nouns, verbs), so that I can tell what a person is talking about, but not what he is saying about it. I accidentally found Tamoxifen (I was taking it for something entirely unrelated) to clear up all these problems. and for a month after I stopped taking it. Can anyone relate to any of this?

  12. terry Says:

    In addition to the above, I have aggravated ringing in the ears at the stated times, also alleviated by Tamoxifen, and it returned after cessation of treatment. Anyone relate?

  13. terry Says:

    I am recently diagnosed with Asperger’s. I am a lunatic; I get irritable, depressed and hard of hearing, with severe ringing in my ears, during full moons, new moons, and oppressive weather systems. My wife says I have about 10 good days a month.
    The nature of my hearing problem seems to be unique. At least, I have not yet found anyone who has had similar experience. Several tests showed my hearing to be perfect, though one test showed me deaf in a few limited ranges. In the above stated times I cannot always interpret function words (pronouns, prepositions, etc.) but generally have no problem with content words (nouns, verbs, etc.) so that I can understand what the subject is that people are talking about, but not what they are saying about it.
    I accidentally discovered that Tamoxifen (which I was taking for something completely unrelated) completely cleared up all of these problems, even for the month after treatment ended. I have never felt so emotionally stable in my life, and my wife says that I was nice to her the entire time and easy to be with. And I had many other positive side effects.

    Can anyone relate to any of this? Please respond.

    Xanthippa says:

    While your experience is not identical to mine, I can relate.

    Depression is not uncommon in Aspies – and I am not at all certain whether the cause is due to the ‘differentness’ of us Aspies, having to live in a neurotypical-dictated world, or if some of the underlying physical differences in the brain that are associated with Aspergers are also a potential factor in depression.

    It is also a fact that many Aspies suffer from Auditory Processing Disorder – sometimes called ‘hearing dyslexia’.

    And I DO know Aspies who are ‘sensitive’ to environmental factors, such as air pressure. So, no surprise there. And we are talking physical symptoms here, not ‘awareness’.

    I am not certain how much of what I have written on Aspergers you have read, but I have a hypothesis that on a functional level, people with Aspergers can be described as ‘missing filters’.

    Indulge me in an explanation…

    A normal person, after a while of putting their shirt on, they will not be constantly aware of it. Yet, if they think of it, they will feel it. It is almost as if that person has (for the sake of the argument, I pick an arbitrary number), say, 100 ‘filters’ for ‘baing aware of their shirt’. When they first put it on, it’s 100% aware, but it diminishes over time. Still, they have 100 filters to choose from (subconsciously) of how much awareness they have of the shirt.

    An Aspie might only have 10 such filters, or 3.

    This explains why, sometimes, when their mind is occupied and ‘strong’ filters are on, they don’t seem to perceive any discomfort or even pain. (I once almost sliced off my thumb slicing fruit – it was not until I saw the blood that I realized I was hacking at my own thumb.) Then, at other times, when they have ‘low’ filters, they find even tiny little discomforts extremely painful.

    It is the same way with hearing.

    And other things.

    Now, as for the medication: even Wikipedia says that it is useful in treating bi-polar disorder, so it obviously has an effect on brain chemistry. If your ringing in the ears is as variable as you say, it might be due to these ‘faulty filters’ – and a medication which affects brain chemistry would be quitel likely to have an impact on it.

    It might be worth your while to do some reading up on this yourself, so that you can discuss it with your doctor in an informed manner.

    Good luck – and, please, do let me know how it goes!

  14. randki Says:

    You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

  15. claire Says:

    I stumbled across your website after googling “aspergers and muffled hearing”. The reason is that my 6 year old son has aspergeres tendancies. We have a really good relationship and he is receiving a lot of support, still it is tough. Today was a particularly challenging day and it began with me asking him questions and after seeing his blank expression not change, asking him if he could hear me. He replied, “yes, but your voice is muffled”. And the day gradually declined from there in.

    That was a brief summary of how I found the blog, but the reason I am posting a response is actually because my 4 year old daughter was diagnosed with speach delay: she can say all her sounds, just not make them into words. When she began to read there was a miracle like transformation in her speach over a period of 2 weeks. It was though now she could see the word she could say it. She learned to read before she learned to speak, so this is not unusual after all! Interestingly, she also has the pain sensitivity issues too in that she can serious damage herself without really noticing.

    It is great that someone with Aspergers is taking time to guide others through the growing pains. If you can suggest any books, particularly those I can use with my children (we have Gray, Social Stories and Hooper, Aspergers Adventures) I would be most helpful.

    Continue the good work.

    • Ami Vinson Says:

      Hi Claire, At one point we thought our 6 year old had Asperger’s but after being tested when she was 8, they said she didn’t (told us she possibly had ADD!). However, in the meantime we picked up a few great books on the topic. One that she loves even to this day is called, “All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome” by Kathy Hoopmann. It’s a picture book of cats but is about the traits of those with aspergers; ie.”he likes to be near those he loves but doesn’t want them to hold him, preferring squishy places to a hug” and pictures of a cat to go with what’s being said. Another good one (for you & the older child) is written by a 10yr old with Aspergers called “Asperger Syndrome, the Universe and Everything” by Kenneth Hall. It’s great insight into the child with aspergers mind! Anyway, just thought I’d pass those along. Enjoy!

    • Ami Says:

      Hi Claire, I replied to your request for books but I don’t see my reply on here….wondering if you got it? “All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome” by Kathy Hoopmann was one of them, “Asperger Syndrome, the Universe and Everything” by Kenneth Hall (for you & the older child) was another one.

  16. Nick Says:

    I want to meet more like minded people and I now see they may be Aspies. Call it whatever you want, label it this or that … we’re different. I am 100% surrounded by NT’s and many of them have drug dependencies. I just want … a hug.

    I cannot explain how therapeutic your writings are. The comments too. Just knowing that I’m not the only one who experiences life through a different set of filters, helps.

    This is where I belong … I want to explore this and make it my life’s work. You may not be a certified doctor but you are helping many to feel much better.

    To be honest, I’m sick of doctors and lawyers. Drug dealers and pimps of the legislation game. Always giving more power to paper than people …

    Healers and Mentors though? Can’t get enough of em’.

    Xan says: Thank you!

  17. Mar Says:

    My son is 16. We didn’t notice this “hearing dyslexia” for many years [perhaps we were too distracted by the other symptoms] but now it is overwhelming. Unless someone speaks very slowly and distinctly to him, my son will answer, “What did you say?” almost inevitably.
    My question is: Am I understanding correctly that there’s really nothing to be done about this? My son can read great, can speak [though he tends to speak way too fast and mumbled; doesn’t seem like he used to as a child], but he definitely has the problem listed on this site.
    Nice to know what it is, but beyond that, no suggestions?

    Xanthippa says:

    This is a difficult question.

    Something can be done, but…

    There are therapies which have been used on young children – 3-6 years of age – which are showing definite improvement. This therapy is in the form of computer programs where they do simple tasks (say, help frog catch a fly) based on the length of a tone…which later builds up into series of 2,3+ tones done in the proper rhythm.

    The theory behind this is neuroplasticity: the brain is being trained, slowly but surely, to use a different bit of the brain to do the job of integrating time with sound. Because the different bit of brain uses a slightly different ‘strategy’, even to accomplish the same task, the underlying problem will not interfere with that task.

    Of course, trying to get a 16-year-old interested in a video game designed for 3-year-olds is not likely to have positive outcome.

    But, there are other ways.

    They are less effective, but they can work. And, for a 16-year-old, they are more practical.

    It really depends on the Aspie: what will motivate them and what will work for each one individually.

    One thing that helped both my sons was music.

    With a metronome. (One on their computer was more ‘fun’ than a real one – plus it’s much cheaper.)

    The sounds are written down in the music score – not just the tones, but their lengths and pauses.

    He creates the sound on his instrument (from a cheap recorder or little keyboard to a sexy instrument he’d be willing to play, this bit is way less important) based on what is written down and the metronome helps him integrate the time element into the sound which is generated based on the visual input from the music score. Listening to himself play is the feedback…

    I think the visual component is important – ‘playing by ear’ lack the rigor of integrating visual stimulus with the tone and metered time elements necessary to help re-route the ‘time-sound-synchronization’ bit into another area of the brain. Then, as he learns the piece (motor nerve integration into the time/sound system), the metronome can eventually be eliminated and he will still be able to ‘keep pace.

    This is not a quick and easy solution, but one that might make an improvement in a teen. We definitely saw an improvement in ours once they took up an instrument – but only an improvement…certainly not an elimination of the problem.

    Of course, the ‘shortcut’ would be the videogames where the computer plays the music and displays the colour-coded notes which have to be pressed for a specific period of time, which information is conveyed visually. (Games like RockBand and so on.)

    Now that I come to think about it, these are the ‘teenager’ versions of the young-kid games used in the therapy which has been demonstrated to be effective in clinical trials for 3-6 year-olds!

    Music could not ‘work’ for me – not only am I not interested in it, I find music actively annoying. Yes, I am sure that my hearing dyslexia is at least partly to blame – imagine listening to music, but with some of the notes jumbled up…you, too, might find it gives you headaches. (This is one of the reasons I avoid shopping malls and other places that force music at me.)

    And even though I took piano lessons, within 2 years, 3 teachers kicked me out as ‘un-teachable’…so, no, for me, music absolutely did not work. (For example, I still have difficult telling apart the movie themes from ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ – the same pathetic bombast, the same notes, just slightly re-ordered. Unless I hear them together, I have to think very, very hard to tell which one it is…)

    However, what did work for me (a bit) was learning to speak foreign languages. Practicing making the sounds in front of a mirror, getting audio feedback to make sure I eliminated mispronunciations, and so on. (If you want to get really fun, you can use an oscilloscope to display the proper sound wave pattern, then try to match yours to it – hours of fun!)

    Learning language (even without the oscilloscope), I could use the audio, visual and work in the timing with the motor nerves of speech.

    And the hook that kept me interested in learning languages was the pattern-making intricacies of grammars. Yes, grammars: because each language has a different approach to this and exploring this logic puzzle set my endorphins hopping! (I get happy just thinking about it!) It’s kind of like algebra, but with words.

    (OK – the different alphabets were fun, too – but grammars are like logic puzzles on steroids! Especially when you compared the grammatical ‘philosophy’ to the culture it was used in and the religious memes it best supported – what could be more fascinating!!! But, I’m off on a tangent…)

    Again, I am nowhere near ‘cured’, but it certainly helped me become more functional.

    I still have extreme difficulty understanding spoken words when there is background noise – like, hum of other conversations, but, especially, music. That is why I loath movies – their background music is not just icky to listen to and calculated to be emotionally manipulative (a deep insult to the audience – in my never-humble-opinion), but it makes it difficult to follow the dialogue in the movie. I usually have to wait to see movies till I can buy them and watch them with subtitles. If the soundtrack is particularly emotionally manipulative, I’ve been know to turn the subtitles on and watch the movie on mute – a much more satisfying experience!

    In social situations, I often rely on partial lip-reading: it helps me make more sense of the sounds. (And, yes – that is one reason why I hate the cultural normalization of niqabs and burkas.)

    Well, that is my best advice for how to improve your son’s comprehension. As to speaking fast and mumbling…

    If I knew how to stop my sons (13 and 18 now) from speaking very fast and mumbling, I’d do try it – because they both do.

    I’ve tried to get them to recite poetry in order to get them to improve the cadence of their speech – but they are about as interested in reciting poetry as I am in learning to sing movie scores… (Many of us Aspies have a deep-rooted hate for pretentiousness – and let’s face it, much poetry is very, very pretentious.)

    In grade 9, my older son took drama in school – that did help him learn to speak slowly and understandably. Now, when he remembers to do so, he uses that skill.

    Another thing which has helped them was talking to their grandmothers: one has a hearing problem and does not tolerate hearing aids well, the other struggles with English. So when they speak to either one of them, they have to consider not just what they want to convey, but also how best to convey it. They have to tailor their words differently for each grandmother – which forces them to pay attention to their diction.

    It is surprising how helping other people overcome their difficulties can be an excellent tool for Aspies to help themselves overcome their own little ‘things’!!!

    I wish I could be of more help…

    If anyone ‘out there’ has better suggestions, please, comment and let us all know.

    • nairam Says:

      Hi. I don’t have an answer, but just wanted to comment since my son is the same age and in a similar situation. I particularly noted that you said he didn’t seem to have this earlier. I felt the same with my son, though he had difficulty following stories and still does. I know I’ve been frustrated when it seems like he’s simply not paying attention, etc. and we’ve worked to try to get him to slow down his speech, etc. Anyway, just wanted to let you know you’re not alone. Keep the faith.

      Xanthippa says: Thanks!

  18. Shirley Larson Says:

    My husband is 79 and I believe he has a hearing dyslexia. No matter how many times I pronounce cinnamon for him it comes out cimmanon. Last night at a party he called a friends grandson Carlson. The grandfather almost got irate and announced his grandson’s name was Carson. My husband replied that that was what he said—-Carlson! He often transposes letters, and sounds but at this time in his life he is not interested in trying to teach himself. He also has poor hearing which doesn’t help anything! I hope that by getting the word out that dyslexia isn’t just a reading problem may help people to understand that you can be intelligent, still hold an important job and be a delightful and loving person but get your name wrong. Hope more people will read this web site.

    Xanthippa says:

    Thank you!

    I do hope talking about this does help people – of all ages, and whether they have hearing dyslexia themselves or have to interact with someone who has it.

    Most people, at their core, are good and kind. If they understand that someone has a problem – and is not being willfully disrespectful – I believe a bridge can be built and hurt feelings on all sides can be avoided…

    I most respectfully hope this is true for your husband’s experience!

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