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Audiologist & Director of Education at Auditory Processing Institute

Making your demons work for yourself and others.

As a teenager, Angela Alexander spent three years locked in her basement at the hands of her abusive stepmother.

Angela believes her undiagnosed hearing disorder and her stepmother's misunderstanding of the condition played a significant role in amplifying the abuse and neglect she experienced as a child.

Today, Angela is a qualified audiologist and a leading expert in identifying and treating Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). Angela is on a mission to ensure no one is mistreated due to a misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed hearing disorder.

While locked in the basement, Angela was unsure if she would ever live a happy or normal life. However, her diligent and dedicated teachers, suspecting something was amiss, investigated and exposed Angela's circumstances, leading to her freedom.

Angela's teachers encouraged her to pursue university studies and forge her own life of purpose and joy. As a result, Angela was subconsciously drawn to study audiology, the branch of science concerned with hearing. During one of her university lectures, Angela heard a world-leading audiologist detail the characteristics and traits of people who experience a condition known as Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). At that moment Angela realised he was describing her.

In the following years, Angela came to the strong belief that her auditory processing disorder significantly contributed to her abuse, as her stepmother labelled her failures to respond or reply as ignorant, disrespectful, and willfully disobedient.

From that moment, Angela's purpose in life was set. Her life mission is to use science, medicine, and her own life experiences to make the world a better place for people with Auditory Processing Disorder.

Current work:

Dr Angela Alexander, Audiologist, is the Director of Education at Auditory Processing Institute, where she teaches Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists how to provide effective auditory processing services ranging from testing to treatment through online, on-demand courses.

Angela has spent the past fifteen years specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of Auditory Processing Disorder, a hearing difficulty that has less to do with the ears and more to do with the brain. She co-authored the chapter titled "Therapy and Management of Auditory Processing Disorders" in the most recent Handbook of Clinical Audiology.

In addition, her podcast, Between Two Ears, has recently launched, discussing and demonstrating listening and hearing disorders in ways you may have not previously considered.

Angela’s TEDx Talk, “Escaping the Hidden Prison of Auditory Processing Disorder” was one of the twenty most-viewed TEDx Talks in 2021.

Talking Points

The challenge of listening

Everyone knows someone who has a hard time listening. While we often make light of it, coining terms like 'domestic deafness' or dismissing it as 'getting old,' in truth, the inability to actively listen to conversations at home, in class, at work, and in social settings can have devastating consequences for the people experiencing the problem. Despite common misconceptions - the ears are not always the source of the challenge.

Sometimes, it's the brain. And that's good news.

Auditory processing is what the brain does with what the ears hear for people to listen accurately and attentively to their surroundings. When there is a problem in this process, it is called an auditory processing disorder. The majority of people diagnosed with this condition can significantly improve their quality of life within weeks by simply retraining their brains to process data from their ears more effectively.

It is estimated that 6% of people have APD, but most don't know it. Historically underrepresented populations may be even more affected.
Angela will discuss the barriers to diagnosis, both systemic and personal, such as resistance to change. She will inspire people to take charge of their health and well-being more broadly and provide next-step tips for people who suspect they, or someone they love, live or work with, might have APD. She will also demonstrate how we test and treat this disorder and how, by changing ears, we can change lives.
Themes: Listening, hearing, health, complacency, resistance to change, resilience, overcoming adversity, solutions, empowerment.

Audiences: The presentation has been developed to be highly engaging, informative, and accessible for a general, non-scientific audience.

Duration: 60 minutes plus 15 minutes of audience Q&A (can be customized to meet your scheduling requirements)

You Are So Good; Finding Joy in Dark Times

A key theme of Angela's TEDx talk was the statement, "You are so Good." Her foster mother said this sentence hundreds of times each day to restore Angela's faith in herself after the traumatic childhood abuse of being locked in her Dad and step-mother's basement for three years.

Having gained her freedom and forged a life of purpose and happiness, Angela attributes part of her ability to survive and overcome her experience as her ability to find joy in dark times. Angela recounts how even during her time in the basement, she could create a secret garden in her mind she could escape to and create festive moments for herself with things as inconsequential as a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread.

As the global pandemic wages on, and the challenges of being socially isolated from love, friendship, and social support systems linger, there is increasing power in the lessons Angela took from her harrowing experience.

In this talk, Angela will demonstrate a few ideas and techniques to help every family member feel loved, valued, and hopeful about the future and some tangible practices she used to find joy in isolation. (A skill that has suddenly become relevant.)

Themes: Love, support, isolation, empowerment, joy, resilience, mindset, family.

Audiences: The presentation has been developed to be inspiring, informative, and empowering to a general audience.

Duration: 60 minutes plus 15 minutes of audience Q&A (can be customized to meet your scheduling requirements)

The Future of Healthcare

Complacency and stagnation are the enemy of innovation.

As an audiologist, Angela has had a ringside seat to a rising and provocative debate within the audiology community that mirrors the debate waged throughout the healthcare sector - are we healthcare champions, or do we sell widgets?

Audiologists as a profession were once on the frontlines of innovation, most notably when hearing aids and then cochlear implants were at the forefront of the latest technology, working daily to help their patients understand, use and embrace the cutting edge technologies.

However, as the technologies have become mainstream and standardised testing more reliable for most patients, many audiologists are spending the bulk of their time selling standardized widgets and less time innovating and disrupting the remaining challenges in hearing.

In this provocative talk, Angela challenges all professionals to consider whether they and their profession have become complacent and stagnant in their work. If so, instead, find a challenging problem, harness the mind's creative and problem-solving powers, and make a difference. Humans are clever, and we can always add value when we find a tricky problem to solve.

Themes: Innovation, disruption, complacency, stagnation, resistance to change.

Audiences: The presentation has been developed to be highly engaging, informative, and accessible for a professional audience of healthcare providers, executives, or business leaders.

Duration: 60 minutes plus 15 minutes of audience Q&A (can be customised to meet your scheduling requirements)
From the moment Dr. Angela begins her talks to their conclusions, her sense of humor, wit and intelligence keep you fully engaged. The energy she brings demonstrates her passion for her topics and I'd definitely ask her to present to my audience again! Dr. Amit Gosalia, Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Alexander’s authentic personality is remarkable elevated with her deep passion in broadening the scope of Auditory Processing Disorders. Our Unitron customers were actively engaged throughout the virtual session as Dr. Alexander’s shared step-by-step process on identifying red flags for auditory processing problems in people with and without hearing loss. She combined personal experiences, humor and research that provided our customers with key take-aways. I would highly recommend Dr. Alexander as a presenter for any program be it in-person or virtual.

Unitron US

Dr. Alexander delivered a high quality, professional presentation on the topic of auditory processing. She engaged the audience by linking the scientific literature with her clinical experience. At the conclusion of the presentation, I was equipped with many useful techniques and resources to assist me in my own clinical work. Dr. Alexander was enthusiastic and entertaining. She is clearly very knowledgeable in her field. Parents and professionals would benefit from participating in Dr. Alexander's programs.

Dr. Donna Turetgen

I have known Angela for over a decade. We have similar interests in our professional lives and we have very similar philosophies. During these years that i have known her I have always admired her undying charisma. She is a natural at expressing her point very succinctly in any platform. Be it video, audio, or in person she has a an innate capacity to keep her audience captivated with her witty ways and her pleasing personality. At the same time she also presents her information very clearly. The audience always has relevant questions for her and seldom is there room for confusion. I think she is a naturally talented public speaker without a speck of doubt I wish her the best in accomplishing her goals through public speaking, which is spread the word of Auditory Processing Disorders to help so many who suffer from this hidden hearing loss.

Dr. Kavita Kaul
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