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Old 07-05-2007, 09:42 PM   #1
itsjustmeghan
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my toddler has hearing loss.**Update #64**
so when my owen was born, he didn't pass his hearing test at the hospital. he didn't pass it at the dr's office the weeks after. so after an ABR was done (test while baby is sleeping to see if ears function) i was told everything was fine. we had to follow up when he was around 10 and 16 months old to do response tests to make sure that everything was still okay.
well, 10 months he passed.
he just had his test at 16 months and he failed. he has mild hearing loss. so now we're going to an ENT again to find out if it's fluid in his ears (which i don't think it is because he's never had an ear infection) or if we need hearing aids. and to make matters worse, i'll need to get all of this sorted out before i get laid off in september when my office closes and my insurance ends...
i had a feeling this was going to happen because he's not talking. and he doesn't really respond to things like "get the ball". but i'd just hoped he was a visual learner and just giving me a hard time not talking until he had a lot to say...

i know i should be greatful that he can hear and that he is a wonderful little boy. so smart. so sweet. but i worry. i worry because i had friends in grade school with hearing loss and they never seemed to catch up. even with hearing aids, they didn't speak properly and they were just slower to catch on to things....i'm glad we caught this early, and i hope it will stop him from having any long term effects, but i'm still worried...
blech...

anyone have any experience with this or can you offer any advice?
heck, i'll take hugs at this point!
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:54 PM   #2
iza
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Here's a hug for you I don't know much about this, but I know they can do more than they used to in the past. With hearing aids and help from specialists, your little boy can do well in school.
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:58 PM   #3
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Hi there,

I don't have any children. However, I am a preschool teacher and I fully understand how you feel.

It's hard to imagine that he will never "catch up" or "be on the same level" as his peers. From what I understand you say that his hearing loss is mild. He may have some difficulty pronouncing some words properly, but that should not cause significant delays in learning.

If I might make a suggestion. As an additional method of communication, you could try teaching him sign language. A lot of people assume it is strictly for people with permanent hearing loss and that is not the case. As a matter of fact I had to teach three students in the past two years some sign language because they had some speech issues. (not reflecting any hearing loss) You would be amazed at how much they enjoyed learning and having an alternate way of communicating with their friends. Of course I had to teach all the children some basic signs because they thought it was so cool to speak with their hands.

That's just a suggestion, but have no worry. With the proper guidance and all the love in the world he will be successful in school.

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Old 07-05-2007, 10:07 PM   #4
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Hi,
I know at times like this it is difficult not to fear the worst. My youngest and my middle have fluid frequently without any infection at all. Now my middle use to have frequent infections and has had a few learning delays along the way due to not hearing well when she was little. She had tubes place at 18 months and it did help. At age 11 she still gets fluid in her ears but it is hard to catch because she reads lips (something she picked up before the tubes). Her delays have lessened with each passing year and now unless I were to point it out noone would know that she struggles with somethings. My youngest has had very few ear infections but does get fluid often. He has not needed tubes just occasional meds to help his ears drain. I only know there is a problem if he seems to not be following me. The dr. says sometimes it is caused by allergies although he rarely presents those symptoms either.
Hang in there. Trust that it will get better.
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:08 PM   #5
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:10 PM   #6
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Yes, get the test for fluid in the ears. I also reccomend sign language, especially since he is not talking yet. As he learns to talk, the sign language will phase out naturally, especially since his hearing loss is only mild.
My son has some hearing issues, although it's not hearing loss. But the sign language helped him soooooo much. He was three when he finally started talking--so we had a couple of years there when he was just so frustrated because he couldn't communicate with us. My husband brought home a baby sign language book, and my son taught himself the signs from that book at the age of two. After that, I started teaching him sign. He's seven now, and talking just fine, although there are some speech issues. He doesn't sign anymore, and only used sign for a couple years.
Sign language could be a wonderful thing. Also you might want to think about speech therapy as well, to get a jump on his articulation etc. But you want a good therapist that will give you things you can work with at home, and the tools you need to work with your son.
I know it's hard, but you can do this! Also, check out the Signing Time DVDs. My kids love them.
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:53 AM   #7
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:47 AM   #8
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We have a genetive hearing problem in our family - 4 out of my 8 siblings (me included) developed it in our early twenties and it is progressive, getting worse as we age. I have a niece who was born with severe hearing problems. It is amazing to me what the doctors (hearing aids, etc) and schools have been able to do to help her communicate and function well in the hearing world. If it turns out that your son does have hearing loss and it's not just fluids, talk to his doctors and reach out for all of the educational assistance there is out there - the earlier he starts the more natural it will all be for him.

One thing I have learned is how crucial a sense of humor is to a hard of hearing person. All the "problems" - the misunderstandings, miscommuincations, etc. are so much easier to deal with if you can laugh about it. Of the 4 of us that deal with this problem, the ones who can laugh at themselves about it are the ones who deal with it best and have it least effect their daily lives. It is very easy to become withdrawn when you are hard of hearing as the effort needed in social situations just sometimes feels like too much work - and if you don't laugh about it then others around you can become awkward too. But if you can laugh about the misheard things instead of being embarrassed, somehow you become the life of the party and people enjoy interacting with you even when it is a little more difficult (The 4 of us have been known to have coversations not realizing we were talking about completely different subjects - and thoroughly enjoyed our afternoons of chatting LOL)

Seriously, I in no way mean to make light of this and hope that it just turns out to be fluid - but if not, remember that this is something than you can deal with and, though you may have to find different ways to help him this is a challenge he will be able to overcome. Thank goodness that they test for this so early now that children like your son can get the help they need before they become isolated and withdrawn.
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Old 07-06-2007, 07:45 AM   #9
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thank you all so much for the support. i'm hoping it's fluid..but we'll see.
i've been working on sign language off and on with him for a while. because he wasn't speaking i was working REALLY hard trying to find words and sounds that he'd like to say.
sign language is going to be rough because i'm not home with him all day to reinforce it all. i'm going to talk to his DCP and see if she will help me out more with it given the circumstance. maybe i'll buy her some sign language DVD's or something she can play for the kids so they can ALL learn it together.
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Old 07-06-2007, 07:58 AM   #10
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I hope it'll work out for your DS!
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