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Old 05-13-2017, 07:35 PM   #1
bmdepas
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Hearing Loss

My husband is pushing for a hearing evaluation for our almost-twelve-month-old. He seems to have speech and language delays of some sort... or so the doctor says. He babbles to himself, but never as communication - it's never directed at a person. The babbling does not resemble speech and he does not make a variety of sounds - it's mostly monotone and the same sounds over and over. He is very expressive with his face and has zero trouble communicating his wishes by crying or making "mmm-mmm-mmm" noises, grabbing for what he wants, etc. He makes great eye contact and reads my expressions well. He does not know any words that I say except maybe "no" or "come here", though I'm not sure if he's responding to the words or my facial expressions. And he doesn't copy/mimic sounds, words or gestures. As a newborn, he failed the first hearing screening but passed the second. My grandmother did have hearing loss at an early age, and I seem to be possibly having the same, but neither of us had any speech or language delays as kids, so it probably started later.

When I try to test whether he responds to sounds, I get mixed results. Sometimes he responds to my voice, sometimes not. Sometimes he hears soft sounds (rubbing my hands together behind him, for example), other times not. I don't know if he's just ignoring, or if he honestly can't hear it.

I'm conflicted. Part of me wants to believe that kids develop at their own pace and he'll get there. Another part wants to get him help right away if there is a problem. I'm a special education teacher - if he does have a hearing problem, it's certainly not going to upset me. I just don't want to spend a bucket of money and stress out a bunch, only to find out we have "first time parents syndrome". Does anyone have any advice or words of wisdom?

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Old 05-13-2017, 07:49 PM   #2
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Re: Hearing Loss

I actually had a thread similar to this a couple months ago. My little guy is 15mos and only responds maybe 50% of the time. I can say his name 10 times and he doesn't respond til the 10th time. With further "tests" and watching his responses closer I think he is just stubborn and strong willed. He didn't start talking until 13 mos or so and still only says maybe 5 words.

So anywho, I was kind of in your shoes a couple months ago so I know it's tough to feel like something may be wrong but knowing you shouldn't jump straight to conclusions. Cause you're right every kid develops at a different pace. I would give him a little more time and see if he progresses. Sorry I don't know if this was helpful...
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:34 PM   #3
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Re: Hearing Loss

Thanks. That is helpful. I am glad to know someone else has been there!
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:27 PM   #4
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Re: Hearing Loss

I think I would ask yourself what happens either way: if you don't get him tested for a few months and he doesn't have a problem, you're out some money, but nothing else. If you wait a few months and he does have a problem, how much was he really set back? A few months at that age might not be a big deal. And if you get him tested NOW, the outcomes are almost the same, right? You've gained a few months of help if he needed it, but you're out some money and pride if he didn't. Do you know if a few months will make much difference? I don't but that's the question I would ask if I were you. Maybe you can ask your pediatrician or do some research online without having to pay for an exam.
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:26 PM   #5
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Re: Hearing Loss

I agree. If you truly think something is wrong and waiting a couple months would make it worse I would lean more towards getting tested sooner than later. But that's something I'm not sure about, I'd ask your doctor or do some research.
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:32 PM   #6
bmdepas
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Re: Hearing Loss

That's good advice. I'm not too worried about my pride. But I am concerned about the cost of testing. Our insurance will not cover it, and we scrape bottom at the end of every month as it is. They also don't cover hearing aids, so if he does have an issue.... sigh. Asking the doctor about what the potential impact of waiting would be is a good place to start, I guess. She wants him evaluated for a speech/language delay separate from a hearing issue. Can kids really be "delayed" in speech and language at 11 months? Haha!
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:42 PM   #7
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Re: Hearing Loss

That last post I wrote sounded bad. If my son does need help, of any kind, we'll make it happen. I just don't want to be up tight and waste money on willy-nilly testing. To be honest, I don't detect any hearing problems, and I spend all day with him. I do notice the supposed communication delays, I guess, and that's the only thing in my mind that gives any plausibility to the hearing loss theory.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:08 PM   #8
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Re: Hearing Loss

the last post didn't sound bad. It's understandable. Parents frequently overreact about issues with their kids, and it can be expensive. We know you care and want to help if he needs it, but none of us want to waste tons of money on a non-issue. Kids are challenging! Hugs, mama!
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:41 PM   #9
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Re: Hearing Loss

ENT specialists can conduct basic hearing tests and examine the ear for abnormalities A ped should also be equipped to conduct a basic hearing test. More thorough hearing evaluation would have to be done with an audiologist at a local children's hospital. I have never had a problem getting insurance to pay for an audiology screening when a referral is given by a pediatrician. As for waiting, hearing is an important part of speech development. A few weeks probably won't make a difference developmentally but you wait months then you have the potential for a child to have to play catch up with therapy through Early Intervention.
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:39 PM   #10
bmdepas
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Re: Hearing Loss

The speech development is the part I am concerned about, since he's apparently already behind in that department. I did make an appointment with Early On (our state's early childhood program) for an evaluation of that. Of course, their earliest appointment isn't for a month and a half. He has a doctor's appointment at the beginning of next month, so maybe that'll be a good time to talk to the doctor about it.
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