Thursday, 27 May 2010

The Audiologist

One of Tommy's friends from his orphanage was recently diagnosed with some hearing loss. His mom was completely taken by surprise, and she is a darn good mom who pays a ton of attention to her kids. This little boy was speaking and responding to his parent's voices, and so the hearing loss, which was only on certain decibels, had gone undetected.

Based on how easily Tommy's colds have progressed to ear infections I felt pretty confident that he suffered from some untreated infections while he was in the orphanage. Also, he is having one small speech issue, and before I call those dreaded early eduction people I just wanted to verify that the issue did not have a physical cause. So, I decided to take him to the audiologist for a check-up.

The visit was fairly easy. First they use a small machine to check ear pressure, then you go into a special booth for the hearing test. I held Tommy on my lap while the doctor whispered and played sounds out of speakers on alternating sides of the booth. Once Tommy looked over to the correct side the doctor had these creepy plastic animals that lit up and flashed lights as a reward. I was nervous because I couldn't tell how the test was going, and it seemed like it went on for a while. Also, it was hard to tell if he was responding as quickly as he should. He squirmed a bit, and was freaked out the first couple times the animals lit up (trust me, I was scared too- they were grotesque).

After the test we got some good news: all of his hearing appears to be within the normal range. The can't tell precisely at this age because there is a chance that one ear is making up for the other, but based on his response times the doctor was 95% sure that his hearing is totally normal. The better news was the doctor told me Tommy was one of the most alert and cooperative kids of his age she had ever tested, if not the best. Considering the havoc he sometimes creates it was nice to hear that. The only problem was that he has an ear pressure issue on (big surprise) the side that keeps getting infected. The doctor is hoping it will resolve itself, because that is a possibility, but we have to go back soon for another check-up.

Now if only he will be so cooperative when we go to the dentist for the first time. A mom can dream.

1 comment:

thecurryseven said...

There were disturbing light-up animals when I took K. for his audiology test as well. The whole thing was a bit weird.

I'm glad Tommy's hearing checked-out OK!