Randy has been followed pretty regularly by audiology since he failed his newborn hearing screening in his right ear. He had a repeat screening about a month after his discharge that was deemed inconclusive and he had another inconclusive test 4 months later and one year later. In the midst of all this, he has had two sets of tubes and is in speech therapy.
Personally I have always thought they were crazy and only took him to appease the doctors. I mean, this is the same baby that could hear the refrigerator from any room in the house. This is the same baby that hears the front door open no matter where he is in the house. This is the baby that startles at every noise made (at least he used to). I have always thought, "There’s no way he has hearing loss".
But now I'm not so sure. When he went to his follow up appointment with the ENT last month (for his ear tubes), he sent him to get a hearing test with the audiologist on staff. They were sooooo kind and did a good job of testing him despite the fact that it was 6:00p. They could not get an accurate reading with the tympanogram in his right ear, and he was not adequately responding to "soft sounds". She seemed really concerned and insisted that I make an appointment for a repeat test within three months. She also told me that if he was having any procedures done before he came back to her, that I should call her so that she can do an ABR with him while he is sedated. An ABR is auditory brainstem response test. A test for hearing and brain (neurological) functioning. ABR may be used in the evaluation of hearing integrity (and neurologic normalcy) in infants and young children.
Even with that conversation I was still not convinced that there could be a problem. Then I started replaying the appointment in my head..... and really thinking about Randy's speech. There are so many sounds he simply does not make. For example, when he says "hi", it sounds like "aaah". The phrase "so strong" sounds like "o ong". These are only a couple. I was talking at work with a few colleagues and we were on the subject of the things kids say and I mentioned the way he says "hi" and how people act like they do not know what he is saying. She then says, "Tiffany, he may have high frequency hearing loss." This is not the first time she has asked me about his hearing. Maybe she picked up on something in the times she has met him? She has a 30 year old daughter who is deaf, so she is attuned to something like that.
Well I turned to my frenemy the Internet and found some information. One website states, "People with hearing loss often have difficulty differentiating words that sound alike, especially words that contain S, F, SH, CH, H, TH, T, K or soft C sounds. These consonants are in a much higher frequency range than vowels and other consonants." I am definitely going to bring this up with his speech therapist. I'm not panicked, but it is now on my radar.
6 months ago