The boy can hear!
Today we had our long awaited audiology appointment. Long awaited only in the fact that it took me so long to schedule the appointment. I have a TO DO list the length of my arm and I'm trying to make my way down it. This appointment wasn't super urgent as it was just basically to satisfy my curiosity so kept being pushed to the bottom of the list. At 9 months Ryan tested as having moderate hearing loss, probably due to fluid. AT 11 months we had the ear tubes put in. Now I know he can hear, maybe selectively like every other 2 year old, but I just wanted to make sure there wasn't an underlying hearing problem contributing to his lack of speech. Even with the tubes in we have had pretty regular ear infections and repeated infections can do some damage over time.
I must say the audiologist we saw really knew her stuff. I loved the way she spoke to Ryan and explained to him everything she was doing and didn't rush him. He was a little inconsistent in the booth where she says things in varying degrees of loudness. He was looking for the location of sound at the normal speaking level but when she was whispering he was ignoring her. That might have had something to do with the fact he was playing with Buzz, and we all know Buzz comes first! She then proceeded to do an OAE test, the below link gives a pretty good description of what that is.
I was amazed she was able to put the probes in his ears without any fussing or crying. I tell you this woman was a miracle worker. Thankfully he passed that test, so basically she can say he has good enough hearing to speak (they cant rule out slight hearing loss with this test, and to do so we would need to do an ABR test under anaesthesia which would be overkill at this stage)
She then did a test to make sure his tubes were clear. His right tube was fine but his left tube has fallen out of the ear drum but the drum is vibrating fine.
We also spoke at length about Ryan's development. She mentioned they had a great developmental pediatrician at the center who is actually on the board of the preschool that Ryan will probably be attending come April. Ive been wary of seeing a DP as do I really need another professional telling me that "guess what, your son is delayed!" but she thought it might be a good idea seeing Ryan is undiagnosed and with the school system you really want someone in Ryan's corner looking over his issues globally and making sure everything is being taken care off. Made sense! Its one of the fears i have of leaving EI in that I wont have as much access to his therapists and his day to day activities as the therapy will no longer take place at home. She also suggested seeing a physiatrist. Whats that I hear you say? That's a medical doctor who focuses on the body's musculoskeletal system with a comprehensive approach which means treating the whole patient, not just the individual symptoms. Someone that could help Ryan with walkers, adaptive strollers etc. Ahhhh, 2011 is going to be a busy year.