possible hearing loss in almost 2-yr-old - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-02-2007, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hallo, mamas -

my ds failed his newborn hearing screening in one ear. because my dh was the only one present and really felt that the nurse didn't know how to work the test, we shrugged it off. then as weeks and months passed, it was obvious ds could *hear* sounds.

fast-forward to closing in on 2yr bday--the little guy isn't talking, though he does recognize words and simple commands, points to body parts when asked, etc. i took him for dr-recommended speech eval, and the audiologist referred him for an ABR, since she said his inner-ear test was somewhat abnormal and inconclusive. in her words, he has "speech awareness" hearing, but may have difficulty with "speech comprehension."

my dh is concerned about an ABR, since at this age it will require sedation. he feels that the small one can hear sounds and so does not have a problem. the audiologist did say it's perfectly possibly that ds' hearing is absolutely normal. i just don't know what to think. has anyone else been in this boat? have you had an ABR performed on a toddler?
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:35 AM
 
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I just wanted to send you hugs. I have a 6 month old who was born deaf. We ahve been through the ABR grated at a younger age. I must tell you though that I would rather know the full truth. If it has been recomended I would go for it. If something can be done to help your baby (and it is most likey to be the case) wouldn't you prefer to help him....JMO. Good luck either way. Stay strong, this is a hard road.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:24 AM
 
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I have been in a very similar boat. My dd passed the newborn hearing screening in one ear and in the other ear, the results were "inconclusive". We went for further testing when she was 9 weeks old, and the results were also "inconclusive". No one told me what tests were performed (which I know now were the OAE and the ABR) and why it was important for us to get a conclusive answer so my husband and I decided that since she passed in one ear, that she was fine. We have no family history of hearing loss and so it seemed absurd to me that there could actually be something wrong with her hearing. I started to get concerned when she was about 18 months old when she was still not saying anything at all. By the time she was evaluated by an early intervention agency, she was around 21 months old. I mentioned to the evaluator that there had been some question about dd's hearing as a newborn and she recommended that we get dd's hearing tested as soon as possible. I was resistant to the idea because I was under the impression that she had to be sedated for testing. As it turns out, she was tested in a soundbooth at 22.5 months and it was then that we got the shocking news that her hearing was a severe-profound loss in her right ear and a moderate-severe loss in her left. HERE is a pretty good description of how it is done.

I would think that if you have concerns about the sedated ABR that the audiologist should be willing to try soundbooth testing first. I know every child is different, but my dd was surprisingly cooperative in the booth. She did eventually have an ABR/ASSR this past November under sedation b/c there was a part of me that did not fully accept that the soundbooth testing was correct. The ABR/ASSR results turned out be almost an exact replica of the soundbooth testing from a few months earlier, with the exception of showing that her hearing loss had progressed a bit further and was now a moderate-severe sloping to profound loss. It was a procedure that lasted about 2.5 hours and the anesthesia made my daughter uncontrollably angry when she was awakened. I am sure that others on here will mention that they were able to have this performed without anesthesia, which is great. My dd is a very light sleeper and there is no way that this test could have been performed on her without sedation.

Is the audiologist you are working with a pediatric audiologist or at least one who is very comfortable with children? The first one we worked with was not great with kids and was more experienced in dealing with the older population. We have a really great audiologist now who makes soundbooth testing fun for my dd.

best wishes to you. i hope you get some answers soon. please feel free to ask any further questions. oh and this is a pretty good checklist to look at:

Your Child's Hearing Development Checklist
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:06 AM
 
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My ds passed the newborn hearing screen *and* the soundbooth testing (though I have no idea how...as far as I could tell in the soundbooth, he was just looking around at the toys randomly, or when he saw lights or movement from his peripheral vision).

It wasn't until he had the sedated hearing test that we learned that he has mild to moderate hearing loss.

My ds is also aware of sounds, but doesn't comprehend a lot of speech. His receptive language skills are poor, as are his receptive skills.

I put off the sedated hearing test for a long time. My son was younger than a year when it was first mentioned. The idea of him getting sedated freaked me out. It took until he was 14 months for me to get up the courage to actually take him in. In retrospect, I feared the whole thing needlessly, and wasted a lot of time. It is not a heavy sedation (ds even started to wake back up in the middle of the procedure, which of course is no biggie other than that it interupts the test...it is not like they are doing something painful to him...so they gave him a little more to continue testing, and he fell back asleep). I was able to be with ds the whole time. There was a little trauma to the whole experience for ds (mainly he was hungry and just freaked out by all the new people poking and proding him), but it really was nothing major.

Since that time, ds has had tubes put in his ears, which of course required general anesthesia, and he has also had a sleep-deprived EEG. By far, the least traumatic of his tests was the sedated hearing test. My ds will have another sedated hearing test soon, and I am looking forward to the information we'll gain.

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Old 02-02-2007, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the responses! the audiologist did do the soundbooth testing, but of course, ds wanted to run all over the room, climb on the table, do handstands, etc. so she couldn't get an accurate reading for some sounds as to whether he didn't hear them or just ignored them. ; ) with the abnormal inner ear test and the lack of response to some of the soundbooth sounds, she recommended the ABR.
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Old 02-02-2007, 11:48 PM
 
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My son's hearing problem is neurological, not physical...
anyway, I wanted to address this line "... can hear sounds and so does not have a problem." to point out that hearing noise does not prove good hearing, and certainly does not prove hearing of speech sounds and the further steps of understanding them.
There's probably a lot you could learn about different types of hearing loss online. And then, I agree about getting the answers now. I've been too eager to think things are "probably fine" or outgrow-able, and lost precious time. don't make that mistake.

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Old 02-03-2007, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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many thanks to all of you who responded! i'm glad to receive the support; it eases my concerns about the test itself and the need for it.
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Old 02-04-2007, 12:39 AM
 
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Does he *need* to be sedated for the ABR? My ds had the ABR done around 18 months old (something around there, can't remember exactly). Instead of sedation I woke him up very early (like 2am or something crazy like that) and kept him awake for the rest of the night (of course, that meant I had to stay up too!). I kept him awake for the car ride (about 40 minutes, which was tough because he loves sleeping in the car). By the time we got to the appointment in the morning he was ready to sleep I nursed him in the room for a few minutes until he fell asleep then they did the test while I held him. Much easier, and safer, than sedation Talk to the audiologist and see if they'll let you try this first.

And FWIW- my ds fails OAE testing in one ear pretty consistantly (he did pass it once as a newborn, after many tries over a few weeks). The audiologist finally figured out that he has a crooked ear canal so when they put the thingy in his ear it's never in right, which is why he "fails". But his hearing really is fine.

As for the sound booth... he did that this summer (a few months before turning 3). I'm not sure I'd put too much faith in the results of that. Something about it just seemed off to me. Owen would look at it before the noise even sounded and she'd count that as him hearing it. Nooo... he's just that darn good and can tell which one you're going to do Other times he wouldn't look or he'd just look around the room until his eye caught the one that was lit up and moving and she'd count that as him hearing it.

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Old 02-04-2007, 03:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
Does he *need* to be sedated for the ABR? My ds had the ABR done around 18 months old (something around there, can't remember exactly). Instead of sedation I woke him up very early (like 2am or something crazy like that) and kept him awake for the rest of the night (of course, that meant I had to stay up too!). I kept him awake for the car ride (about 40 minutes, which was tough because he loves sleeping in the car). By the time we got to the appointment in the morning he was ready to sleep I nursed him in the room for a few minutes until he fell asleep then they did the test while I held him. Much easier, and safer, than sedation
Good point, though I have to say that my ds has had both a sleep-deprived EEG and a sedated hearing test, and the sleep deprivation required for the EEG was far more traumatic for him than the sedation for the hearing test. If safety weren't a consideration, I would take sedation over sleep deprivation for my son any day. And since it is a very light sedation, I probably would even considering the safety issue. It's just that sleep deprivation experience was really, really, really, really bad in our house .

Quote:
As for the sound booth... he did that this summer (a few months before turning 3). I'm not sure I'd put too much faith in the results of that. Something about it just seemed off to me. Owen would look at it before the noise even sounded and she'd count that as him hearing it. Nooo... he's just that darn good and can tell which one you're going to do Other times he wouldn't look or he'd just look around the room until his eye caught the one that was lit up and moving and she'd count that as him hearing it.
Yes, that is exactly what I was trying to say when I said that ds "passed" the soundbooth testing. The whole thing just didn't sit right with me...and sure enough, like I said, it took the sedated testing to uncover his hearing loss.

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Old 02-04-2007, 03:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
Good point, though I have to say that my ds has had both a sleep-deprived EEG and a sedated hearing test, and the sleep deprivation required for the EEG was far more traumatic for him than the sedation for the hearing test. If safety weren't a consideration, I would take sedation over sleep deprivation for my son any day. And since it is a very light sedation, I probably would even considering the safety issue. It's just that sleep deprivation experience was really, really, really, really bad in our house .
Ah, good point. I guess it all depends on the kid. Owen was supposed to be sedated for an MRI. At maximum sedation that that hospital was equipped to handle he still didn't go out. So I have no doubt the sedation for an ABR wouldn't have worked for Owen. The sleep deprivation was a much better, and less traumatic, option for him. Just goes to show all kids are different!

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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