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Old 10-17-2007, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My pediatrician recommended that we get a hearing test done on my 9 week old (she was born at home and the midwife did not do one). I know she can hear (at least I think she can...) because she startles at sounds, turns her head toward crinkling toys or my voice, etc. So is it necessary? The hearing tests are done at the hospital here and I would rather not take her to a hospital if I don't have to. Thanks!
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:55 PM
 
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we never had one - im all set

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Old 10-17-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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We've skipped it, as well. If baby responds to noise, I wouldn't worry.

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Old 10-17-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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DS had one before he left the hospital at 7 days old. I wasn't convinced it was necessary but with all that was going on, I just didn't think it was a battle worth fighting.

At 9mo, I can't see the value of a hearing test. Whatever you can get from the "newborn" test (bouncing sound waves off the eardrum and measuring them) can already be figured out from the baby's behavior. And you can't get the kind of detail you could get from a "big person" hearing test as baby's still too young to reliably respond to verbal commands.

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Old 10-17-2007, 07:22 PM
 
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If your child does have hearing loss early intervention is necessary for best results for normal development. I know someone who missed the clues that her child was hearing impaired. She was not an AP parent though so I am sure that makes a difference.

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Old 10-17-2007, 07:31 PM
 
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I'm not sure how necessary it is, but we had it done because it's so non invasive. They did the test right there in my hospital room and it only took 30 seconds or so. DS was perfectly calm throughout the test so I know it didn't bother him one bit.

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Old 10-17-2007, 07:33 PM
 
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this test is a must!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This test isn't an issue of should you, rather when! This test is incredibly accurate: It sends a tone into the ear via a small earpiece that fits very similar to a earbud headphone. The tone is not loud. In a 'typical' hearing person an echo will be sent back through the ear canal and can be picked up by a tiny microphone that is on the earpiece. If this echo does not come back then there are possible etiologies-- most of which are as simple as waiting for the ear canal to dry out more. If your baby has a false negative (fails) it is not a big alarm, and the test that is done at this stage is even MORE specific than the previous test. The cochlear nerve is being tested for a response, again this test is not invasive the baby sleeps/nurses the entire time. There aren't any residule side-effects like an xray, it is benign.

All babies begin making vocalizations from birth through 3-4 moths, but a baby with a hearing loss slowly (and more progressively later) begin to vocalize less and less b/c they are not receiving much or any input from that sense. This is during a developmental stage when babies are learning the foundations of language, many of which are lost forever if they are not learned in the early months. If the infant were deaf (not detected), but raised for say the first 5 months in a hearing world there would be a huge impact on his/her sign language development/speech with a cochlear implant development. The family will have lost 5 months of learning to sign or researching cochlear implants. The baby will have lost 5 months of a method of communication and more.

Please consider the life-long huge impact choosing not to do this test could mean for your baby and your family. There are places that offer this test that are not located in the hospital, the charges can be paid for with medcaid. I also know that universities with an Audiology Master's/Ph.D program will do free audiogical exams for newborns.
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Old 10-17-2007, 11:04 PM
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I would say yes, most definitely.

I am a Deaf mom to two girls. My deafness is hereditary, so we knew that we might have Deaf children as well. When my first daughter was born, she did not visibly respond to sounds... we assumed she might be Deaf, but went to have a hearing test done anyway. Surprisingly, she had perfect hearing. My second daughter is Deaf- we had her tested earlier at my midwife's suggestion- she was sleeping for looooong periods of time, and would wake up abruptly with big physical movements, like she was 'feeling' her world rather than 'hearing' it. So we had the testing done.

The point I'm trying to get to is that babies can compensate for hearing loss with other abilities, so that hearing loss goes undetected very often, even with the most 'AP' parents.

The testing is very accurate, yes. It's noninvasive. You can schedule it at a time when your baby is sleeping.

With deafness... early intervention is SO critical! Even at nine months old, your babe should already be laying the foundation for living, breathing language through natural language acquisition. If there is any hearing loss, we need to step in and ensure that language is accessible, from day one. I'm in the field of deaf education and the greatest challenge for the deaf child is that of language delays.
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Old 10-17-2007, 11:44 PM
 
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My son has a moderately severe hearing loss in his right ear that wasn't diagnosed until he was five (he did have the newborn screen and passed it, so it likely didn't kick in until sometime after). Before newborn screenings were the norm, unilateral loss was often not diagnosed until kids started school. My son can hear fine when he's at home and/or talking to people he knows well, but gets very anxious and clams up when he's in groups with lots of background noise. For a long time, we thought he was just painfully shy. I really wish we'd known about his loss earlier; he wears a hearing aid now and is making big improvements, but he still has a lot of anxieties that I think he could have at least partially avoided if we'd known earlier. So there's my story....mild or unilateral losses are the kind of thing you won't "just know" about without testing (and we have no family history of hearing loss that we know of either, FWIW).
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:23 AM
 
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I recommend the test. Often children do startle to loud sounds but can still have a partial hearing loss that can affect language development. A partial loss wouldn't likely be diagnosed till much later without this test.
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:21 PM
 
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Yeah, how do you know the kid can distinguish between sounds? Just hearing that there is a sound is not the same as hearing it properly.

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Old 10-18-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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I'll agree with having it done. It is not invasive or painful and goes quite quickly. The hardest part is having a very silent babe for the test (mine are all noisy even when nursing and sleeping). Chances are your babe is fine but the test will confirm it. If you don't want to go to the hospital call around and see where else you could have it done.

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Old 10-18-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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Yes, definitely worth doing. I nursed my baby throughout the test, she barely noticed and never even had to leave my arms. And audiology departments tend to be very clean and comfortable, so I really don't see any risk in taking babe there.
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:19 PM
 
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I think it's a great idea and probably usually worth doing. That said, we didn't do it for dd. The only places doing it at the time were hospitals and I was not comfortable with that. I'll research it this time around and might do it if I can get it done someplace other than a hospital. But I'm not taking a newborn to a hospital for it.

-Angela
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:56 PM
 
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My 1st got it in the hospital. She was separated from me for probably 2 hours. It sucked! I decided to have my 2nd (homebirth) done later but never did. I'm not very concerned.

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Old 10-18-2007, 04:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou View Post

The point I'm trying to get to is that babies can compensate for hearing loss with other abilities, so that hearing loss goes undetected very often, even with the most 'AP' parents.

.

yeah that.

That was great info, Lou!

Michelle: wife to J, mom to M (2001), E (2003), C (2005), S (2007) and O! (2009) And someone new in 2011!
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:09 PM
 
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Hmm I go back and forth on this one. DD1 was born with a skin tag next to her ear. had she not been born in the hospital I probably wouldn't question it. However, because she was we know that often skin tags develop (in that area) at the same time as certain protions of the inner ear and can indicate issues. We had her hearing tested, they told us she failed (it's only on one side), repeated the test, told us she passed, deemed it inconclusive and sent us to the audiologist. We went and the lady (who I swear didn't take it seriously because she knows my inlaws and wanted to present us with a "good" baby was unable to get the test done correctly. She ended up switching to one that only tested for low tone deafness and even after not getting it to work right gave us a passing grade. The testing is hard with newborns just because ears are tiny and the ear pieces aren't always going to fit. Plus they can't wiggle around or make noise and nursing them (to keep them from wiggling or crying etc.) doesn't work either since it moves the ear and the piece can't remain stable. It was so dumb and frustrating!

DD1 seems to hear perfectly. She reacts to noise etc. Every now and then though she does something that makes me wonder. We do plan on getting her retested just to be sure.

DD2 was born via UC and has not had any testing of any kind what so ever. For some reason I don't question it with her.

I think this is one of those things you just have to take it by ear (no pun intended ). If you suspect something is off you can always go in and get it done.

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Old 10-18-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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The test is non-invasive and highly accurate.

The risk of not catching a child with moderate to severe hearing loss is high - they will not develop the pre-language skills they need. They are at risk for life-long language delay because the first 2-3 years are crucial for language development. If you're deaf, you need input in sign language as soon as you can. If you don't find out your child can't hear until they're 9 months old, or 18 months or 3 years, that's a lot of time lost.

Thus, the risk-reward ratio definitely comes out on the 'reward' side in my mind. I haven't heard any convincing arguments for NOT doing it. (It's not like a blood draw, for example.)

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Old 10-18-2007, 09:08 PM
 
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Get the testing!!!! Completely non-invasive and the results can make a HUGE difference. My son was born with moderate hearing loss and we wouldn't have picked up on it for ages without the testing. He startles at sounds so as far as we could see, his hearing was fine. Boy were we wrong. He can hear, but not enough to pick up language much at all. Early intervention is essential if a child with any level of hearing loss is going to pick up language to the best of their ability without some serious delays.
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:32 PM
 
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I would get it done. In fact, all of mine (even the three homebirthed kiddos) have had it done.

A big YEAH THAT to all of the pps who recommended it.

(ps most counties have some hearing screening places that are not at hospitals - if that is your hang up)

SAHM to four beautiful babes :
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:39 AM
 
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For those concerned about having to go into a hospital for it, check with your pediatrician (or maybe call a local pedi if you don't have one). When I took my DS in at 2wks, they asked if we'd done the test and offered the number for a local office that does them. I still need to schedule it but we will definitely have it done. I didn't do it with my first homeborn DS, but only because it never occurred to me. (He's 3 now and clearly doing fine - his hearing is a little selective, though! ) I definitely think it's one of those things that's got way more benefits than possible drawbacks.

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Old 10-19-2007, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
At 9mo, I can't see the value of a hearing test.
Thanks for all the comments! For the record, my baby is 9 WEEKS, not 9 months But anyway, it sounds like the overwhelming majority of commenters think it's a good test to have done. I'm not worried about it being invasive or painful or anything, I just don't want to take her to the hospital to have it done and unfortunately, that's the only option around here. The reason I did the homebirth is because I didn't *want* to go to the hospital : Oh well.
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Old 10-19-2007, 11:53 AM
 
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We had one, with our homebirth. In PA I believe it is the law that all newborns have one, and my mw had a little machine and did it at our two day visit while ds slept. She tried to do it while he nursed, but he's a noisy eater and it kept messing up the machine!

Anyway, it's pretty easy & quick, and if you contact your mw, she may be able to rent/borrow a machine to do the test at home. Good luck!
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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We had one, with our homebirth. In PA I believe it is the law that all newborns have one, and my mw had a little machine and did it at our two day visit while ds slept. She tried to do it while he nursed, but he's a noisy eater and it kept messing up the machine!

Anyway, it's pretty easy & quick, and if you contact your mw, she may be able to rent/borrow a machine to do the test at home. Good luck!
It's "the law" to do it most places. But like everything else you can opt out

I've NEVER heard of a midwife borrowing a machine here. Those are expensive suckers. No way a hospital will loan one out to a lowly midwife

-Angela
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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Well, I know some mw are affiliated w/ birthing centers and the such and still do homebirths. Thought they might have access to one if op asked. And there are places around here where you can rent machines/equipment for medical things. Just thinking out loud...
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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Well, I know some mw are affiliated w/ birthing centers and the such and still do homebirths. Thought they might have access to one if op asked. And there are places around here where you can rent machines/equipment for medical things. Just thinking out loud...
It's a nice thought- don't get me wrong I'm pretty confidant that no birthing center here has the equipment.

-Angela
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I know some mw are affiliated w/ birthing centers and the such and still do homebirths. Thought they might have access to one if op asked. And there are places around here where you can rent machines/equipment for medical things. Just thinking out loud...
Thanks for the suggestions - I'm going to call around and see if there's anywhere else I can get it done or if my MW can get one somewhere. Hospital will be the last resort!
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Old 10-19-2007, 03:37 PM
 
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I would get it done. My ds failed his newborn screen in one ear and then we went on for further testing and he is profoundly deaf in his right ear. I think it is an advantage knowing if there is any hearing loss.

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Old 10-19-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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I agree. It is worth doing. My son was just diagnosed with a vision problem at the age of 5. It would have been great to find out sooner.
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