Musings of a Marfan Mom

The Audiologist

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Our little family got some news last week which has shaken up our lives a bit. As I sat down to write this I realized including everything would be a massive post that no one would ever want to read, so I’m splitting it into two days.

I took the Menininho for a hearing screen when he was 6 months old. Something just didn’t feel right; I didn’t think he was responding to noise the way he should be at that age. Everything checked out though, so I chalked my concerns up to being a first time mom and put it out of my mind. Menininho continued to develop at a pretty normal pace.

At his 12 month appointment, I had some concerns for his doctor. I know you’re not supposed to compare kids, but let’s be honest moms: it’s impossible not to! Menininho hadn’t added any new sounds, spoke no words, wasn’t following commands, didn’t dance or bop along to music, and didn’t respond to any of the ASL we’d been trying to teach him for 3 months. The pediatrician said yes, he should have done those things, but of course there’s a wide spectrum for development and if, at his 15 month checkup, he hadn’t said a word yet then we’d talk about a speech therapist.

Surely OUR kid wouldn’t need a speech therapist! He loves books! They’re his favorite toy. He engages strangers in conversations of gibberish! He’s a generally happy kid and extremely social and expressive. He’s already got his Daddy’s Italian hand gestures down pat!

But, by the 15 month appointment I hadn’t noticed any changes, except that he’d *just* connected the sign for food to going to his high chair, and he responded to “no” when accompanied with an angry voice and head shaking. The pediatrician was more concerned, suggested a 2nd hearing screening, and said otherwise we could just wait and see till his 18 month appointment. Only, he didn’t pass part of the hearing screening. The nurse told me it was no big deal, re-check in 3 months, but I called one of my best friends, who just happens to be finishing her doctorate in audiology, and she told me otherwise.

So I made an appointment with our hospital’s audiologist. The scheduler tried to tell me it would be July before I could get in. But you know how I roll, and I insisted she check the schedule again. Poof! There was a May appointment! And then we got a call last Monday night offering us a slot the next morning.

After a few tests, the audiologist told us she didn’t think Menininho has a hearing loss, though she can’t be sure without more testing in a few months, but she believes it might be an auditory processing disorder. That’s when the brain doesn’t know how to interpret the signals it gets from the ears. She recommended we take him to see a speech therapist for further testing and treatment as soon as possible.

Now we wait. We know how important early intervention is, so we’re praying we get call backs about an evaluation this week, and that it doesn’t take 3 months to get the appointment. Maybe this will turn out to be just a simple delay and nothing more, that would be great, but now I’m just anxious to start evaluating.

Tomorrow I’ll write on my thoughts and feelings about all of this.

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6 Comments

  1. I’m so glad you went with your gut and had him tested! I hope you can get into see a SLP soon!

    [Reply]

  2. I have been down the road you are beginning to travel. Paige went through many of the same things you are talking about. I fought until she was two before our ped. took me seriously. At 2 she really only had one clearly identifiable word “momma” and I new in my heart there was something wrong. In the mean time I sought out more help because the wait lists at Children’s was 18 months for any kind of speech/language therapy!!! We eneded up with a county funded program–Help Me Grow– that’s focus is for early intervention. They were fabulous, I don’t know if they have a similar program in your area but I would check and see if I were you. It cost us NOTHING, they came to our house–they took our hearing tests and did some evaluations and then started sending a therapist to our house–all this in a matter of like 2 weeks. They put her into summer programming and then into a play group during the school year which transitioned into preschool. She got speech/language while she was there and then they helped to transition her into Kindergarten with and IEP(individualed education plan) so that she still meets with a pathologist. I can not praise the program enough and the fact that every bit of it was free was a huge burden lifted from our family. We can chat more if you want–I’m here if you need me!!

    And on a positive note: Paige is doing great. She is all caught up and only has a few “normal” speech issues that a lot of kids do. It is a bump in the road, but one that you can manuever around!!!

    [Reply]

    marfmom Reply:

    So you know exactly what I’m talking about! I used to work for the organization that oversees Healthy Start when I lived in Cleveland. In CA it’s called Early Start. We’re waiting to hear back from them, but I think we won’t be able to use them exclusively b/c our governor slashed most of the funding recently and they have more kids who need services than they have spots. My fingers are crossed though, because free = awesome! :-)

    [Reply]

  3. There is a new book out by Rosie O’Donnell and Lois Kam Heymann called “The Sound of Hope: Recognizing, Coping with, and Treating Your Child’s Auditory Processing Disorder”. Might be worth a read in the mean time. I’ll be thinking of you.

    [Reply]

  4. Good luck, I know anything like this in parenting can be super scary. My second son is developing slower than my oldest. He isn’t concerned with walking or even crawling, which DS #1 was doing by a year old. He goes to the Pedi tomorrow and I am terrified!

    I also have a great friend from high school who is working on becoming an Audiologist, inspired by a deaf boy she dated in high school.

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  5. It was wonderful to read your story. Although your story is unique, the beauty is that many other parents have been and will be in your shoes. Your bravery to share this information will all of us is wonderful, and your work to continue this blog is greatly appreciated. I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts on my book, “The Sound of Hope”, which “Debbie” recently mentioned in these comments. Please join me on my website at listenlovelearn.com and share your thoughts with other individuals who would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you!

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