an experiment with hearing amplifier.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    One of the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) who tested V (he has seen many lately because either they see the need for therapy but don't have any availability or they are available but test show no deficits...) suggested using an amplifier. She never told me the name brand but just stated it was worn behind the hear and one of her relative of using one. As a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), she was intrigued by it and tried it for herself. She thought it was pretty good and said that V could benefit from it. She explained it was quite inexpensive and her relative bought on ebay for $10/unit.
    Of course, my first thought was: to cheap to be good.
    I contacted our good friend Buddy and she sent me a VERY detailed recommendation. But it did not cover those amplifiers...
    I decided that $10 was worth the try. It's either junk and I lost $10 or .... we shall see! lol
    So, today I received a little package: the amplifier. Just as described.
    V is wearing it right now, watching "Curious George". He said it helps " duper good!".
    He does not want to take it off. He likes to have it on the left ear and is very sure about that. The volume can be set from 1 to 5. He likes 1.5 and he is also very sure on that.
    Here are the specs:
    max output: 126 - 5db
    max sound gain: 44 - 5db
    total harmonic wave distortion <8%
    equivalent input noise level <30db
    Which of course is chinese to me! ;)
    I tried it and personally cannot stand it. But I have to admit that the main sound (in this instance the TV) is a lot clearer. Or I should say: goes right into the ear wearing the amplifier. But I can also hear a very soft shhhh. Don't like this part.
    It's too soon to real draw any conclusion. All I know is V likes it so far.
    But I also wonder if it good do some harm in any way?
    If he ends up really liking it, do we stick with it? Or is it our queue to invest in some "real" equipment like the phonak wireless fm system (which of course require the ear piece AND a transmitter).
    Forgot to say: he's had thorough hearing tests and there is actually no hearing loss. But one audiologist did diagnosis him with Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). Just too young to do a complete Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) testing so we know there are deficits, but don't have a detailed report.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I have hearing loss. I used a really cheap system, until we could prove that it helped, before investing "real" money in a medium-term solution (I'm waiting for surgery, so don't want to pay for hearing aids).

    difficult child uses the "expensive" FM system - provided by school. When he uses it, things go well, and when he doesn't... we all know about it. So it gets used.

    I'd make the assumption that this is a good "test of concept" system, but you will probably end up needing one of the more expensive ones. The two-part transmitter/receiver systems have an additional advantage... they don't amplify sound by a set percentage, but instead make the primary sound (from transmitter) to be 20 db louder than the background noise. Definitely superior... but I sure wouldn't be paying for one without knowing it was the answer.

    I think you're on the right track.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    The only thing is, that will amplify all sounds so in his most challenging settings it won't help him sort out the important information. Quin loved general hearing aids too ...loved that increased sensory input! It's great to see he will tolerate it though that is huge! If Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) is the target he will need the important sound like teacher voice amplified 15-20dB above the surrounding noises.

    You're smart to check out his sensitivity. Do keep it low though. 8o)
  4. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    First at school using the amplifier. V still claims it helps him so much. He took a few breaks from it but used it most of the day. When I picked him, he had just taken it off because his ear was sore. He probably needs to get used to it yet. But it does not discourage him and after a short break, he's ready for it again.
    His teacher is going to talk with the Special Education teacher and see if the school has any actual FM system for V to try.
    The guidance counselor, this morning, said that the school is not obligated to provided it (even if it's doctor recommended) but it does not mean that the school won't. She said they used to be obligated but following some abuse (too many doctor's notes for all kind of things), the policy had changed and it's up to the school to decide wether it will provide it or not.
    I'm not sure wether the guidance counselor is right on the matter, but I did not say anything. Whatever she thinks at this point is not relevant. We'll see if the school will provide the FM system or not and go from there.
    A trial at the very least would be great.
    The university program will emphasized the importance of treating the Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). So I'm trying to follow there advice besides all the obstacles.
    The guidance counselor still has to reply to the new private Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) who will be treating V during school time. She said it would be just fine, just some paperwork to go through.
    I really hope the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis report will be in the mail soon.... without it, the guidance counselor can't get started on the 504 plan (maybe she is waiting on it before getting back to Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) as well).
    Sometimes, it feels like a second job to manage all of V's care! Than add Sweet Pea who is not making progress, or very little. Who needs a break?!
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Without an IEP I'd bet they would not need to provide accommodations but hopefully they will do the right thing. You might offer to pay for the earmolds if they use one like that. Our home district actually wont use a childs personal hearing aids (except cochlear implants of course ) or FM systems. They don't like the liability of their breaking and so they do all fitting and earmolds for free. The kids get them 24/7 because it's needed for overall educational growth.