hearing loss, help me out

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by zaftigmama, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. zaftigmama

    zaftigmama New Member

    A second audiology report/ENT visit confirmed Brownie's hearing loss--it's slight, but it's there. Left ear worse than the right.

    This doctor was more thorough and less dismissive than the first--he looked in Brownie's ears and couldn't see any fluid. So tubes might help and they might not-he said it's 50/50. The loss isn't profound enough to warrant hearing aids--in school he'd probably need an FM system, preferential seating, etc. It also explains why he struggled so much in a (Special Education!) class of 15 kids.

    My question--and I'm not finding a lot of information about this--is finding more about the correlation between hearing loss and behavior disorders...not to achieve any end, so to speak, but just for my own info...anyway, just wanted to see if anyone out there had experience, either your own or friends' kids, students, etc.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Any sort of auditory issue - from hearing loss to Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) to other APDs - can and frequently will result in behavior issues, especially if accommodations and interventions are not in place.

    For us? auditory figure ground was the culprit, and personal FM system plus a few other accommodations at school... and the behavior problems are definitely going down. Teachers are commenting on report card about the impact of the personal FM system - better attention, better results on work, out-line at start of class, note-taking serice (so they can go back afterwards and catch anything they missed, plus so they don't have to listen and write at the same time), etc.
  3. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Hi, my son has a slight hearing loss uncovered before Xmas. We just did surgery (cut adenoids which were pushing into ears and second set of ear tubes).
    We go for a follow up on Monday and will find out if the hearing loss is still there.
    His Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) also believes he has Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) and will start working on compensatory techniques (body position, lip reading, visual cues, etc...).
    So although nothing is definite in my son's case, I firmly believe (so does his Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)) that it affects every aspects of his life including behavior.
    I am trying to teach him to tell us when he does not hear or can't make sense of what he heard.
    But even that is hard, V does not realize he does hear right (whatever the reason hearing loss, Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) or both). That is all he knows.
    Does Brownie have a speech therapist? Private or through the school, it would probably really help to find one.
    I don't have a magic formula, but try to not forget about his hearing loss when he misbehave. Try to think "ok, maybe he did not hear something or heard it wrong, let's rephrase, make him repeat to make sure he got it right".
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Part of the behavior comes from burn-out. Unless YOU have had to deal with hearing/listening problems personally, you have no idea just how much brain power it takes to fight through any kind of "fog" and try to get the "message". After a while, the effort to "hear" is so great that there IS no brain-power left to process what is heard... even IF it is heard correctly. Things like personal FM systems reduce this load at school. At home... try to reduce background noise to a minimum, allow for extra rest (including after-school down time if needed), use written insturctions as back-up to verbal, etc. Mental fatigue is a huge behavior trigger... no matter the cause of the fatigue.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Well historically people who were deaf/hard of hearing have been mislabeled as mentally delayed, autistic, emotionally challenged etc...now it is being identified much better but there are generations of pain and anger over this and culturally it still affects the deaf/hard of hearing community as a whole. So just given that broadly generalized history, there are many issues that can happen. Just intuitively it makes sense, right.... you miss things here and there and behaviors arise... if treated as if you are misbehaving due to a willful issue then resentment and frustration etc. could result. Not saying that is your case....just thinking of the links that can happen. A mild loss, in and of itself can be a problem and if this test was done on a "good" day (that is no infection/fluid this time) there still could be on again and off again greater loss which can train the mind to tune out......in addition if there is pressure/pain on and off or general ill feelings that can sometimes happen there is another layer of issues. Research on that for sure is around because I remember in the 80's having tests discussing it (do NOT ask me to go dig out my antiquated books, LOL... )

    So much like a child who can't pick out important sounds due to auditory processing challenges a mild loss can result in behavior issues because a child may miss cues, may make mistakes, may appear to be ignoring and be corrected for those mistakes, and because he is likely to do well in some cases and no in others people may say it is "convenient" hearing and that he is choosing to ignore. Kids end up living to expectations or they can not want to admit that they really dont know or missed something (and often they dont even know.... they just are automatically compensating)

    (do you mind sharing the frequencies and thresholds?? is the loss more in the high frequencies, middle, low?? do they feel it is a conductive issue (outer ear, middle ear--the bones and ear drum etc..) or a sensory neural loss (the inner ear/nerves going to the brain))

    Hope they give him what he needs and the teachers can learn to adjust their presentation style to help.

    I would absolutely push for an fm system and if they decide to do sound field (speakers that receive the main talker's voice and raises it by a predetermined decibel level over the ambient noise...his hearing loss would be factored in based on the type of system) then make sure it is available in all rooms he goes to. Q uses a personal one so the receiver is like a small hearing aid which he thinks is cool... I get it that is weird and some kids may complain. there are systems that can look more like music ear phones too... If this is a Special Education class that he is in mostly...the teacher may find it a huge help to have a sound field FM system in her class! Research is really good for use for adhd, processing, autism, any issue that can make attending to the more important sounds (like a teacher's voice or a movie or whatever) improved.

    A big part of course will be making sure the teacher is not talking with their back to him and that for class discussions, they point to the person talking (if a fm system may need a class mic...some use one that they pass around and no one knows who it is for when the speakers are used....and some use a group mic.)... and as much as possible build up visual tools.... list directions so he can start to build compensatory skills.

    Even if this is a small thing in the grand scheme... every little thing for our difficult child's (MHO here) can be huge compared to other kids with a mild loss.

    I had a moderate loss in one ear for about three months many years ago ...as an adult. I swear the cosmos/God/something or someone wanted me to experience how much that can impact life. I about left a conference in tears because of the effort to listen to the speaker and then keep up with table conversation. This was not at my main job which was a school for the deaf , if it had been there I would not have been so left out...it was awful and I have tools to compensate! It can exhausting trying to catch information that you miss...then the exhaustion can cause behavior issues too.

    Sounds like your gut says this could be an issue that really may be affecting him in more ways than just not hearing a little now and then.... you know him so I would trust your gut with that. (HIM?? I forget)

    Glad you found some clues... hope addressing it is helpful for difficult child.