Tips on gettin a nearly 2 y/o to wear hearing aids??
My son has Downs and we have been given hearing aids but we're finding it hard to get him to wear them for more than a couple of hours a day and getting them in can be stressful for both me & him. Any tips? Anyone been in the same sit? How long before u noticed a diff in the childs speech?? He hasnt got much- just babbling and dada, tat (cat) and mama. I wasnt expecting miracles but i thot he wud have a few more sounds as its been 2months now.
(Brief background. Our son Andrew was born extremely prematurely and tiny - 1lb 6oz. He has hearing loss and development delay. He's now 21m actual, 18m corrected, and about 15m in behaviour.)
Andrew's had hearing aids since December - and we've noticed no change in his speech. He makes no real consonant sounds at all. He refuses to co-operate in audiology tests. We feel he has some level of hearing, and that the aids make little difference; the audiologists disagree and are asking us to persevere. He is going in for MRI & CT scans next month to look at the formation of his inner ears. They have likened his hearing to a faulty fluorescent light - it flickers on and off, so sometimes he hears and other times he doesn't.
We can get Andrew to wear his aids for around 6-8 hours a day, depending on how awkward he's feeling. We use double-sided tape to anchor the aids behind his ears; and we then tie on a thin cloth bonnet to cover them completely. Although this muffles the sound slightly, it does mean that he keeps the aids on for much much longer; the audiologist was most apologetic that the standard issue "bonnet" with mesh sides simply isn't made in a small enough size for him.
Andrew has now come to accept the aids being placed in; we generally distract him by switching on the ceiling fan (so he watches) or OH dangling a toy above his face. He will pull them out though, his fingers are just the right size to get in the loop of the tube between mould & aid. Hence the bonnet!
Ask your audiologist about a referral to the speech therapy team, s/he will advise you whether it's too early or not. We were advised that Andrew wouldn't be referred until at least after his second birthday.
thanks for replying - DSs the same with the levels of hearing- we feel that sometimes he's hearing more than the audiologist is saying but likening it to a fluorescnt light flickering is spot on!! He didnt play ball with their tests but i think he was more interested in looking for the puppet than reacting to the noise creeping up behind him. We have had a speech therapist from birth and told me not to worry about how hes gettin on with the aids but i felt she maybe didnt want to put pressure on us by sayin he should be doing better cus i'm due my next baby in 5 weeks so have been a bit stressed. I'll have to ask about a bonnet at our next app and will give double sided tape a go. Thanks again for the reply!!
You say Coen's more interested in looking for the puppet - we have the opposite problem, Andrew is completely uninterested in the puppets! We can even put him right in front of them, and he just turns away, to him they're boring. So the idea of "hear the sound, turn the head, seeing the puppet is the reward" just doesn't work for him
Try not to stress, with only 5 weeks to go you should be enjoying your last few weeks of relative peace & quiet
I'm not sure how much help i can be but DS was given hearing aids to wear a couple of years ago (around 3yrs).
DS has hearing impairment, Autism, learning difficulties and sensory intergration disorder after being born prem at 2lb.
We were trying to force DS to wear them when he didn't want to and in hindsight we made the situation completely worse. So much so that he didn't wear his aids for 12 months. So we decided to unravel the whole situation and work at the problem. We took DS back to audiologist and got his molds redone. They produced molds that are hollow allowing the ear to breathe (one of his main complaints were that they were itchy). They also allowed him some newer, smaller aids and showed me how to tape them to his ears to stop any flapping sensation. They also turned off the volume buttons and programmed them quieter than they needed to be. Sort of a break-him-in-gently approach.
Next we started working on the sensory issues. We forgot the aids for a while and concentrated on him getting used to having something in his ears. So we bought a set of foam earplugs on a headband and every couple of hours got him to put them in. But once he'd had enough he took them straight out. He did eventually start building a tolerance to having them in. We then started substituting the ear plugs for the aids and we'd leave them turned off. As the weeks went on he would then be wearing them more and more. Next we started saying he needed to wear them for specific tv programs and would turn the tv down. eventually he started asking for them to be put in as he knew it was the only way he could hear tv.
This probably took 2 years all in all. Now we're at a point where he wears them all day at school (other than playtimes). He wears them with no fuss and he now even turns them on himself.
On a different note. The aids didn't help with his speech. He was a late speaker anyway because of development and even now is still under a SALT program at school.
I've been so worried in the past about him not wearing them. But it would appear that actually he does cope really well without them when he doesn't wear them. His other senses have learned to adjust.
It is very worrying but please try not too. DS will eventually wear them without thought, but it will take time and lots of perseverance.
Interesting to read that your son has "sensory integration disorder", I've never heard of that and will go off to google! My boy weighed just less than yours (1lb 6oz) and whilst we know he's got some form of hearing loss and some developmental delay, we haven't really been diagnosed regarding the latter - it's just a "suck it and see" situation. He's now 21m actual age, and he still has no speech, but your response has reassured me that he could simply be a very late developer in that regard.
We were advised to introduce Andrew to the aids gradually - 1hr a day, then 2hrs etc. He tolerates them for about 4 hours when they're not easily accessible (i.e. under a bonnet). Our main "gripe" is that we see no difference in his behaviour, attentiveness, speech etc when he is wearing them - so how do we know that they're doing him any good?
got sum positive news the other day- we took coen to a Mums and tots signing group and his audiologist and the local deaf tutor were there. After seeing DS playing and interacting with the other children they think he may hav more hearing than initially thought (sumthin me and my hubby hav been saying from day 1)!! Theyre gonna retest him woohoo!! But in the mean time i got some tape from them to help keep the aids in place. All in all it was a good day!!! :-)
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