Visual and hearing impairments
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My son is difficult to test in audiology as he doesn't always follow the game/ instruction

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  • lizh68lizh68 Member Posts: 2
    Hi, my 6 yr old was dx with autism at 3 1/2; at the same time he had an ABR test which showed 1 ear 40dB and other 35dB. however once the audiologist heard he had autism, he decided against hearing aids and since then noone has really paid any attention to this. His main problems is understanding and expressing himself with language, and I have noticed he doesnt always pronounce things correctly. he is difficult to test in audiology as he doesnt always follow the game or instruction so we don't really know how his hearing is. is this something we should keep pursuing? thanks, Liz

  • VickiKirwinVickiKirwin Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    Hi Liz

    A mild hearing loss (21-40dB) is much like wearing earplugs all day. Children will often hear one-to-one conversation in quiet surroundings but struggle in noisy situations like classrooms. Because they can't hear quieter speech they also miss overhearing a lot of information. Children also need to be able to hear conversations going on all around them, even though they aren't paying attention to it or when it may be about things that don't seem important for young children to hear. This 'overhearing' is important for building vocabulary, gives children grammar, and general knowledge. There is lots of research now that shows that children with mild hearing loss are at risk of delays in speech and language development. Even if the hearing loss itself isn't the main cause, when children have other learning or development problems then it is more likely to have an impact.

    Some children with autism will not tolerate hearing aids. This can be physical and they are often the same kids that refuse to wear hats or headphones. There are also some that are very oversensitive to everyday sound (hyperacusis). But this isn't the case for all autistc children so I do think there is nothing to lose in trying, especially if language development is a key issue for a child. Hearing aids can be programmed very conservatively to ensure they remain within the childs comfort levels for sound. Hearing testing isn't always easy as many do rely on play and cooperation with the child but there are a number of different tests that can be tried or adapted and we often have to do several types and build up a picture of the child's overall hearing like a jigsaw. If your local audiologist doesn't have alot of experience working with children with autism then it is worth asking your GP to refer you to another hospital (perhaps a large specialist children's hospital where they only see children and are likely to have more experience with children with complex needs.)

    Vicki
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