Visual and hearing impairments
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I would love some advice as to what direction I should go down to get more help for Ralphie.

Replies

  • VerschoyleVerschoyle Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi

    My 4 year old son who is in reception at school suffered with chronic ear infections as a baby/toddler. I was refered by my GP to an audiologist for hearing tests. My son showed positive for glue ear and over a year he failed most hearing tests and I was advised that grommets were an option. However on his follow up appointment a year on his hearing tests came back fine however I was still very concerned about a few things which I will list below..

    My son (Ralphie) struggles to hear in a loud environment and gets frustrated. He is comfortable at home and in quiet surroundings. Struggles to hear if more than one person is speaking. Very easily distracted. He finds it difficult to follow instructions and results in him giving up.
    He can't dress himself. His understanding isn't great and needs extra explanation.
    After speaking with his teacher she says it's early days however he is struggling to make relationships and he is struggling accademicly.

    All of the above we have learnt to deal with together and have just changed our lifestyles to suit and make Ralphie feel comfortable where ever possible.

    He is still under the audiology department, the doctor audiologist sent a letter to the school explaining he needs as much help one on one as possible however I still feel like Ralphie will eventually fall behind.

    I would love some advice as to what direction I should go down to get more help for Ralphie.

    Regards Kirsty
  • VickiKirwinVickiKirwin Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    Hi Kirsty

    Glue ear can be such a frustrating condition for some children/families especially if it has tended to fluctuate over a long time. It means the brain has received quite inconsistent auditory information over time and this can result in delays developing some of those vital listening skills such as focusing on one voice in many, and hearing when there is lots of background noise. Your son is still young and these skills will continue to develop over time but it is quite common for children who have had glue ear to appear to be quite deaf for some time after the glue ear has cleared up.

    Unfortunately glue ear is very common - about one in five 4-year-olds have glue ear at any one time and it is often worse in the winter months associated with coughs and colds. So look out for signs it might have returned and ask your audiologist to review him sooner if you think it might have.

    In the meantime anything you can do to help improve the quality of sound he hears will help - try to reduce background noise as much as possible, speak one at a time in family groups etc will all help. NDCS has some further information on glue ear here http://www.ndcs.org.uk/family_support/glue_ear/index.html and some great advice for teachers that is free to download http://www.ndcs.org.uk/professional_support/our_resources/supporting.html#contentblock3 and that you might like to pass to his school.

    Vicki
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