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How will they perform a hearing test?

(16 Posts)
Rose138 Sat 10-Sep-16 12:59:47

Hello everyone,

My son will be 2 in November.

I've had concerns about his speech for a while now. He says Mum, Dad and car. I do feel his understanding is brilliant. I did contact my health visitor team a month ago because he gets very frustrated trying to tell us something but they just said to wait for his 2 year check.

However I decided to see our GP as he has a lot of wax from both ears. Our GP looked in his ears and said there is a lot of wax, don't use cotton buds and she's given us drops. She then said about the possibility of glue ear. I haven't read about it as don't want to get ahead of myself/start diagnosing him with it myself. Our GP has left it that she will get back to me as she wasn't sure if she makes the hearing test referral or a health visitor confused

I'm just really interested in how they will perform a hearing test due to his age and at the moment he only says three words. He absolutely hates his ears being touched so I'm hoping they can do the full assessment. Has anyone been through this process?

Thank you all in advance! smile

Anothernamechanger1 Sat 10-Sep-16 13:01:29

My ds had one about that age and one a few weeks ago. He will probably sit with head phones on and they have to press a button when they can hear a noise in the head phones.

FlopIsMyParentingGuru Sat 10-Sep-16 13:03:33

Headphones on. Really friendly and not formal.
Most likely do a task every time they hear a sound. Something like a stacking toy where they put a piece on each time there is a noise they hear.
They are very used to dealing with children and tailoring the test to suit them.

sleepy16 Sat 10-Sep-16 18:15:29

My son is 2 in a few weeks and can only say a few words,he grunts when he wants something and because we don't understand he gets really distressed.
If he had to have a hearing test where you push a button there is no way he would understand that.
When my middle son had a hearing test (standered before asd dx here) they did a puppet show for distraction.
And when there was a sound in the room the child would have to turn round to where that sound was.

mymatemax Sat 10-Sep-16 21:00:40

There is a variety of things they can do. Looking for reactions when hearing a noise. Ds2 also had to put a shape in a hole every time he heard the noise. I can vaguely remember her covering her mouth with her hand to see if he still responded

Rose138 Sun 11-Sep-16 08:11:25

Thank you everyone!

Sleepy16 my son wouldn't either! He understands if we were to ask him to get his cup/where are the cats he'll look for them/if we ask him to bring us a specific toy. But he wouldn't understand "you need to press the button when you hear a sound".

So it's good to hear that there are a range of different ways they can perform the test smile

captaincake Sun 11-Sep-16 21:55:41

For my sons hearing test they distract him so he's looking at the front playing with a quiet toy then play the sound to one side of him and then turn a toy on at that side which is in a box that lights up at the same time. Eventually he figures that when the noise goes the toy will come on and from there they kept getting his attention at the front and then seeing if he turned when he heard the noise to see the toy.

Then they put a device in his ear (which was a bit useless and took absolutely ages to get a reading) that says he has glue ear.

This was on the second hearing test. The first one they asked him to put a person in a boat when he heard the noise. DS can't even point to his nose when asked. I had to kick up a fuss to get a repeat test suited to his needs.

bobblewobble Mon 12-Sep-16 12:46:29

My son had a hearing test at the age of 3. They played sounds to him from a handheld machine and each time he could hear the sounds he had to place a block in the box.

This didn't work well for my son, as he worked out when she paused and looked at him, he should put the block in the box. He also had a lot of different toys placed in front of him like a house, a horse, a cat, a hat a dog etc and she would say the toy and he had to pick it up. Anything with similar sounds he would pick up the wrong toy! Baring in mind he would turn the tv up to 60, when we would watch it at 12-15, we knew he had hearing loss. She disagreed. However she did the tympanogram test which showed he had no movement in his ear drums at all and had to agree something was wrong.

He was then referred for a more in depth hearing test which showed he had moderate hearing loss. He wore hearing aids from the age of four up until 2 months ago and he turned 8 this month. The glue ear gradually got better on it's own and he now only has mild hearing loss.

CinderellaFant Mon 12-Sep-16 12:49:09

My daughter had one at 3. They didn't use the headphones at all on her, they sat her at a table with a few toys infront of her and the audiologist sat behind her and told her what you to lift up- she said 'dog' 'brick' 'spoon' etc. Every time she got quieter and quieter.

Seeline Mon 12-Sep-16 12:56:28

My DS had one as a new born. They put headphones on him (which I had to hold in place) and they played sounds down them. The computer then worked out whether he was hearing the noises - I have no idea how!

Lizmay12 Mon 12-Sep-16 16:45:24

When DD was two she had hearing test. They were great with her. They spent time getting to know all about her before the test.
The audiologist sat her in a chair that she had to stay sat in throughout the test and played games with her. During this different sounds were played and they looked for her reacting to the sounds. She would hear them but be unable to pinpoint the direction.

The second one was with headphones. She had to put a toy in a jar when she heard the sounds.
She now has hearing aids and goes back for check ups regularly. They seem be able to adapt the test for the children's abilities.

TragicallyUnbeyachted Mon 12-Sep-16 17:16:01

This is a tricky age for hearing tests because they sort of fall between the two types...

For younger babies they do the hearing test by having an Exciting Thing (generally an animated soft toy with flashing lights) in a darkened box situated to left or right, just out of sight where he has to turn his head to look at it. Then they play loud tones to him and establish that when the tone plays the toy lights up and moves. Then they start playing the tones that they are testing. If he turns round to look at the box (where the toy is not yet moving) then it means he's heard the tone and is expecting the toy to move (and then they do hit the "make the toy move" button to reinforce that). If he doesn't turn round then it means he probably hasn't heard the tone.

For older children they do play-based audiometry -- they ask them to put a peg into a board, or a person into a boat, or a small plastic duck into a box, or... (whatever) when they hear a tone.

Your issue is that younger two-year-olds are bang on the cusp of these two tests. They tend to quickly get bored by the Exciting Moving Toy test (which does have an official name, but I can't remember what it is), so it's difficult to carry out the full spectrum of testing on both ears with that, and they don't necessarily have the understanding or the attention span to do the play-based audiometry. It can be worth playing that sort of game (listening for a noise and moving objects in response) in advance so that he gets the idea.

They'll also do tympanometry, which is blowing a puff of air into the ear canal and measuring the response of the eardrum. That can show up issues in the middle ear (most commonly glue ear).

It's usually the health visitor who makes a hearing test referral.

You can also ask about a referral to SLT (you may be able to self-refer, too). The first thing they will want to know is likely to be about hearing, though, so kick that off first and then you have something to go on.

TragicallyUnbeyachted Mon 12-Sep-16 17:22:09

Oh, and if they do find a problem they'll want to repeat the test through bone conduction (by putting on a headband with a speaker that plays the sound to the mastoid bone behind the ear) as well as air conduction -- this helps to show up whether it's a sensorineural issue (inner ear) or conductive issue (middle ear). That's also the point at which two-year-old attention spans start to become a problem... grin

Patsy99 Mon 12-Sep-16 17:28:53

My DS had zero words at 18 months and was referred for a hearing test and speech and language assessment.

The hearing test was like Tragically and Captain described - he wasn't expected to do anything they looked for a reaction from him to a sound.

He was eventually diagnosed with minor speech delay and had some SALT.

Witchend Mon 12-Sep-16 20:12:58

When younger ds had to put man back in the bus every time he heard a noise. The first time the helpful lady who did it kept saying "did you hear something?" to which he kindly responded "yes". Afterwards he asked me what he was supposed to hear, but he hadn't wanted to upset her by saying "no". hmm

So I specifically asked them not to do that the next time. He got about half way through when he decided that it was much more amusing to rearrange all the people in the bus. Thankfully he'd done enough to show that he had hearing in the normal range (this was after grommets).

The next time he told the person the men didn't want to go in the bus they wanted to go for a walk... and got engrossed with walking them round grin

When he got to about 3.6yo he found the button they press and was happily investigating it, and they said they'd give it a try although they didn't usually use it until they were 5yo. They asked him what he thought the button did and he said he was a Lancaster pilot dropping bombs, so they told him to hit the right target he had to press it when he heard any noise-and that worked perfectly.
He still does that 6 years later and loves it.

TragicallyUnbeyachted Mon 12-Sep-16 21:28:38

DD2 used to like sorting the [whatever they were trying to use] by colour and ignoring what they actually wanted her to do with them.

At her most recent hearing test (she's 5.5 now) she sat down and did everything beautifully. Consultant and audiologist both remembered how it used to be getting any cooperation out of her... (actually, I suspect they may be permanently psychologically scarred by how it used to be getting any cooperation out of her).

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