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To think my sons behaviour is not normal?

(26 Posts)
TheCatsPaws Sat 11-Nov-17 08:34:07

We’ve just found out he has hearing problems. They think glue ear but as it stands, he can hear very little. It explains why he ignores people and talks in a very unique way (DP and I can understand him but others can’t, and he won’t talk unless he has to).

However he is very aggressive. I expect there’s frustration from his struggle to communicate as he gets upset if people don’t understand what he’s saying. However he throws things, smacks us across the face, scratches us, bites us, smacks himself, headbutts us. He also does this when he’s excited. When I say no, he just screams and smacks me.

Until we discovered his hearing, I thought he was autistic.

Is this behaviour normal in children with hearing issues or does it sound like something else?

LloydColeandtheCoconuts Sat 11-Nov-17 08:36:11

flowers OP
How old is he?

TheCatsPaws Sat 11-Nov-17 08:38:45

Sorry I forgot to put his age. He’s two. Nursery tell me he is much more difficult than other children.

Daddystepdaddy Sat 11-Nov-17 08:40:14

Not being able to hear properly can be very frustrating and lead to poor behaviour my sister had hearing issues as a child and was quite naughty at times. Once these problems were resolved she was much better although had developed a bit if a reputation at school which wasn't good.

Rufustherenegadereindeer1 Sat 11-Nov-17 08:43:06


Pure anecdote here and no doubt someone else will be along later with medical facts

But my cousin many years ago had learning difficulties and was very rough, pushing and grabbing and bear hugs this child was huge

Turned out that he couldn't hear, once they sorted the hearing problem out it transpired that he didnt have learning diffficulties and his behaviour calmed right down

He was about 10!!!!

I am obviously not saying its the same thing but your post was resonating with me


TheCatsPaws Sat 11-Nov-17 08:43:09

I hope it’s his hearing. We’re waiting for another test, but they think grommets and a tonsillectomy will help.

BarbarianMum Sat 11-Nov-17 08:44:40

Autism and hearing loss present very similarly in toddlers. I think you may see a big change in his behaviour once his hearing and communication skills are sorted.

Marcine Sat 11-Nov-17 08:45:43

Glue ear can look a lot like autism in young children in terms of behaviour.

Witchend Sat 11-Nov-17 08:47:31

I have a ds with bad glue ear. They told me hearing loss can mimic autism. I wondered for several years.
He's now 10yo, unfortunately still with glue ear, but he's learnt to manage it and most of the worrying behaviours have totally gone.

TheCatsPaws Sat 11-Nov-17 08:52:06

This makes me feel a lot better! Does anyone who’s experienced this have any tips? I want to stop DS getting so upset. sad

BoutrosBoutros Sat 11-Nov-17 08:56:50

DS had grommets and tonsillectomy (and adenoidectomy) due to glue ear and also obstructive sleep apnea. In him it presented as lethargy and weight loss but a friend whose little boy had the same had huge behavioural problems. It often stems from poor sleep too - does he snore and stop breathing at night? If so he's probably so tired he doesn't know what to do with himself. If you search for obstructive sleep apnea on here it might ring a bell.

On the plus side DS had tonsils etc done age 2.5 and is now a very happy and healthy (and 'normal') 4 year old! Good luck with it all.

IJoinedJustToPostThis Sat 11-Nov-17 08:59:42

Have you/could you try signing? It could help reduce his frustration if he's able to communicate some of his needs.

2014newme Sat 11-Nov-17 09:00:11

Get his hearing sorted and then see what happens. His behaviour may well completey change it must be very tough for him at the moment. I'd get aggressive and frustrated in his position!

TheFirstMrsDV Sat 11-Nov-17 09:00:23

It might reassure you to know that a hearing test is often the first stage on the Autism Pathway.
This is done right at the beginning of assessment because of the huge impact hearing loss can have on language, social skills and behaviour.

Brandnewstart Sat 11-Nov-17 09:04:18

My close friends little boy had glue ear and was also very frustrated. He would lash out a lot and run away because he couldn't hear what was being asked of him. He's had an op now and is much happier.
I would suggest signing too. I used it with my two (hearing) children when they were little and they both learnt about 40 signs.
You could also google pecs cards which you can use for him to ask for choices and explain what is going on.

TheCatsPaws Sat 11-Nov-17 09:11:17

Yes he does snore! They tried a sleep study but he took the wires off. He sounds like Darth Vader!

Which signing would you recommend? I will google pecs cards thank you

AutumnTreesThroughTheWindow Sat 11-Nov-17 09:11:38

My daughter was diagnosed with hearing loss when she was 4 and was aided.

What you are describing is quite common in children with hearing loss.

Have you been in touch with the NDCS? They run Newly Identified Weekends, which you might find helpful.

Imnotaslimjim Sat 11-Nov-17 09:11:39

While you're waiting for his op, getting him assistance with communication should help a lot with his frustrations. Pecs, as mentioned by brandnewstart should really help. Also look on YouTube for maker in signs, they're a simpler version (Mr tumble uses it) we used it with DS when he was younger as he was non verbal until he was 3 and it really helped.

SimplyNigella Sat 11-Nov-17 09:12:52

Very similar to my son when he was 2 and had glue ear. Grommets and a whole winter of antibiotics sorted it and the behaviour changed straight away.

AutumnTreesThroughTheWindow Sat 11-Nov-17 09:13:26


FluffyWhiteTowels Sat 11-Nov-17 09:13:29

Yes I would try PECS I think it's picture exchange communication system. Good luck

londonlookout Sat 11-Nov-17 09:13:58

Before children are assessed for ASD they always ask for a hearing test to be done. Hearing impairment can hinder development and be symptomatic of aggression.

Justbookedasummmerholiday Sat 11-Nov-17 09:16:04

Def get Mr Tumble on daily - I have signed a bit with my youngest 3 x dc and toddler tantrums were minimal. I got a second hand book off eBay too.

Caenea Sat 11-Nov-17 09:33:37

My cousin had this, and was exactly the same. He changed almost overnight - it was stunning to see - once he could actually hear properly and communicate himself.

My aunt and uncle did flash cards with him, so he could hold them up to tell people how he felt/what he wanted etc. They were basic - an angry face, a happy face, a plate of food, a glass of milk etc, but they did help a bit before his operation.

PurpleAlerts Sat 11-Nov-17 09:43:45

I am a Teacher of the Deaf and can tell you that hearing loss in little ones can definitely look like early autistic traits. One of my case load has glue ear and has been given hearing aids while the problem resolves (they do this sometimes instead of grommets which don't always work) and his mum says he changed overnight when he was given them.

I would strongly recommend you try some signing with him. Voice on English word order signing (called Signed supported English) or Makaton. Start with a basic vocabulary of everyday things associated with everyday routines e.g. food, bath, bed, park, want like, don't like etc.

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