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what does hearing test for 3 year old involve?

(15 Posts)
MummytoMog Wed 23-Jan-13 15:57:55

My daughter (3.4) has a speech delay, and her receptive language is rubbish. I finally managed to get her a hearing test (took eight months) and because she couldn't do the rings on a stick/pegs in a board kind of test because she simply doesn't have the ability to follow instructions that detailed (nor does she understand the word 'sound' or 'hear'), they did a distraction test with her (after I explained to them TWICE she couldn't understand their instructions).

So one person played with her to get her attention, then they played a sound and at the same time a box to her left lit up and cute little dancing toys started going. She looked at the box. They did this a couple of times to teach her what was happening, then they played the noise without lighting up the box, and if she looked, the box lit up. This revealed she had a moderate to severe hearing loss in some frequencies.

Then they did the timpanogram to check her ear pressure, which showed that she had awful glue ear (she had to have antibiotics later that week for a rotten ear infection) and then they did the automatic hearing test, which is just like they do on newborns, they pop a bud in the ear and you need to keep them quiet and still while they do it. This showed for us that DD's cochlear function is unimpaired (good news). DD was unwell, and uncooperative, but we still managed to get a decent amount of information from our session and importantly, a base line for future tests. She goes back monthly until we work out if the glue ear is an ongoing problem which needs to be resolved with gromits.

midastouch Wed 23-Jan-13 15:16:46

Thing is he'll say something to me that i wont understand like for eg. somethings hurts and i'll say 'what hurts' and he just says yeah. It gets so frustrating, hes in no way stupid and not behind with anything else its just his speach he barey said 2 words til he was 2 then he improved so much within a few months, then october he got an ear infection and the doctor took 5 weeks to give me anything for it!! so im a bit worried its done some damage dont even know if thats possible.

Teapot13 Tue 22-Jan-13 21:55:30

IME the headphones are used when they are ready. DD had a test shortly before her 3rd birthday and couldn't use the phones, so they just used another machine to make a sound. (This doesn't test the difference between the two ears.) A few months after her birthday she was able to use the headphones, so it's developmental.

They put a probe in the ears to check for fluid (using sound I guess?).

The people doing the test will know how to interpret the reactions. I said at one point, "I see that she isn't reacting, but I can't tell whether she is not hearing or not cooperating." They said, "We can tell no problem -- this is what we do all day."

fuzzpig Tue 22-Jan-13 17:33:47

My DS has had these tests twice. They aren't a big deal, actually they're quite fun blush you go in this totally soundproof room with a weird door.

IIRC, they first did a physical test where they played a sound into his ear and it gave a printout of what gets reflected back? Or something [rubbish at science emoticon]

Then it was lots of little games. There was one where DS had to put a little toy person in a ship every time he heard a beep (that was quite hard for him to understand though), one where they distracted him with a toy - to keep him looking straight forward - and then played noises to the left or right (I presume to see if there was a difference in hearing between the two ears) and his favourite, where he was asked to point to one of a range of toys - I noticed they were sort of in pairs that sound similar like 'cow/house' and 'plate/plane' so I guess that was to see how well he could discriminate between sounds.

Really don't worry about him playing up, they will be totally used to it!

They said he has a very slight hearing loss which may have been worse if he had undiagnosed glue ear. They aren't exactly sure why he has such a severe delay (about 14 months worth) as in all other areas he is fine. They seem pretty laid back as he is improving especially since being at nursery.

firawla Tue 22-Jan-13 17:23:47

must vary hospital to hospital, my ds has hearing test every 3 months and never gave him headphones, they also dont ask him to follow instructions they just monitor whether he reacts to the noises on the screens on either side, while he is sat playing with toys. also have to look in the ears at the end. mine does play up sometimes but it is not too bad, they try to make it fun for them with the toys

hatchypom Tue 22-Jan-13 17:04:54

Make sure you're with a good paed audi, as they will have lots of experience of getting the best result. The VRA test as described in previous replies is the best test but they will also check there isn't any glue ear by looking and also sticking something in the ear. Good luck

DeWe Tue 22-Jan-13 13:53:22

Don't worry if he does play up. They're used to it. They didn't manage to get a good test from ds until he was 4yo, but they just kept trying. If you've got some big headphones then do let him play with them (ds is a pilot when he wears his) before, as they can be quite scary.

DreamsTurnToGoldDust Tue 22-Jan-13 12:36:27

Dont worry, my ds has hearing tests six monthly, and use to play up, the Audiologists were fine about it and can do hearing tests without the headphones. I`ll be OK smile

SydneyB Tue 22-Jan-13 12:26:40

My DS had this when he was just 3. He was really tricky about things like this then (much improved since grommets!) and refused the headphones point blank but the audiologist was brilliant - did it without the headphones. She pretended the bricks were mice squeaking, completely untraumatic.

midastouch Tue 22-Jan-13 12:24:27

Thank you for answers just a nit nervous! And worried he might play up lol

LittleChimneyDroppings Tue 22-Jan-13 10:21:40

When my ds did it, he sat and played with some toys with the assistant who tried to keep his focus on playing. Someone else in the corner did the sounds, and when ds heard them he looked around the room for where it was coming from. When he figured it was coming from a big tall black box in the corner, a light would flash, and expose a bunny, or a teddy sitting on a shelf in the box. It was really clever, ds loved it.

shinybaubles Tue 22-Jan-13 10:12:55

Hello my ds had a hearing test a couple of months ago and he was 2.11 so almost 3 they put a probe type thing in his ear and it played some beeps to measure the pressure, then they did another test in a booth with headphones on and more noises played through when he heard a noise he had to put a ring on a stand to indicate he had heard it, took about 20 minutes.

AnnIonicIsoTronic Tue 22-Jan-13 10:11:26

Iirc it's about twenty minutes. They go in a room with you & the person administering the test. There are some toys there as props ... It's a while ago now, but I think the instructions were something like 'give me the train when you hear the beep'.

They also separately ask the parent to answer questions on eg family history.

Not traumatic at all.

DreamsTurnToGoldDust Tue 22-Jan-13 10:11:26

Hi mida, it wont take long about forty mins. It should involve your son wearing headphones and sitting opposite someone whilst they play a little game involving your son doing a certain action when he hears a noise in the headphones. Its all very relaxed and the audiologists are good with children (good cos my son is unpredictable with the headphones, keeping them on etc).
They will probably discuss their findings with you at the end.

midastouch Tue 22-Jan-13 10:06:40

My ds is 3 and a half and is having a hearing test next week as he speech is so unclear I only realised it when I heard the other childre in his nursery speak. I'm not sure if he can't hear us properly or he just not listening. Does anyone know what it involves and how long it takes? Thanks

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