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Anyone's preschooler had glue ear and speech delay ?

(12 Posts)
dogtireddogtired Fri 15-Mar-19 11:47:24

My DS is 3 now and had his first hearing test at 18 months. Each time he has either one ear or both ears with glue ear. However he passes the hearing test. However his speech is very delayed. No sentences just single words, mainly things he can see like a bike, cat, food.

The hearing people implied as he can hear there is no problem, but that is in a quiet room, very focused test.

My HV is not the most unhelpful, but said (when she finally called back) that he won't be given NhS speech therapy whilst he still has glue ear. Is this true? I mean glue ear could go on for years.

We saw an ENT consultant and he said they don't really do grommets these days. They can cause issues, it's an operation, they fall out etc. So he's just monitoring him.

My DS also dribbles. He has got much better over time but you don't see many other 3 year olds dribbling. The ENT said it could be enlarged adenoids, but again they won't do anything as it's not serve.

Aghhhh anyone else had any experience with this. I feel I've hit a brick wall getting him help.

OP’s posts: |
HennyPennyHorror Fri 15-Mar-19 11:53:01

My nephew had the same thing. He also dribbled and was delayed but he did catch up quite quickly. By the age of 6 he was well within the normal range of speech.

You can speak to your Gp about him too..not just the HV. Some HV's are just shit.

Go to the doctor and speak to them about DS's issue...ask what can be done.

dogtireddogtired Fri 15-Mar-19 14:39:32

@HennyPennyHorror great user name ! Did he have any therapy or did he just catch up by himself ?

I hadn't thought of the GP, only as when I went about his hearing initially he said get the HV to do the referral.

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HennyPennyHorror Sat 16-Mar-19 00:03:56

Definitely see the Gp. My nephew didn't have any speech therapy no. My sister had her head in the sand about it a bit because she was unwell herself and couldn't quite face it.

But he was fine...his ears continued to cause him problems though and now, at 15, he's almost deaf in one ear thanks to constant infections. He's had a lot of operations on it to clear it out but the loss is significant.

Doesn't affect him at all...his life is full and he's happy and doing well at school with loads of mates.

Witchend Sat 16-Mar-19 13:42:38

If he passes the hearing test then they won't do grommets.

Ds has had 3 lots of grommets, but each time they've said his hearing is below 10% of what it should be. He did have speech therapy, but for pronunciation not vocabulary.

He's nearly 12 and they've finally said he's grown out of glue ear. For the first time he's had 2 consecutive hearing tests where his hearing is normal.
He's currently on day 4 of an ear infection.

dogtireddogtired Sat 16-Mar-19 15:30:39

@HennyPennyHorror poor thing, it's horrible it's still affecting him but he seems to be taking it in his stride

@Witchend Yes it's strange that despite the glue ear DS can hear, but then he doesn't speak. I don't know if it's another issue causing the lack of speech and few words. There is nothing affecting him health wise. I guess it could be Autism but he doesn't show any other signs apart from being shy. He interacts with other children, but can be slow to warm up.

I might try to follow up on the adenoids on our next appointment.

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dogtireddogtired Sat 16-Mar-19 15:31:44

@Witchend I'm glad you've managed to come through the other side !

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RubySlippers77 Sat 16-Mar-19 23:13:24

My DS was much the same as yours dogtired, he's maybe slightly older at 3.5 but until recently was behind with speech, pronunciation etc. I think it's partly due to having glue ear in one ear and partly due to having a twin brother who talks A LOT grin

Do your local NHS service run drop in SALT sessions? That's how I got DS seen, our HV has been pretty much useless after he turned 2 (to be fair they were helpful when my DTs were smaller - but since then not really!). He's having his third hearing test in a few weeks and if it still shows the same hearing loss in one ear, he could either have a grommet in that ear or a hearing aid till he grows out of the glue ear. It'll probably be a hearing aid as they've already advised that doctors will be reluctant to operate just for one ear.

I was referred for SALT through those sessions too - we did go although I didn't find them as useful as anticipated. Paid for a private session in the meantime which was much better, I'd have tried to find the money to keep going if our NHS sessions hadn't come through.

Oh and we went to the GP about DS's possible adenoid problems - he's a mouth breather and snores when he sleeps - awaiting ENT referral now. I was told we had to do it that way, a HV couldn't refer us.

Depending on where you are, your local children's centre might be able to help too; some of them have SALT drop in clinics. For example this is near to us:

Good luck, it can be very worrying when they can't/ won't speak, but from what I've read the vast majority will catch up soon and be absolutely fine!!

leaw100 Fri 22-Mar-19 19:41:40

Really interesting. I attended a SALT drop in session yesterday as I have the same concerns about my nearly 3 year old (3 in May). DS was born severely tongue tied and v large! Always v congested and dribbly and I was worried about his speech. He’s second of 3 DC. I’ve had his hearing tested and showed he does have glue ear. Speech therapist was really helpful and said that with his irregular hearing, he might hear a word/sound once then hear it completely differently another time so is a bit like one step forward and two steps back. Made complete sense and was reassuring. She suggested repeating everything back to him/lots of praise and generally being a bit OTT with sentences. She also gave me speech games to try using resources like finger puppets. They won’t formally assess my DS until he is 3.5 years.
We are under ENT for sleep issues and they said we could have his tonsils and adenoids removed but that seemed a bit extreme considering they had only seen him
once! Interestingly, we are reducing his dairy intake to see if it makes a difference to his congestion so fingers crossed will make a difference. Good luck!

dogtireddogtired Fri 22-Mar-19 23:56:59

@leaw100 oh my DS was a giant baby too blushI swear he puts all his energy into growing and is still very tall and chunky for his age, loves cake. Makes it worse in a way as people expect more as they think he's older.

I hate that they delay assessing things. It's a money thing. We don't have drop ins here, so I guess every borough does it differently. But 3.5 is late considering many will go to school not long after turning 4.

I know it's an operation, so risk of infections etc, but I would seriously consider the tonsils and adenoids if it's sleep apnea?

I've been lurking on a couple of other threads about speech and I think the way to go is to go private. It's one of those things that you'll never know if it helped or if they caught up. But I need training too, so I'm going to take the hit and book some sessions baked beans every night for me this month!

Definitely good advice about repeating everything a zillion times, plus I talk loud and try to be slower now, just in case it helps.

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amyboo Sat 23-Mar-19 18:34:39

Yep - we had this with DS2 when he was just under 4. He had a few ear infections and had a constantly snotty nose. We had his hearing tested and although he could hear OK in the normal range, his hearing in the low end and top end frequencies was really bad. He had grommets fitted and had his adenoids out and he's been like a different child. Improved speech, improved sleep (we didn't realise but he'd had pretty bad ringing in his ears before the grommets), no kore snotty nose and ear infections.

We're not in the UK, but it's rubbish they don't do grommets any more. My niece had them fitted at 2.5 years old, and my nephew at 3.5 and again at around 8, as some of the problems returned. I'd insist on another appointment or specialist to be honest...

leaw100 Sat 23-Mar-19 20:01:05

I know exactly what you mean about people expecting more from them as my DS is so enormously tall (was 11lb at birth) that he often finds his way into the preschool room at nursery and no one thinks twice until they realise he shouldn’t be there 😂
I’m wondering about adenoids and tonsils now. Yes, for sleep apnea. @dogtireddogtired My main concern is putting him under unnecessary pain, especially if it doesn’t work. Keep us posted as would be really interested how you get on with private care.

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