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Tips for getting the attention of children with hearing problems?

(22 Posts)
used2bthin Sun 16-Aug-09 21:14:10

Or any other advice really. DD has got glue ear but also possibly hearing loss in one ear.

Her language is delayed and what she does say is very hard to understand but she has really made progress. She has speech therapy so I wil ask the speech therapist for new ideas now that we know she has hearing problems but wanted some help with this in the mean time.

I get down to her level to talk to her and am trying to keep sentences fairly simple, also am working with Hanen's "it takes two to talk". I struggle to get her to focus though and to get her to give eye contact.

Any ideas for helping her while I wait for the ENT appointment? TIA.

Anonymumandlikeit Sun 16-Aug-09 21:18:50

Do you do any signing at all?

DD has severe speech delay and ld.She has difficulties concentrating.

I tend to get down to her level and face her and do the sign for "looking" to attract her attention.

two fingers together (index and middle)going from browline outwards.So I go "xxx looking" and sign simultaneously.

MegGriffin Sun 16-Aug-09 21:23:04

I was also going to suggest this. I use Makaton with a little one at our setting and to get her attention I draw her look up by getting right down in front of her and using a sign (as well as speech) to draw her eyes up to eye level.

used2bthin Sun 16-Aug-09 21:25:12

thanks that is a good idea. We do a bit of makaton although if I'm really honest I haven't been consistent with it lately. I am feeling a bit lost as to what is right to do with her atm as its so unclear as to whether her hearing is the only thing causing her delays. Do you take your DD to any groups or do any special activities to help with speech? I feel like I need a bit of hand holng with it thats all! We go to the family centre and a music group but dd just tends to race about.Maybe I should spend more time one to one with her?

Anonymumandlikeit Sun 16-Aug-09 21:28:11

How old is she ?DD is quite delayed so we got marvellous support from the Portage service.

I found doing a "Sing and sign" class helpful.

dd also likes 2Something special" on Cbeebies

I have done a sign language course too,but dds communication is very severely delayed.

Could you ask your hv about any groups?

Reallytired Sun 16-Aug-09 21:29:43

My son has had quite severe glue ear and in the past has had grommets and hearing aids. His hearing is much better now, but some days it is still poor.

The following helps me.

It is worth thinking about where light is coming from. If your face is in shadow then it is much harder for a deaf person to lipread.

If you want a meaningful conversation then its best to pick a room with lots of soft furnishings. It is much harder to communicate with a deaf person in a room like a kitchen with lots of hard surfaces because it is more echoey.

Speak normally, shouting is a bad idea because it distorts lip patterns.

Anonymumandlikeit Sun 16-Aug-09 21:32:01

Another thing suggested by salt was to augment communication by using pictures.I have taken a gazillion photos of everyday hopusehold items and laminated them for dd to look at and stuck them round the house!

there are lots of child friendly signing picture books in the "Childsplay" series

BSL website useful,as is cbeebies something special website.You can print off photos,symbols and signs combined if you goto cbeebies site.

used2bthin Sun 16-Aug-09 21:32:31

We don't have portage in our area. I know because I rang about training to be one! We did sing and sign for a bit but DD is nearly three so over the age now and they didnt want her to do the toddler one as she wasnt using signs yet (long slightly bitter story).

I have got an appointment with the nurse in September about her over all development so will ask then. The SALT couldnt think of anything except a group that she runs for children with SN but she felt that it wouldnt be appropriate for DD.

I must order some Something special DVDs too DD likes them.

Reallytired Sun 16-Aug-09 21:35:07

I would ask the nurse to refer you to a community paediatrian. Our local child development centre really helped DS.

used2bthin Sun 16-Aug-09 21:46:35

Thanks reallytired. I rang the nurse to discuss having DD refered to a community paediatrician and she is coming out to see DD at home and we are going to go over her development before deciding about referring her. DD has has=d a lot of medical problems and with the hearing too it is hard to know what has caused what. What is a child development centre is it a children's centre or something more specialised?

Millarkie Sun 16-Aug-09 21:47:52

I touch ds's shoulder with my hand and then bring my hand to my face, he tends to follow it with his gaze and lip-reads from there.
How old is your dd? Ds had glue ear from the time he turned 1 until he had his first grommets op aged 3. His language was very very delayed (6 words by the age of 2 and most of those were only intelligable for me/dh), but his understanding of words was much higher due to his lip-reading (which we didn't know he was doing until his audiology assessment). Lip-reading tires him and made him grumpy and less likely to make eye contact (thus making communication harder), sometimes he was just too tired to 'talk'.
He caught up with his speech within 3 months after first grommets op (and then the grommets blocked and he was hearing impaired again but at least could talk by this point). He didn't copy well enough to sign/use makaton (when I realised that 12 months old dd was signing away whilst 3 yr old ds could only sign 'Biscuit' I gave up )

used2bthin Sun 16-Aug-09 21:53:10

Hi Millarkie. DD is nearly three. She tends to turn away if I am trying to get her to look at me. I am not sure if she is looking at my lips though, she is such a physical child and wants to be on the go all the time. Good to know that the grommits helped so much, we are now waiting for the next appointmnt when they will talk about grommits and hearing aid and do more tests on the ear with the most problems.

DD isn't great with copying either. She picked up a few signs and we still use them sometimes, I think I will get back to using them, her playgroup do.

Incidentally I put her in playgrop two sessions a week and had thought it may help her language but she just rushes around the same as she does at toddler groups. It is proably even harder to hear there.

Anonymumandlikeit Sun 16-Aug-09 22:00:12

i'm still yakking on,sorry,but from Portage we decided cos dd was a little non concentrating monkey the best thing todo was sit her in her chair at the table to do her communication/signing exercises.It doesn't have to be for long-quarter of an hour or so,but do it in little bursts.We did it on a do theexercise then a reward basis,ie 15 mins then she got bubbles/biscuit/sticker whatever.

Reallytired Sun 16-Aug-09 22:00:44

A child development centre provides help for children with special needs. Our one has a multi displinery team to work out why a child is having problems developing. Often you see several professionals at one appointment. The idea is the minimise the number of medical appointments for children with special needs. It also gives a more holistic approach for treating the child.

My son first saw a community paediatrian when he problems learning to walk. He had an assessment in conjunction with a child physio which ruled out neurological problems and they decided he had orthopedic problems. My son was seen by an orthopedic consultant in conjunction with the community paediatrian.

Later on my son speech failed to develop and his pre school has insistant that he was asssessed for autism. (My son was threatened with being kicked out of pre school if I did not go along with their request.)

As the commuity paediatrian had already met him on several occassions she was confident that he was not autisic. My son had quite advanced play skills, but limited speech. Our paediatrian arranged for him to have his speech assessed and a hearing test. When he failed his hearing test she arranged for him to be fast tracked for grommets.

used2bthin Sun 16-Aug-09 22:31:36

Somehow I missed two posts from anon and reallytired earlier, must'e x posted with you both. Pictures are a good idea as is makig sure its light etc, I hadn't thought of that or the echo thing. I have noticed that if there are lots of other sounds like in an area with other children, DD seems completely deaf.

Don't apologise anon am very interested! My DD seems to understand some stuff but I am not sure I would et her to sit at a table for long enough to do stuff, the SALT struggles with it. Also when she had the hearing test they said they had to adjust it because her concentration skills weren't up to the usual one. But that could be the hearing I expect?

eallytired that is awful that your pre school said that angry good that you were able to have him assessed though. DD sounds similar because she plays very well with other chldren and even communicates with the ones she knows well but it is mostly through physical play. How long didit take once he was fast tracked for gromits?

used2bthin Mon 17-Aug-09 13:55:37

DD has been copying me today a bit. I was saying lolly about our ice lollies, she said something that sounded like potty. So hard to tell whether she is just making a guess based on what she could make out or whether she pysically can't make the sounds.

used2bthin Mon 17-Aug-09 22:30:25

Sorry to keep bumping this up but I just had an answerphone message today from DDs SALT to say that she thinks we should stop speech therapy till DDs hearing problems are sorted. Is this normal? DD is still so far behind what she should be and I feel she needs more input now not less. I see her point if she means till the next appointment but really, it could be months and months before she has grommets (and possible hearing aid)

masonicpixiesreadthedailymail Mon 17-Aug-09 22:40:07

no used2bthin <waves hello>

I don't think that is on at all. There's loads that can be done by SALT now. Sadly I think yr message reflects lack of funding / severe shortage of SALT provision than anything else

www.ndcs.org.uk/ is worth a look. Lots of v useful tips there

Best thing I found was being aware of all the background noise and trying to cut that down where possible. We used to have tv / radio on and be trying to do stuff with dd - waste of time

agree with the use of pictures and makaton. I've a fab makaton video I can send to you if you like?

used2bthin Tue 18-Aug-09 12:52:12

Oh thank you pixies that would be fantastic. Background noise is a good point, we have a kitchen and living room in one so the washing machine is one culprit I need to maybe just put it on first thing in the morning because she also keeps getting scared at some of the noises it makes. Does anyone know are certain noises painful to children with glue ear or could it just be that she is hearing stuff but unable to pinpoint wher e it is coming from or what it is?

Right I am going to ring ndcs right now, they were helpful after the initial glue ear diagnosis so I think I will see if they've got anything locally that I can join in with or advice. I have also just phoned the SALT and left a message to say that I'm happy to wait till after the next hearing appointment but it could be months before she can actually hear so need some help in the mean time. DD actually slept well last night so I am taking advantage of not feeling sleep deprived and doing lots at once!

Runoutofideas Tue 18-Aug-09 16:38:46

My dd1 (4) has glue ear and I find she struggles much more with her hearing when we are outside - may be something to do with background noises or the air passing her ears more quickly. She really hates the noise of the vaccuum cleaner and there are certain people (generally men with deep voices) who she struggles to hear at all - saying "what did you say" after every comment. We are trying to avoid grommets as I hate the idea of putting her under a general anaesthetic.
If I were you I wouldn't let the SALT appointments lapse as the hearing problems could unfortunately go on for a while. Good luck....

hatchypom Tue 18-Aug-09 17:10:35

My DD was a late dx with profound hearing loss, so probably at the extreme but there are still some things that you need to think about - get a good listening environment (ie no background noise but also think about hard surfaces and wooden floors as these all make it harder). But unfortunately the real key is making sure that you have the best access to sound that you can, until we had this we used a combination of makaton, pictures and cued speech. Now we are focused on only a auditory/verbal approach as she now has full access. Try and avoid frustration but also give lots of time (more than you think) for a response (it may be non-verbal). We sit down at her table and focus on one toy at a time 1-1

used2bthin Tue 18-Aug-09 18:42:37

Thanks for your replies. Yes I think it would be a shame for her to miss months of speech therapy because she needs it more now than ever in a way.

My DD has medical needs which means she is more complicated for anaesthetic and she has already had two (with more to come) so I am feeling bad about the possibility of grommets and also worried that they will want to give her sedation or anaesthetic for the hearing test as I read earlier that this is sometimes what is done. But then she really really needs to catch up with speech so I will see what the next appointment brings. I thought hearing aids were sometimes used for glue ear but the paediatrician a the last appointment seemed to think that grommets were the first step. I would have thought hearing aids would be tried before a surgical procedure?

hatchypom can you explain the access to sound bit? Has your DD ot hearing aids now? I struggle to get her to sit down at the table but trying to use meal times for talking and also sometimes she will sit facing me on the sofa which seems to work ok. I findit hard to know what she understands with the hearing to take into account.

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