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DS (5) needs a hearing aid and glasses, any advice for us about how he deals with them at school?

(20 Posts)
BellaBearisWideAwake Sun 21-Apr-13 15:51:20

Hi, we found out DS1 (5yo) needs a hearing aid (just at school and because of intermittent problems caused, we think, by frequent ear infections, and only a temporary measure until he can get grommets) and glasses (he's long sighted with +1 in each eye, so just for close work)

It's coincidental that we've found out about both in the same week!

Also, he had hearing and eye tests at school last term and they didn't think he had a problem with either, but hey ho.

Anyway, has anyone had similar? Is there anything I should be doing with the school to manage how he looks after this equipment and so on? I've spoken to the class teacher who is going to get the SENCO to talk to me about the hearing aid. We only just found out about the glasses yesterday, so I will talk to her about these as well.

How will he cope with taking off and putting on glasses all the time? They are just for reading and computer work.

Will the glasses and hearing aid even fit behind his left ear?!?

I'm not really sure what I'm asking here, tbh, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed! Not that it's about me, but anyway.

I hope I've posted in the right place.

BellaBearisWideAwake Sun 21-Apr-13 16:04:52

Think I might post this in primary education as well!

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Sun 21-Apr-13 16:52:55

hi bella, my dd3 wears glasses and hearing aids. As far as hearing aids go and looking after them, audiology should explain everything when they fit them and they should refer you to a teacher of the deaf who will visit school and run through everything with them about equipment and how to make sure he is hearing as best he can and provide ongoing support if necessary. The ndcs is pretty fab and has lots of really good info about hearing, tests and support. I would hope the teacher would support him with his glasses too until he gets the hang of when to wear them.

BellaBearisWideAwake Sun 21-Apr-13 16:59:47

ok, good to know. Is this true even if it's mild hearing loss, and not all the time?

Handywoman Sun 21-Apr-13 17:04:15

My dd2 wore a hearing aid from reception and was fine. There was rarely a problem, but I would recommend someone at school, ideally someone who's in every day, is trained in how to fit the aid if it comes out getting changed for PE or some such. When she got the aid dd2 did a 'show and tell' on it, and her classmates were muchly impressed with it! She's going to start wearing another aid soon as the surgery on that ear has failed, unfortunately. Audiology will explain everything to you.

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Sun 21-Apr-13 17:05:58

he should get support from a Tod if he's wearing hearing aids in school, a lot depends on how he and the teacher get on with it all and if he's falling behind with speech at all. ToDs can have massive caseloads so it really depends on your area.

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Sun 21-Apr-13 17:08:23

audiology should also allow him to choose the colours of his hearing aids and moulds which should encourage him to wear them, you can usually put stickers on them too if he would like that.

Handywoman Sun 21-Apr-13 17:12:07

All our Tod dept did was send a leaflet. But really we got used to the hearing aid super quickly as it was such a help it just became part of our daily routine (digital aids are quite sophisticated now).

BellaBearisWideAwake Sun 21-Apr-13 17:16:17

Great, thanks! We've chosen a clear one so he can see all the machinery inside, v exciting!

BellaBearisWideAwake Sun 21-Apr-13 17:18:16

I think his speech is fine, but I have no idea how this will change things. I am a bit worried about the difference og when his hearing is better and worse - will he adjust it? Obv I will ask audiologist all of this when we pick it up.

bigbluebus Sun 21-Apr-13 18:55:13

I listen to infants read on a 1:1 basis as a volunteer. One of the things I found useful from a parent of a child who wore glasses for reading, was the fact that she wrote "Don't forget glasses" on the front of his reading packet. Then if he came to read to me and didn't have his glasses on, I could send him back to get them.

There are a couple fo children with different hearing devices in school too and the TA's have been trained by the teacher of the deaf.

BellaBearisWideAwake Sun 21-Apr-13 19:22:44

Good plan!

auntevil Sun 21-Apr-13 22:14:07

If the glasses are on and off, I would suggest getting the teacher to find a safe place for your DS to put them when he is not wearing them.
Our DCs in class put them on a shelf in the teacher's cupboard so they are safe and do not get lost. Ime, the teacher's desk is a sure fire way of them getting lost!

magso Sun 21-Apr-13 22:25:41

The glasses may need to be fitted around the hearing aid so if the glasses come first you may need to go back to adjust the fit once the hearing aid arrives.

BeeMom Mon 22-Apr-13 14:14:35

I'll admit - being a distance from the UK, I find this surprising.

Here, hearing aids are not dispensed for a "correctable" conductive loss, especially one sided, and are not ever just for school. As well, eyeglasses would not be prescribed for a +1 prescription in a child of that age (mostly because children are farsighted, and at that age the type in school is still large enough to navigate). The rationale is that by correcting them fully, they will not adequately develop the muscles that allow focus later on. With that said... perhaps I am being fed a load of lies...

Bee wears glasses, but they go on as soon as she wakes up and come off last thing before bed. When she first got hers prescribed, the optician asked if she had hearing aids as well, as apparently they are best fitted together.

Bee's friends have hearing aid "leashes" that attach the aids to their collar in case they fall out/get pulled out. There may well be a bit of fiddling to get the glasses and hearing aid to fit well together. Make sure you check the skin behind your DS's ear daily as pressure sores are unfortunately not uncommon, especially when both glasses and hearing aids are tucked into that little space...

BellaBearisWideAwake Mon 22-Apr-13 18:16:25

I'm just going by what I am being told by the audiologist and by the optician

BeeMom Mon 22-Apr-13 19:33:11

Sorry, Bella - I am not doubting you a bit, just commenting how different things are from one place to another. Frankly, if a technology is available that will support a child and keep them from falling further behind, I think keeping it from them is irresponsible. Sadly, what I think doesn't matter a hill of beans here in Canada.

You might find that currently your DS doesn't feel his eyesight is hindered enough to actually be compliant with the eyeglasses (the on and off for a young child can be more trouble to them than the vision challenge). With Bee, we were told that if she refuses to wear her glasses to let her go without for a while. She will either put them back on if she needs them or manage without them.

For Bee (her prescription is +6.75 in her better eye, but she is under-corrected.... she should actually be a +8) she tried to go without them one day, and walked into her door frame before she even left her room... she decided she would rather wear her glasses. However, her opthalmologist insists that if she wants to go without, not to let it be a power struggle.

I hope your DS adjusts quickly to both and his hearing improves once he can get to grommets to the point that he doesn't require the hearing aid any more...

Sorry if I offended you - it definitely wasn't my intention.

BellaBearisWideAwake Mon 22-Apr-13 19:46:49

NOt offended! Got a bit worried - already I worry the school will think I'm being neurotic as they haven't picked up either issue! I was a bit surprised about the glasses, it was just a routine appt. the optician said all kids are long sighted but he was more than normal. We'll see how he goes. With the hearing aid, my biggest concern is that his hearing loss is up and down, so how will he adjust when he hasn't got a problem? I'll ask the audiologist all this when we go to pick it up. It's only for school as she wanted him to have time without it to avoid his ear getting hot and sweaty and therefore more likely to get infected, and school is hwere there is more background noise to disturb his hearing.

magso Mon 22-Apr-13 19:54:05

I wonder if the glasses are just the difference between the average long sightedness of 5 year olds and his full amount, so he is not working extra hard but still has some to overcome IYSWIM. Must be a shock to you getting both the same day!

BellaBearisWideAwake Mon 22-Apr-13 20:02:08

It was a bit of a surprise! thanks re advice on fitting both

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