15 month mild glue ear, but been told this doesn't affect speech or understanding at this age?

(8 Posts)
spaghettisue Tue 27-Jan-15 11:47:26

Okay, I am a little stressed!

My 15 month old ds didn't babble (in consonants) till 12 months, and then only said 'ga ga ga' sound. He is beginning now with other, usually in distinct consonants, today I heard a clear m m m m. He's been doing lots of vowel sounds since a few months old.

He doesn't show any understanding of such things as ' where's your juice? Etc, even though I have always talked to him. My husband says he does understand no, though most of the time he ignores this.

I had him seen by a paediatrician at the hospital 2 months ago who said he was developing normally.

ASD has always been in the back of my mind for a while, though I was temporarily reassured by the paediatrician. He doesn't wave or point or clap. He is very much into doing his own thing - he will spend ages emptying cupboards etc.

BUT, that aside, I find it hard to see the ASD if it is there, apart from in what he is NOT doing iyswim. He is very sociable, he loves to see his brother and sister, he is permanently 4 feet away from me - wherever I go, he follows and plays there. He has good eye contact, he responds to his name. He is beginning to bring things to show me.

When I say to him 'come back' (usually when he has got up in middle of nappy change!) he often laughs and runs away, as if it's a joke, and then comes back laughing. So maybe that shows a little understanding?

But to get back to my heading, he was seen in audiology this morning, after having been referred by HV When not babbling at 12 months. Though I know he can hear, he turns around if you cough!! He didn't respond very well to the hearing test, he wasn't interested enough they said.

The person doing the test said that he DOES have mild glue ear, but that in children his age and younger that generally doesn't affect babbling and understanding as it's just quieter sounds they struggle to hear, and we usually speak to babies in a louder voice etc.

I would appreciate others' views on this, and anything else I have written, f only to give me a bit of reassurance that he won't probably end up never understanding with a huge struggle in life ahead ( the stressed side of me coming out there).

I would appreciate anybody's input.

OP’s posts: |
Bilberry Tue 27-Jan-15 13:48:34

Glue ear is very common in children and normally goes after a couple of months. A one-off episode of mild glue ear is unlikely to have any long term effect. If the hospital were concerned they should have arranged a retest in about three months time. All of my dc have had glue ear from time to time. We realised my dds had it when they stopped responding to our normal voices when I would have expected them to and had to turn the TV right up. For both of them, it resolved before we got the audiology appointments a few months later and had no lasting effect. My ds however, had ongoing glue ear and had grommets. He also has delayed/disordered speech and now goes to a language unit. Glue ear probably didn't help but I don't think was the sole cause of his speech difficulties. He never babbled.

Children develop at different rates so unless the doctors had major concerns they would probably adopt a watchful waiting approach at the moment; i.e. they would see him again in a few months time and see how he has developed since the last appointment. I therefore monitor him yourself and ask to see the health visitor again in maybe another couple of months and if still concerned then get re-referred. I wouldn't leave it much more than a couple of months though as referrals take some time. Having said that, go with your gut if you have more concerns.

spaghettisue Tue 27-Jan-15 20:19:32

Bilberry, thanks for your reply.

I think the glue ear is going to be kept an eye upon at the hospital.

Can I ask how old your ds is now, and how his speech and understanding is now? It is mainly my ds's lack of understanding that I am worried about.

I feel I am spending all my time worrying about him, rather than enjoying him sadly.

OP’s posts: |
Bilberry Wed 28-Jan-15 00:16:31

My ds is now 5. At his two-year check they were looking for 50 words (though you will find most of these appear after 18 months). 'Words' are recognisable sounds with a consistent meaning - not necessarily real words! My ds had five or six. He still has significant problems with speech but understanding is fairly normal. As a toddler he wouldn't respond to his name. He also, like a lot of toddlers, considered 'no' a challenge, to be ignored, or confirmation that something was fun and would get mums attention quickly!

In terms of what you could do to help if he does have a problem the answer is play! Speak in short sentences. Offer choices rather than open questions eg.' Car or bricks?', narrate his play (not incessantly!), read together. You probably do this fairly naturally anyway.

Poltergoose on here often links to some fact files from Somerset (I think) they would be good to look at for your developmental concerns. Sorry I don't have the link!

Nicholas86 Sat 03-Aug-19 13:36:58


I know this is an old post, I'm just wondering what the outcome was for your child @ spaghettisue. I've been looking through some posts on glue ear. I'm kind of experiencing a similar things with my 21 mo son. Whenever I speak to a HV they said it's not so much hid pack of speech at the moment, it's the understanding. He us slowly starting to some instructions, today he gave me his shoes when I asked and kissed a baby when I asked him but that's about it at this time. We are currently waiting for a retest of his hearing. This will be the 2nd one.

I'm just very concerned his understanding isn't the same as his peers and that the trouble with his ears are causing the difficulties with his understanding. He rarely responds to his name.

How did things turn out for you? I'm kind of driving myself crazy thinking about it.

Thanks in advance

MoccaIceCream Mon 05-Aug-19 05:15:22

glue ear can be a red herring though.

DD has glue ear at that age and not much speech and little to no understanding. I desperately wanted it to be glue ear (rather than being autism or LDs). we got grommets in the end but nothing changed. Yes she had glue ear (pretty bad according to ENT) but she also had ASD and learning difficulties. it's not always one or the other. it may be both.

Iwhar Sun 24-Jan-21 10:53:11

@Nicholas86 Hello, wondering how is your DS doing if you could update if possible? I am also in pretty much the same situation like you were a couple of yesrs back& I am also very concerned. Many thanks.

Nicholas86 Sat 30-Jan-21 20:27:08

Hi there, sorry for the late reply. So DS is just over 3 years old now. He only really started to say single words of April 2020, he is now undergoing the early stages of SLT. He is doing much better and picking up new words everyday. He isn't as far ahead as his peers but he is progressing, just in his own time. I'm trying to remain positive and celebrating the little victories. He is still lacking some social and communication skills but we are doing the best we can to try and support this. I know it's so difficult to not worry and I worry everyday but I remember someone telling me to think of all the positive things they can do instead of concentrating on what they can't. It does keep me on those tough days when your mind is in overload. DS does understand things but if he doesn't want to do it or listen he will not, I'm not sure if he is extra stubborn or if there us more to it but I am seeking support through speech therapist which is was referred to from his 2 year check and I guess I will cross any bridge I csme across when we get there. All the best. Msg anytime you need to chat smile

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