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Can you tell me about hearing aids, please, and how they helped your child?

(11 Posts)
mm22bys Tue 28-Oct-08 14:59:38


DS2 had a hearing test today, and after many attempts they finally were able to get full information on his hearing.

The upshot is that he has mild loss, bilaterally. He can hear to about 35 decibels.

The audiologist wants him to try bilateral hearing aids with amplification to about 30 decibels.

To me (and I have to admit I know nothing about hearing loss) it seems like a bit effort for a minor improvement. This audiologist has previously told me that we speak at about 50 decibels. and that DS2's lack of speeech could not be entirely explained by this level of loss.

DS2 has GDD, and he only has a few sounds, no words. He doesn't copy nor imitate (how do you teach a child to imitate?), and his eye contact is poor (improving though). It's been suggested he's on the autistic spectrum.

Can you reassure me please that the aids will help?


(Have also posted on the Children's Health board, but it's busier here...)

feelingbitbetter Tue 28-Oct-08 16:25:47

It'd be worth a try in my humble and entirely inexperienced opinion.
Hopefully a SALT will be along soon, they are bound to have some info. I've read a thread fairly recently about BAHAs (not the same, I know) but there are definitely Mums who can help.

mm22bys Tue 28-Oct-08 21:12:38

What are BAHAs?

feelingbitbetter Tue 28-Oct-08 21:28:50

I have bumped the thread I was talking about, in case there is any info on there for you. Think its Bone Anchored Hearing Aids - but don't quote me grin. Thread is titled 6 year old unintelligable. HTH

RaggedRobin Tue 28-Oct-08 22:57:43

hi, i teach deaf children, so i have a bit of experience with audiograms. did the audiologist show you a copy of your ds's audiogram?

here is a link showing where speech sounds are on an audiogram

as you can see, speech sounds can be seen on the 'banana' shaped area on the audiogram between 10db and 50db. depending on the 'shape' of your ds's loss on graph, he is likely to be missing some of the speech sounds. because the 30-35 db area has a lot of speech sounds in it, it could be useful for your ds to have his hearing amplified.

in the past with old analogue hearing aids, this benefit might have been offset by the hearing aid amplifying too much background noise (making everything too noisy). but newer digital aids should be programmable to amplify only the sounds that will benefit your ds.

what age is your ds? do YOU think he may be on the autistic spectrum? i'm certainly no expert, but i would have thought that the combination of gdd and mild hearing loss COULD cause difficulties with eye contact and imitation.

however, IF he is on the autistic spectrum and/or has sensory issues, he may find it difficult to tolerate the hearing aids/amplification. if this was the case, i would imagine that the audiologist would try to introduce amplification gradually.

i would say that it is worth giving it a try though. if his gdd is being compounded with a hearing loss, then the hearing aids should hopefully give him better access to speech sounds in order to help him make more sense of language.

hope this helps!

Arabica Wed 29-Oct-08 00:40:46


DD had moderate loss of 50-60 dbs before grommets were fitted and when she was last tested, audiology said her loss was down to 40db (so still a loss but milder). They think this loss is to do with the grommets being blocked on the day of the test but it could be that there is some malformation of the middle ear. Next appt we should find out for definite whether there is any residual loss.

As you know DD is not thought to be on autistic spectrum but she has got GDD (with severe speech delay).

Before the grommets were fitted she had a bone-conductor hearing aid. I would guess that this is the sort you will be offered to try. I don't think it helped DD, which is probably why we haven't had it back: she didn't show any more interest in making or responding to sounds whether she had it on or not.

I found helpful
when I wanted to learn more re deafness.

mm22bys Wed 29-Oct-08 14:39:20

Thanks for your responses.

We can just try them and see if they make a difference, I guess....I am surprised that the audiologist appears to have told me some things that aren't correct (speech at 50 decibels, his non-babbling etc not due to loss at this level, etc).


RaggedRobin Wed 29-Oct-08 20:45:38

oh, he may well be right that the non-babbling is not due to the hearing loss alone, i should have said that hearing loss compounded with gdd MAY cause difficulties with eye contact and imitation.

since i've never met your ds, it would be impossible for me to say.

i hope he finds the hearing aids useful.

mm22bys Thu 30-Oct-08 19:41:08

I actually think his non-babbling etc are indicative of a much bigger problem. I can tell he WANTS to communicate, he does seem to have trouble forming the shapes. I have looked up verbal dyspraxia and it fits, and we have FINALLY been referred to GOSH to be seen by the metabolic team- he does have complex 1 deficiency, which can exlain all his many problems. We need to be seen by the drs though to be told everything (dreading it, three weeks off...)


RaggedRobin Thu 30-Oct-08 21:33:20

does he get frustrated when he tries to communicate but can't? would makaton help? sorry if these are all things you've discussed on here before.

lots of luck with that meeting.

mm22bys Fri 31-Oct-08 07:50:43

He does get frustrated.

He doesn't sign at all, but if he wants "more" he will touch my arm. I can see he is trying to say "more", but he gets stuck on the "mmm".

He had very limited arm use for the first at least 12 months of his life, I guess that has limited his motor skills (fine and gross, he can walk but he still can't push up properly on his arms).

Thanks for the good luck wishes.

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