Thursday, October 11, 2012

Adventures in Audiology

We finally took Reagan in for her hearing test.  Her tubes made an obvious difference in her hearing, however they so far have not seemed to make much of a difference in her speech as of yet.  Now we don't really know if that is because she just hasn't been ready to learn how to talk (until the last couple of weeks anyway)  or because she still can't hear our words clearly.  And of course being a typical two year old she does not always listen when I talk to her....I think....or can she not hear me?  I lean toward the former, but don't want to assume that to the detriment of her speech development.  So, her hearing test today.  It was a behavioral hearing test and I so wish I had video of her because she was simply adorable during it.  In this kind of hearing test you are in a sound proof room and the audiologist speaks from different directions at different volumes and activates toys/lights from a different room.  She said "hi Reagan" from the right and Reagan swung right around looking for the voice and saying hi back.  Then she called "Reagan" from the left, and over to the left Reagan looks with her adorable little voice "yessh".  Then after a bit little miss smarty pants starting looking to the other side in anticipation of the switch.  She heard and "talked back"  pretty well to the voice cues,  responding to a fairly low volume.  She did not however show any movement or interest in the higher pitch warble cues.  Is this due to an inability to hear them?  Or the fact that they are boring and she is two?  I'm thinking a bit of both.  We also observed that she seemed to respond more quickly on the right hand side in isolating the sound than the left (and I have long) thought her hearing was better on the right hand side.  The audiologist told me that the difficulty in placing the sound is an indication of sensory (nerve) hearing loss.  She also mentioned that children with heart defects also have a greater chance of sensory loss. So after this test we can determine that she can hear and much, much better than she could big surprise there, but we still are not sure if there is any sensory loss.  We will therefore be having a non-sedated sleeping ABR test (really cool science experiment looking test with lots of wires on her head) done in the next few weeks to determine exactly where her hearing is at.  She is not likely to need hearing aids in the long run, but at this stage of her speech development, we want to give her every advantage she needs to learn properly so we are looking forward to solid answers.  In the meantime I'm still going to blame her not listening on her very typical two-ness. :)

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