Hearing management

Posted by: mOMMY | 2007/08/24


Language Delay in 4 year old

My little 4 year old girl has a language delay and is going for speech therapy. The therapist has assessed her and she has the vocabulary of a 5 year old and she can also make sentences according to her age. Her biggest problem lies with semantics - when she has to tell a story or repeat a more difficult story. The therapist has also suggested that we take her for a hearing test. I have made an appointment, but am wondering about the whole thing a lot. She hears the softest of noises easily and we have never picked up that she cannot hear well. She has a fantastic sense for rhythm en also takes ballet and music. Not one of these teachers has picked up that she has a problem with hearing? Do you think a hearing test is in this case a good suggestion.

Expert's Reply


Hearing Expert

Dear Mom

I think it is always a good idea to have a child's hearing evaluated regularly, especially at this age where she will probably be going to pre-school soon. It is always best to rule out all possibilities. The test itself is enjoyable for most children and seems more like play than testing.

It is a good thing that you have scheduled the hearing evaluation - please let me know if you need any further information after the evaluation.

Kind regards
Izabelle Pieterse

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user comments


Posted by: Maria | 2007/08/27

Hi there

No problem about the questions, I've been asking a lot of questions myself! We found out about the problem when a grommet was recently removed from my daughter's right ear. When she came out of the theatre the ear was blocked with gauze and she was frantic, crying that she couldn't hear. That's how we realised that the left ear doesn't work. We had her evaluated by an audiologist, a second ENT and a speech therapist. I've also spoken to a neurological paedatrician who evaluated her last year for balance problems and a habit of pulling her mouth skew sometimes when she talks.

She is fluent in both English and Afrikaans, with an above average vocabulary. The speech therapist says she has a problem with phonics (e.g. hearing different syllables), but this is not related to the hearing loss. We may do some speech therapy for that next year if necessary.

I have been very frustrated with this whole process as none of the professionals seem to have the full picture and they don't explain things to you. I've been guided by a friend who is an occupational therapist and it was she who told me to go to the speech therapist.

We are not getting a hearing aid now, as the experts agree that she has adapted well. We will get her good ear tested twice a year and reevaluate the decision about hearing aids if she ever seem to struggle in school. The paedatrician feels we should do a MRI brainscan to see if there is any "damage" in the area of her brain where the left audiotory nerve ends up, as this is also where balance is controlled.

That was a long story, don't know if it helped you at all! I suggest you also post to the parenting forum as people there have had experience of all kinds of things and can offer further advice.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Mommy | 2007/08/27

Hi Maria
Thanx for your reply. Does your little girl also have a speech problem and if so what exactly is the problem with her speech - can she say all words properly or is her problem also only sentences? What has happened after she was diagnosed with a hearing problem? Does she have to wear a hearing aid or how is her problem treated? Sorry for all the questions, but I am so worried about all the what if's. I have made the appointment for the hearing test and also feel that we have nothing to loose, but my mind is also telling me what if she has a problem that we also have not picked up?

Reply to Mommy
Posted by: Maria | 2007/08/26

Having her hearing tested cannot do any harm. We recently found out that our 5 year old is completely deaf in her one ear and has possibly been deaf from birth, yet nobody realised it. However I agree with you that hearing loss probably does not explain the semantics problem. What does your paedatrician say?

Reply to Maria

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