Thursday, June 07, 2007


La La La, I Can't HEAR You!

But fortunately my kid can.

My daughter has had hearing problems for a few months. I guess it's more than that actually, because in Kindergarten when they did the hearing tests for the whole school she "failed". We knew she could hear perfectly well but The Gorgon (who is retiring this year, thank the FSM, and we are not going to her retirement party or buying her another $200 present) said that she had to go get tested again and really got it all up in her Kool-Aid when we delayed for a month or two. We took her into the Hearing Centre and they tested her and she could hear everything just fine.

But over the last few months we've been noticing that's she's turning the TV up way too loud, and she's asking us to repeat things far too often, so it was time to do something about it.

I took her to the doc a few weeks ago after E had had a couple of "sore ears" (easily resolved by some Children's Advil) and the doc said that she had a little wax buildup but nothing big enough to cause deafness. She suggested we go to the Hearing Testing Centre and I said no, that's where they said she could hear OK and she can't so we have to go see someone else.

So they sent her to a specialist.

Ben took her to the ENT specialist yesterday. Apparently he's way cool and talked to E for quite some time and then said to Ben that with her extensive vocabulary and interactive skills it was clear there was no biological problem. ie, the kid wasn't deaf or in any way cognitively disabled.

He looked in her right ear and it was fine, but in the left there was some fluid behind the eardrum, which caused it to be unable to vibrate fully.

He said it wasn't a big dealie but she was a little deaf in that one ear, and that these things often resolve themselves. We're going to take her back in August and if the fluid is still there he'll make a hole in the eardrum and put a tube in to drain it, but he didn't want to do so yet if it wasn't urgent.

We've been working on her focusing and concentration, as she's easily distracted but, as with many bright kids, she's easily bored in school and plays up when her attention isn't caught.

I told her teacher today that she was ok in her right ear and could hear fairly well in her left ear but if she was speaking on the left side she'd have to speak up. I didn't have the heart to tell her that half of the "deafness" was that she was just bored and that Mrs. A would have to work on being more interesting.

She's a really good teacher but she has to play to the whole crowd, you know? The "no child left behind" dealie touted by Mr. Bush, (although he's not our fearless leader, thank fuck) also translates to the "no child gets ahead" dealie.

We can't afford private school, and we can't afford to homeschool, so I guess we'll just bumble through as best we can.

But at least I know now, she's not deaf. She's just ignoring me.

I guess I have to work on being more interesting too *g*

In my experience (and it ain't much, granted), bright kids with interested adults in their corner will be fine... private schools, home schooling and all that be damned.

Please don't get any more interesting. I'd have to quit my job and maybe follow you like a Phish groupie.
Hey, have you ever heard of sensory integration? It sounds like the hugest load of horseshit but we found there is a lot of truth to it. Our oldest and our youngest both have had occupational therapy for it and it helped tremendously. Basically it has to do with the child's processing of all the data and stimuli that come in. Sometimes a child can be oversensitive to noise, thus tuning it out (i.e. your kid doesn't seem to hear what you say to her) and sometimes undersensitive (i.e. needing louder than usual stimulation). PM me if you want, but it might explain why the hearing is physically in good shape but maybe the processing needs work.
Boychild's on his second set of ear tubes, basically for the same reason. It takes 'em about 15 seconds to recover from the procedure, and the change is instant, and really, really good. Hopefully things'll clear up on their own so you won't need it, but just in case, there's my two cents.
first, regarding the niddy noddy, I tried to post yesterday but i was brain dead. So, does it make a difference if it is a right handed or left handed niddy noddy? What if you are on the other side of the world, such as Australia, where everything is upside down ?No wonder this is so hard for my poor brain.Second, smart kids ansd slow teachers have always been a problem, if you kid doesn't fit in the box they don't know what to do.
If the fluid buildup is untreated and persists, there can be permanant hearing loss. My daughter lost 85% of her hearing due to chronic ear infections. The fluid can destroy the nerve endings in the ear.

She had tubes put in 3 times, but the damage had already been done.

Keeping my fingers crosses for E...

S in Tulsa
Oh, my gosh, you caught me completely offguard with that "no child gets ahead" comment. Very funny, and a little sad, because we've got the same problems. Can't afford private schools, and I don't have the patience for home schooling. Your daughter sounds like a dear, though, and maybe next year you'll get a teacher that can challenge her. *crossing fingers*
Pretty much all the teachers I have talked to here in the Land of W would agree with you on the "no child gets ahead" assessment. But with a mother as smart and interesting and funny as you, I think E will be just fine. (No, I'm not brown-nosing, though if there's any of your hand-dyed yarn you feel like getting rid of, let me know.)
I used to work at an ENT's office in high school and college and I actually made the tubes for this. (You take what looks like a roll of aquarium tubing, snip off a very short piece and hold each end up to a bunsen burner or alcohol lamp to flare out the ends.) They are about this big (actual size): |---|
Totally not a big deal. It's done in the office for adults, even. Kids have it done in hospital because they can't sit absolutely still or are too scared. The only time I ever saw a kid have a problem with them was when the parent didn't bring the kid back for the followup visits. When it's time for the tubes to come out the ENT just has to grab them with a pair of tweezers and pick them more painful than cleaning your ear with a Q-tip. However, when the parents didn't want to "waste their time with all these 5 minute appointments" to see if the tubes were ready to come out, then they come back 6 months later (instead of 6 weeks) the dr really had to pull to get the tube out which really made the poor kid's ear hurt.

On the other hand, it is very possible that E's ear will resolve on its own (mine did) and make tubes unneccesary. But don't hesitate to have it done if it really is needed.
Ha, your E reminds me a lot of my son C, very similar profile. I test his hearing from time to time with the word "fudge." :)

We came close to the tubes thing with both kids. Lots of ear infections, and I wish they'd just gone ahead and done it. I have friends that got it done and the deafness cleared up instantly. Maybe you can push on it a bit (I know you're capable of that, lol).

Hey! my word verification is rfuqk, what the fuck?
That's not just kids. My great gran was mostly deaf, until someone said in a perfectly normal way "Does anyone want a drink?". The answer came fast enough then... Normally gin!

I was in state school all the way through, with that whole 'you're bright so we can ignore you' thing. Doesn't seem to have hurt too much. I done ok... :-)
My nephews have both had 2 sets of tubes (grommets, we call them here in Australia) - it is really important to get these done. A lot of times the kids won't even mention that their ears are sore, so it's important to be sure and ask them :)

I've also had troubles with this myself and in fact am one doctors visit away from having my own set of tubes put in. Mine got really bad a few years ago and I didn't even realise it myself, it wasn't until I was having a lot of dizziness that my doctor spotted what was going on. He prescribed some over the counter medication called Bisolvon (in Australia, not sure what they call it elsewhere) that helped dry the ears up. I'd taken two doses by the time I got back to work, I put my headset on and almost deafened myself - I had not noticed that I'd been turning the volume up and up. And all of a sudden I could hear birds outside chirping.

Kids who have ear infections are the ones who cry on planes from the minute the door is shut till the plane lands. That's because pressurization makes an ear infection a lot more painful. If the ear infection is bad enough the eardrum can actually rupture. A menthol inhaler can unblock the ears instantly, it's worth carrying one if you have kids and are travelling. <--- this company makes a product called Bren-Clear which is sort of like an alcohol swab only it is menthol, you hold it under the kids nose and when they breathe in it clears the tubes, it's great for planes.

My sister had this problem for much of her life and it wasn't diagnosed until she was 10, at which point the school was thinking she might be dyslexic. It wasn't that, it was because she couldn't hear very well and she was in a school with large open spaces where sounds came from all directions. Once she had the tubes, she could hear but a lot of damage in her learning had already been done, she'd missed some vital stuff.
Keeping my fingers crossed for E. #2 had tubes put in his ears when he was tiny guy and all his problems cleared up instantly.

Dude, you got lots of stalkers now!
I have this as well. The problem is that there is only so much they know about the ear so their main plan is wait and see. It's caused a 30% reduction in hearing and balance in one ear. They kind of go together, so don't be surprised if she's at dance class and falls over. I couldn't spin in class, unless toppling people over like dominos is a good thing.
I hope E does ok. I'm glad you got a good ENT.
When my son was only 7 years old he told the baby sitter's husband who had asked why he never listened, "The way I see life is, you hear what you want to hear." ... Good God, this was a 7 year old talking.

At least your daughter's hearing loss may not be permanent.
I can't hear La, either.
My neice, who has had about a bazillion of those tubes and repeat surgeries and many tests that always say she hears fine, talks like a kid that never heard well (she's 12!). But you are clearly brighter than my bro and SIL (who back when the kid was little didn't pursue any suggestions that she wasn't hearing quite right) good luck! Hope it's just a little thing. And are you in a big enough place that they have a gifted and talented program? They don't id the kids as such here until 4th grade, but the gt teacher started seeing them in kindergarten. Yeah, rub it in about not being in shrub country...
Marin's right. You go getting more interesting, and the GNP of Shrub's country will go way down, what with us quitting our jobs and following you, nomadlike, all over lovely Canada. No one wants that. Well, perhaps you do...

(Sorry about the hearing thing. Upsetting.) :(
Jee wizzlekers you got such a U-Hill 'tude...
Just get in line and plod along.
Stop thinking that you or your kid are so special...

Yeah whatever, if you can't go back to the Hill Home School at Home every day anyhow!!! (oh yeah, and teach the kid to not let on that she's so smart -- it really pisses off the stupid kids and they are such nasty assholes and the "teachers" [tea suckers} have to work too hard and don't feel that "they" are the smart ones and and and and....)
Home School after school anyhow -- its fun to watch your kid grow regardless of the stupidity of the "system".
She's probably more bored like you said. No kid hears their parents.
They told me MHP was blind in one eye, so we took him to 3 different eye specialists.

He got bored in the middle of every test and started to make up letters to see what would happen.

Then we went through the same thing with the hearing testing.

This is the kid who is 7 and reads at a 5th grade level. And they try and tell me he's not gifted.

*ahem* I will step down off of this box now.

When are you coming down to visit??
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