DS1 is 22 months and has a speech delay. A few days ago he finally got in to see the audiologist for a hearing test (after waiting 5 months). Apparently he has fluid in one ear but he passed the hearing test ok. Is it just me or does that sound contradictory? I'm not convinced with these results but am not sure if I'm being paranoid.
Let me explain. Firstly I thought the hearing test was pretty easy to fluke. DS and I sat in a booth and the audiologist made noises come from speakers on either side of us. Slightly after the noises a toy below the speaker would flash. To me, it seemed that DS would turn more when the toys flashed rather than when the sound was made. Secondly, the observation window was right above the speaker on the side of DS1 which was filled with fluid and DS2 was being held by the audiologist and crying so DS1 kept wanting to look that way to see him. It would have been pretty easy for DS1 to look that way to see his brother just as a sound was made.
The audiologist put DS1 on the list to go back in 3-4 months to see if the fluid is still there. She said he could be coming down with a cold or it could be from his last cold (2 months ago) or it could be more of an issue. TBH I'm so sick of waiting. I just want to know if we need to take this further and get a referral to an ENT now. Apparently an ENT only comes to our town every 2 months so if we wait 4 months for the retest and then get referred we are looking at at least 6 months before we see the ENT.
What do you think? Should I go to the GP and ask for a referral now? Would fluid in one ear cause a speech delay? I'm just so confused and worried about DS1.
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11-05-2013 09:56 #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
- The Great Southern of WA
Searching for answers to speech delay
11-05-2013 10:17 #2
The toy thing is supposed to light up as a reward for the child turning. To be honest sounds like the test they performed is a bit unreliable and I'd be making that appt with the GP for the ENT referral so that I didn't have to wait.
Yes conductive hearing loss in one ear can lead to speech delay. Yes if the fluid is a frequent occurrence it can have an ongoing effect. If you made an appointment with a speech pathologist and told them about the inconclusive hearing test they'd send you back to the GP for the ENT referral, as well as do informal testing to see the extent of the speech delay.
Sounds to me like you know what you want to do in this situation, so talk to your GP and get appointments made
11-05-2013 10:48 #3
Agreed, just go see the speech pathologist, they will work with your child whether they have fluid in their ear or not.
Fluid in the ear can be very transient (e.g. There one week, gone the next), the usual criteria for grommet surgery, which is what the ENT would do, is 6 ear infections within 6-12 months or a persistent moderate hearing loss.
Give that your son should have at least normal hearing in his other ear, I wouldn't think that could be the sole cause of his language delay. So even with grommets, I'd be heading off for some ideas from a speech pathologist on how to get his language progressing.
11-05-2013 11:00 #4
My nephew had a speech delay. They didn't pick up the cause until after he was 2. He had blocked inner-ears probably since birth so had spent his whole life listening to muffled noises. He's seven now and has been fine since the problem was found and fixed up.
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11-05-2013 18:50 #5
My ds had fluid in his ears for 6+ months constantly - every time he saw the Paed (which was quite often) or the GP. He had mildly abnormal hearing tests that the Audiologist said weren't too bad and shouldn't be affecting speech. The Paed wasn't happy though and said we needed to see an ENT anyway and we did. He got grommets a few days later and suddenly he started babbling (he was 15 months) and he had 2 new words in the first 24 hours and we didn't look back from there.
The ENT does some ear tests in his rooms too, even with the Audiologist report. I would get a referral to the ENT and get seen ASAP. Even if all that happens is that the ENT says that it's all ok and you don't need to worry.
My dd isn't much of a talker and up until 2 weeks ago only had 2 words - Mum & Dad (at 19 months). Her hearing tests have been perfect. So, we were going down the speech pathology pathway and I booked an appt, then she started saying new words. She's got another 5 words in the last 2 weeks! Crazy baby! Great timing though, saved me a lot of money!
Hope you get some answers soon.
11-05-2013 19:30 #6
My DS has had a profound speech delay. He did a hearing test like the one you described when he was about 2.5 and a follow up second one a few months later (standard practice). His hearing was fine.
We held out hope for a long time that he would catch up but he just never did. At aged 3 years 2 month he started speech therapy. At that age he had a vocab of about 20 words. I remember his first speech therapy session the therapist was playing a game and trying to get him to say "pop" and "bubble". His word for "bubble" was "bbbb" (as in the sound of the letter "b"). He did weekly speech therapy for about 4 months which helped enormously but he was still very behind. At that point I had just had DD and we were a single income house and couldn't afford weekly ST so we opted for fortnightly ST for a while. Long story short we weren't able to continue due to financial reasons but we got a new GP just before DS turned 4 after jumping through a couple of hoops we got about 14 months of medicare funded, fortnightly ST and 5 medicare subsidised ST sessions per calendar year. DS is 6 next month and although is still behind in his speech has come on in massive leaps in the last 18 months.
He has no other behavioural or medical issues although there was a query where he might be ASD but that's been ruled out now. It's rare that a child can have such a profound speech delay (he simply didn't talk which affected his understanding and comprehension of the world) and have no other issues. He starts some more ST on Monday so I must ask his ST if she has ever come across a similar case.
11-05-2013 20:03 #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2013
Did they put the test thingy in his ear to measure the pressure inside the ear to determine whether he had fluid in one ear? (yes I have extremely specialised hearing tool speak!)
My son sat the hearing test around that age and passed and then sat another one later down the track at 3 1/2 through an ENT specialist and ended up with grommets. If your son has already been noted to have fluid build up in one ear then that may well be the same sort of path you may be heading down.
My son had only ever had one ear infection and that was just before we got referred to the ENT, but had a history of speech delay and had been seeing a speech pathologist since about 26 months. (not long after the first hearing test as that cancelled out hearing as an issue and just focussed us on speech).
Since he had the grommets inserted his speech has massively improved. You wouldn't really have known he wasn't even speaking more than a handful of words without major hard work a couple of years ago (he is now 4 1/2).
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