Hearing Loss In Autistic ChildAutism Mom Blog

Hearing Loss In Autistic Child

It’s been a difficult time for my family.  My daughter is scheduled for ear surgery.  She has a cyst in her ear that needs to be removed.  My son had a tube removed yesterday, and an ABR.  An ABR is a hearing test that they were able to do while he was asleep.  My autistic son had one done when he was younger, and it showed a slight hearing loss in his right ear.

This time, the test showed that and a moderate to severe hearing loss in his left ear.  The doctor also found an obstruction in his eardrum. She doesn’t know what it is.  It could just be a cyst, or it could be something else.  We have to schedule a scan to find out.  Because my son won’t be able to sit through a scan, he’ll have to be asleep for it.

I am scared.  I am holding it together, for my kids.  I am handling this as best as I can.  I have to be strong for my son.  I am worried about him.  He has had such a hard time of it, and I hate that he is going through this.  I can tell that he is in pain, and that breaks my heart.  I wish I could make this easier for him.

We need to discuss getting a hearing aid for my son.  I just don’t think that he would allow that.  I don’t think that he would keep one in.  He might, over time, get used to wearing one.  If we end up getting one for him.  I want to wait until the obstruction is diagnosed, and know for sure if the hearing loss is permanent.  This is going to be a process. I will take it one day at a time.

There is some good news.  My son is getting better with sign language.  He has been learning and signing a new word each week.  It’s great to be able to communicate with him in this manner.  My daughter is learning the signs, too.   I have a sign language book, and we have all been learning some basic signs.

Things are changing.  Some good and some bad.  Through it all, my family has stayed strong.  We have supported each other, and are closer.  Together, we can handle anything.  The holidays are coming.  I’m worried about Christmas this year.  Each year, it’s a struggle to provide my children with what they want.  Now that they are both getting older, their Christmas wish list gets more expensive.  I’ve depended heavily on relatives to provide some of the items on their list.  Right now, the only thing I want for Christmas is for both of my kids to be healthy.

4 comments to Hearing Loss In Autistic Child

  • Keep the sign language going and if possible, get writing, drawing and pictures (and computers) working as a means of communication. If that works well, then it’s ipod/android or tablet-phone time.

    Please don’t go down the hearing aid track. They’re *VERY* uncomfortable and provide little (if any) benefit. You’ll also find that reduced hearing is actually a plus for people with autism as it cuts down on one of their biggest sensory issues.

    Having started out with hearing aids and stopping after 10 years, then restarting (briefly) after another 20, I can tell you that the technology has gone backwards. They’re now far more expensive and far less useful than they ever were.

    I wouldn’t wish one on my worst enemy.

    My thoughts are with you at this difficult time. I hope everything works out well.

    Gavin.
    Gavin Bollard recently posted..Book Review: "Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew" (Updated and Expanded Edition)

    • Tammy

      Thanks, Gavin. I really don’t want to do a hearing aid for my son. I think he would completely hate it, and would not wear it. He is still hearing us when we talk to him. The first time it was suggested that he get a hearing aid, we instantly decided not to. The slight hearing loss actually helped him. He has super sensitive ears. Now, I am just not sure how much he is hearing. But, I do know my son. He would not respond well to being introduced to a hearing aid. Right now, I’m more focused on finding out what the obstruction is. The doctor wants us to talk to someone about a hearing aid. I feel that it is a discussion that should wait. One step at a time. The obstruction might be causing the hearing loss, and it might be something that can be fixed. We won’t know until after the scan is done. Until I know exactly what is going on, there will be no discussion about a hearing aid. Why put my son through something that he might not need? Especially when I know we won’t be able to get him to wear one.

  • Dotcomkari

    Tammy, I am deaf and wear hearing aids in both ears. They are not uncomfortable at all in fact I barely notice them. They do help, without them I hear nothing…I am profound in left and severe in right. Right I get a great gain, left just static..but it’s better then nothing….my personal opinion.

    • Tammy

      I think it would be great if my son would wear them. But he is so sensitive about his ears. After the repair work is done, and his hearing is tested, we will talk with his doctor about them. If she thinks he needs them, we will try. It’s better to try to get him to wear them, and fail, then not try at all.

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