I sat in on one of my son’s speech therapy sessions last week. I don’t observe them every week, because I am a distraction for my autism child. My son’s therapist has been working with him on lip reading. My son can hear in his right ear, but a lot of hearing has been lost in his left ear. We both thought that he was having trouble hearing some sounds. Or he could hear them, but had trouble making out what it is.
For instance, there are some letters that sound the same. When I was watching my son in therapy, I noticed he would have trouble with letters like “p” and “b”. They are similar in sound, and hard for him to distinguish which one he is hearing. My son would have to look at the therapist’s mouth to see what letter she was saying.
I am so lucky to have a speech therapist that really understands how to work with a child with autism. She is so patient, and really breaks things down in a way that he can understand. They have made a lot of progress. When she told me that she was having him look at her mouth to see what letter she was pronouncing, it made sense. I had noticed that my son would look at me when he was confused by something I said. I would repeat myself slowly, and he would watch. Then he would react, whether it was to do something or to stop doing something.
My son is scheduled for his ear surgery next month. I am hoping it will improve his hearing. Having an autism child is difficult at times. For me, the hardest part is watching him struggle and get frustrated when he isn’t able to do something. The idea that his hearing will continue to be such a huge problem for him breaks my heart.
It’s not the end of the world. Whatever happens, we will deal with it. My son has been living with the reduction of hearing for awhile now, and is adapting. It’s not easy, I can tell, but he is such a remarkable boy. He has learned how to adapt the world to fit his needs. I just wish that he didn’t have to.