Monday, August 4, 2008

Airshows and Hearing Aids

We went to our local airshow this weekend, which created a new question in my mind. Airshows are loud- is Nolan better off with his hearing aids on, or off? His aids should compress sounds that are too loud, so I left them on in the hopes they would act as protection for his residual hearing. This is definitely a question to ask our audiologist!

We have another hearing test on Thursday, which always creates a little anxiety on the mommy front. He seems to have lost a little hearing since his initial ABR, so I don't know if he'll be stable this time around or not. He seems to be responding to my voice at about the same level, so hopefully his audiogram hasn't changed. I still dread sitting in the sound booth, silently willing my little boy to look at the dancing puppy when those beeps and boops are played.

I also received Matt's official testing report. He is a full 3 standard deviations behind his peers in articulation. The good news is that our speech therapist thinks we can fix the consonant deletion issues fairly easily. The incorrect vowel sounds might be a tad harder to fix, though.

I have found a new (old) book series that Matthew LOVES. Richard Scarry's "Biggest Word Book Ever" and his "Cars and Trains and Things that Go" get Matthew talking like nothing else. I remember these books from my childhood, and Matthew is obsessed with them. The cars and trains one has a little yellow bug to find on each page, and Matt loves this activity. There are a ton of words that appear in these books that aren't in our everyday conversation, such as "smokestack," "squiggly," and "toll booth." I highly recommend these books to anyone with a 2-3 year old boy with a love of vehicles!


Anonymous said...

Nolan is getting so big! And he's as cute as can be with his little earmolds.

Ethan has the trucks and cars Richard Scarry book and loves it!

Julie said...

Hi Leah,

I was just reading back through some of your posts... getting "oriented". :0)

What a great pair of boys you have! I LOVE having boys. I always say that God knew I couldn't cope with Barbie and all her little pink accessories. But boys, I can deal with.

Our Tate is functionally completely deaf in his left ear, and moderate-to-severely impaired in his right. Still doing well enough with aids so that we're not looking at cochlear implants yet, but keeping that on the horizon.

Kudos to you for being aware of Nolan's loss from an earlier age. Tate wasn't diagnosed until he was 3 1/2... we just missed the implementation of infant testing at the hospital by a few months, apparently.

When we are at really loud events (which is RARE!) Tate will usually turn his HA off, so it functions as an ear plug. But you're right, they should 'compress' the loud noises anyway.

Oh, I can so sympathize with you, sitting in the sound booth hoping and praying he will respond, that he HEARS the sounds. My prayer is that he can always hear me say "I love you"!

I didn't scroll down through your blog-roll. Are you pretty well connected with other families with HoH kids?

We're more in "the hearing world", but try to keep Tate exposed to the deaf community. We've been taking a sign language class (due to Tate's IEP) through our local school, although we are now homeschooling.

I'm sure you know that you are in for a lot of work. You will always be Nolan's (and Matt's) best advocate. You know them and love them better than any of the professionals.

I know you caught that blog (about the testing!) on a very frustrating day. I don't feel that the school is our enemy (though I'm really not fond of the psychologist). Still, they can really BUG me with an elitist attitude - that whole "we are the professionals and we know what's best for your kid". They're not all like that, but we've run into a few...

I like to think of myself (and my husband) as the "General Contractors" of our kids. WE are in charge of the project. We will hire sub-contractors as needed :0), but we are directing the project, and the "subs" are there to serve our kids and our goals.

Gee, when I write that it sounds snobby and that's not the way I want it to come across!

Ahhhh, I'm rambling too much anyway.

It sounds like you are doing a GREAT job :0) Enjoy your boys, and email me if you want to "talk".

julie dot garrett at yahoo dot com

Christian's Mommy said...

Hey Leah,
Thanks for the recommendations on the books. I'm going to hop on Amazon and pick them up!

It looks like you guys have had a very fun (but busy!) summer!
Tina and Christian

Glenn said...

Leah, you are correct that his hearing aids will compress loud sounds. In most instances the compression settings are fine, but only your audiologist can say whether he's safe in such an environment without added protection (he/she knows the maximum output level).

But here's a couple more "gotcha's". What material is his mold made of? Most don't attenuate enough in loud environments. Does the mold have a vent? That's a little hole (usually neat the bottom of the mold) that goes completely through the earmold. If he has a vented mold, sound will travel unimpeded through that opening quite well, and the hearing aid's compression becomes [nearly] irrelevant. Sound is like water, traveling surprisingly well through small holes.

The long range consideration is: How loud is the sound, and how long will is be present? Then act accordingly. The problem here is, for some people even short periods of exposure can be damaging while others will tolerate the noise without lasting harm. Darned humans, we're all so unique!


P.S. I'm 55 years old, have worn hearing aids for 5 years, have been married for nearly 30 years to an audiologist, and we owned a four-office audiology clinic for 23 years. You might say I have a little background in this area. ;) I stumbled across your blog via Google Alerts and thought I'd add a couple points to ponder.

Megan said...

Such a great picture!

Did I tell you the other day we were in a hotel and I dropped Luca's hearing aid in a bucket of water. I didn't realize it tell a few moments later and got it out. It still works!

We've had our scares this week too with losing them. I left our clip in Alaksa and have been slow about replacing it.

Sophie is always so good about finding the aid in the house when Luca takes them off, but the other day it went missing for a whole day.

I wonder with loud noises, too. Are hearing aides better in a loud restuarant or not with a mild/moderate hearing loss?

leahlefler said...

Megan, I've wondered the same thing about restaurants. Nolan is functionally deaf in noisy restaurants... he either needs an FM system (which we don't have) or sign language to "get" any communication. I wonder if he'd actually be better off without his aids...

And OMG- I am totally afraid of losing Nolan's aids or dropping them in water. I'm even more worried about them falling off into the snow this winter. They really need a "hearing aid lojack" type system, lol!