Watching the Grinch Who Stole Christmas
Nolan's ear dried up on Wednesday. His hearing still seemed "off" in that ear (he should still hear unaided in that ear if you are within three feet or so and speaking loudly). His hearing seems to have improved today, though, which is wonderful. He has a hearing test slated for tomorrow afternoon, and we really wanted clear ears and a return to his standard level of hearing. His hearing is pretty crummy anyway, but we'd rather see his normal moderately-severe level than the severe-profound levels that an infection incurs.
The Teacher of the Deaf (TOD) for the elementary school called and asked about budgetary requests for next year. Nolan already has his FM system, so I couldn't really think of anything to add to his IEP. She did put in some extra money for batteries, since the FM system drains batteries fairly quickly. The only "snag" that we might hit is if we change hearing aids and need different receivers for the FM system, but I am pretty sure the receivers we have will work with nearly all hearing aid brands. Plus, the next set of aids will probably be Phonak, which happens to be the same brand as his FM system - they should function seamlessly.
I did have a laugh when she said that Nolan could just use a speaker soundfield system if his ears are infected. The school's only other child with a hearing loss has a very mild loss in the high frequencies. If Nolan has an ear infection and is unaided, he can't hear anything. Period. He drops down past the 90dB range and is functionally deaf - there is nothing to help that situation! Even when his ears are clear, he can only understand words projected at a 90dB level (unaided) - his last test showed 88% accuracy with words at 90dB. Unless she's going to set up a speaker to blast out rock-concert levels of sound, it won't work. I have a feeling the school will need a bit of an education to deal with his level of loss - he has to use his personal FM system at all times in the classroom. Nothing else will allow him to hear in noise (and if he's unaided, he simply can't hear conversational speech at all).
In any case, hopefully Nolan's hearing test tomorrow will show stability. I'm worried about that right ear, which has been having difficulty for the past two months. It was really a problem when the little guy (temporarily) lost the rest of his hearing in the left ear - let's just say that we have been using a lot of sign language in the classroom over the past 2 weeks, because he simply couldn't hear a thing. His right ear was also the first to drop the high frequencies back in 2008 (the left ear fluctuated up and down and then finally followed suit in 2010). The right ear seems to precede the left ear when we do see changes in hearing, so I will be greatly relieved if that right ear is nice and stable!