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Thursday, January 15, 2009
To Hear or not to Hear
This is the question Asher has had to deal with for awhile now, but we just discovered his internal dilemma! Asher has always had problems with fluid in his ears and ear infections, which lead to allergy medication that stopped the ear infections but not the fluid. Every doctor's appt he has, the pediatrician makes a comment about fluid in his ears. We have tried 3 different types of allergy medication but since we have been in Hawaii have noticed that he might have hearing problems. We use to think it was selective hearing-that he just didn't want to hear us and it was a discipline issue. So we cracked down on him. When this wasn't working, we tried to watch him a bit more and noticed confusion with words, a troubled look on his face, always breathing through his mouth, and that he is constantly in la-la land. So we finally decided to have his hearing tested. Today made me feel like a bad mom. Asher does have extremely bad hearing due to major fluid in his ears, behind his ear drums, and potentially some sinus problems from allergies. The doctor told us that we have to be yelling at him for him to hear every word we say. If he is in another room, forget it. It is easier for him not to hear than to hear so if he isn't focused (or interested) on you or whatever is making noise, he won't work to hear what is going on. We have found this very interesting and are wondering if this has shaped some of his personality. For instance, the baseball story I just blogged about...could he be drawing in the dirt and wondering around because he doesn't hear the coaches instructions and it is too hard to focus on them to figure it out? Is this why he lives in la-la land all the time or refuses to talk on the phone? Thankfully, this is not a permanant problem. In about a month, we will see an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor for more instructions but he will most definitely need tubes (a very minor surgery), potentially will need his anoids and tonsils removed, and will probably be put on a more specific allergy medication. The doctor informed us that the difference between his hearing and attention span will be night and day. In the meantime, we have to give the kid some grace and make sure we always look at him when we are talking, and make sure he understands what we are saying. How did we miss this for so long?!