DS,6 Can't hear or won't listen?

(27 Posts)
41notTrendy Sun 13-Jan-13 18:57:58

DS is in Yr 2. His teacher has suggested we get his hearing checked as she finds that sometimes he doesn't respond when she talks to him.
We find this, but generally when he's being asked to 1. tidy something up 2. turn off the tv 3. stop playing with xbox 4. get dressed/washed/shoes on. etc etc etc. grin.
He has had no speech or language difficulties and no-one has ever voiced a concern about his hearing. My DM even laughed when I told her, and reminded me that he can hear a conversation about babysitting/chocolate in quiet voices from the next room.
We suspect that he listens when he thinks it's interesting. BUT, there's that seed of doubt now, that maybe it's not just typical little boy behaviour and there is something wrong.
Anyone else got any experience of this?!

Runoutofideas Wed 16-Jan-13 13:39:34

I think you are right to, OP. My dd1 (7) had grommets fitted at age 4 and it made a massive difference to her. I fear she may need another set now as she talks about her good ear and her bad ear. Also recently she was at a climbing birthday party and asked if she could go last so she could watch the others first, as she had no idea what the instructor had said... She does well at school though and has no behavioural issues.
It is also worth bearing in mind the background noise in a classroom is significantly higher than a normal household. My dd struggles to filter the sounds, so can't hear the teacher over the general hubbub. She's forever asking her friends what to do next!

41notTrendy Wed 16-Jan-13 12:23:38

Thank you. Yes, we will be getting it checked properly.

DewDr0p Wed 16-Jan-13 11:20:26

Sorry should say "I think there is a good chance your Ds is fine"

DewDr0p Wed 16-Jan-13 11:19:20

OP my Ds appeared to have selective hearing too. (I also did the chocolate test grin ) The thing is, if you have hearing issues, your ability to hear is affected by the words being used, whether they can see the speaker's mouth, background noise and even the acoustics in the room (soft furnishings much more hearing friendly than hard floors for example - many classrooms are awful) Children develop coping mechanisms which hide it too.

I really hope your Ds is fine and I think there is but it is definitely worth checking properly.

Iwillorderthefood Tue 15-Jan-13 23:02:38

DD1 has this, she had her first set of grommets at 3, she was monitored closely as she kept getting ear infections. Her hearing loss was slight for a long time, and then it went to moderate, this is when the grommets were inserted. I felt awful, she went outside in the garden and she kept asking what different noises were eg. water running through pipes from the washing machine. We live under a flight path and even airplanes were too loud for her. Her speech improved dramatically and she began to respond to my requests.

Fast forward, and she is now 7, having had a hearing test today, and she just lacks the very high frequencies, but I was fully expecting her to be back to a moderate loss and on course for a third grommet op. it turns out she has be selectively hearing!

Keep trying to push this.

mumchat Tue 15-Jan-13 20:13:09

I feel disappointed by your GPs response especially after we all encouraged you to investigate further with a test. I'm worried you'll be out off getting a test by this.

Try phoning your health visitor (only time I ever had any contact with mine was when I wanted a HT referral!) Just say what you need to say to get the referral. Don't say you think teacher may be wrong etc. say teacher suggested test and you've noticed he is missing things at home too so want tested ASAP especially with it bring such critical time at school etc.

If its nothing so be it but what if he can't hear properly & you've not checked. I'm sorry your GP let you down.

41notTrendy Tue 15-Jan-13 19:43:32

We talked about the things I had noticed, such as selective hearing and she agreed it could be nothing physical, particularly given that other indicators such as behaviour and progress are all good. Which is why she suggested some time to reflect on it, particularly given that it wasn't me who raised the concern, it was the teacher.
I was quite happy with that response, but certainly given the responses on this thread, have no intention of leaving it there.
Before I take the next step, I'll have a longer discussion with the teacher so I know as much as I can before progressing the matter.

mrz Tue 15-Jan-13 19:39:26

Checking his ears physically will not reveal a hearing problem ..it might show up an ear infection or ear wax but not a real problem ...it's a put off!

ipadquietly Tue 15-Jan-13 19:23:25

I taught a girl in Y2 who had been working with a host of SN experts since YR, as she had significant delays in her learning.

It was not until the June of Y2, when she was 7 and a half years old, that they discovered that she needed hearing aids in both ears! On the auditory test, they isolated specific sounds she couldn't hear. Not surprisingly, these were the sounds she found difficult to read. Fast forward 3 years - she has made outstanding progress and is expected to get levels 3 and 4 in her SATs next year.

So, hearing problems can be missed and a GP should always investigate potential problems.

DewDr0p Tue 15-Jan-13 19:09:11

Ask for a hearing test OP. I am a bit shocked at your GP's response tbh. Did she say what she would be looking for?! Ds's audiologists are always a bit in despair at GP's looking in children's ears - they get stuff wrong! Plus looking in the ear is just a tiny bit of a proper hearing test.

The test is non-invasive and they make it fun, there is no harm surely?

41notTrendy Tue 15-Jan-13 18:59:24

She didn't dismiss what the teacher said, just that her first response would be to check his ears physically rather than going straight for a hearing test.

BarbarianMum Tue 15-Jan-13 18:04:55

Yes, I think that's rubbish.

His teacher, who presumably deals with lots of children, is concerned enough to mention that she thinks he should get his hearing checked. The doctor is refusing (that's what it amounts to as it is not possible to tell that a child can hear normally by looking in their ears).

mrz Tue 15-Jan-13 17:46:28

I would be very unhappy with that response from the GP

41notTrendy Tue 15-Jan-13 17:01:03

Thank you everyone. I mentioned it to my GP this am, who suggested I keep an eye (ear?) on things and if I'm still concerned to bring him in and she'll have a look down his ears.

CantStopEatingCheese Mon 14-Jan-13 14:46:52

DD1 has also suffered with glue ear. It started last winter (after a never ending cold). She became really 'naughty', wouldn't come when I called her, wouldn't do what we asked her to do. Complete change of personality. After telling her off (and her getting upset because she didn't understand why I was suddenly shouting angrily at her), I finally realised she couldn't hear. But took me a good couple of weeks (which I still feel guilty about).

She eventually got tested and showed moderate hearing loss. Like others have said, it comes and goes and might be better some days than others. They are also good at guessing, lip-reading etc so it's not always obvious.

So I would also suggest you get him tested if there are concerns.

In DD1's case glue ear got sorted by itself after a few months (with the help of the Otovent balloon I got). But this winter, after another cold, she has gone a bit deaf again! But still doing great with her phonics and reading at school (in fact her teacher said she hasn't noticed the hearing loss, though at home it's really obvious).

Also if you say 'did you hear me', he might be responding 'yes' as in
-Yes, I heard you say 'did you hear me'!
(Some children can be very literal like that, though you know your son best).

DeWe Mon 14-Jan-13 14:31:00

Ds passed the newborn test no problem.
He also is in year 1 and a good reader(Beast Quest at present). He watches DVDs with subtitles so he can read it rather than rely on his hearing, so actually the lack of hearing has helped his reading.
He has no problems with phonics, the only thing he's said in relation to his hearing issues was when he expressed surprise at discovering two sounds weren't the same because he's always heard them as the same. Having done it in phonics has actually helped him distinguish the sounds.

If I ask him "did you hear me?" he'll usually say "yes". But he's hearing me in a room with me and little other noise. When there's a whole classroom and noises coming from all around it's harder to hear. The ENT consultant said glue ear is a little like hearing in a swimming pool.

mumchat Mon 14-Jan-13 13:49:42

Do get him tested. You have nothing to lose. If you phone the health visitor & tell her what the teacher has said she should do you an immediate referral. That should trigger an appointment to arrive in the post for a hearing test at the local centre. The audiologist will understand completely why you are there & do the test. They make it "fun" - dropping bricks in a tube or putting men in a boat when child hears the noises & you sit right next to/just behind your child.

If they don't find a problem they will be happy as you & if they do they will explain it & probably give you app for re-test in 3 months. If there is still a loss they would discuss/refer you to consultant.

My child has glue ear and reads (sounds out phonics - only in reception) and speaks fine. Dont let that stop you getting test.

41notTrendy Sun 13-Jan-13 21:33:18

Only the newborn test.
His reading, and expression when he reads is progressing very well at the moment. His maths has progressed well too.
We have asked him ( when nagging about tv off/tidying up etc) can you hear me? Did you hear me? And he always says he can, in a rather stroppy, if course i can, teenage like way.
I think I need to know the situations that made the thought about his hearing jump to her mind.

Beamur Sun 13-Jan-13 21:04:23

Has he had any hearing screening?
My partial deafness wasn't picked up until I was at Junior school - I had all sorts of strategies neither myself or my parents had picked up but I wasn't doing as well at school as my teachers thought I should be. Most of it was down to not hearing properly.

schmee Sun 13-Jan-13 21:03:28

Get him tested. I thought it was a bit of a joke when I got my son tested but it turned out he had glue ear (age 5). He's also a great lipreader which I only worked out after he was diagnosed.

41notTrendy Sun 13-Jan-13 20:59:00

Having mulled it over this weekend, I think I'd like a more detailed discussion with her about it. Context could be everything in this case!

auntevil Sun 13-Jan-13 20:46:36

There is also the problem with putting the task into action.
DS1 has dyspraxia - although the following is not exclusively related to it.
He might hear a question, not always realise that it is for him to do if his name has not been said first, and not remember salient or sequential points within the question.
So for example, if the CT said 'all the girls who are already 7, go and stand by the door' it might be easily misinterpreted. If he is already 7 and sees others moving, did he hear 'girl'? What were all the girls meant to do, why aren't those girls moving etc etc.
Ask the CT to do a little test. If she says his name, gets his attention and asks a simple request - can he do it? Are the times he is not responding to requests when CT makes general and/or multi sequence tasks?
Oh, and get the hearing tested too - cover all angles!

41notTrendy Sun 13-Jan-13 20:17:48

Ok. I'm seeing my GP this week so I might mention it. Will also have a word with ds to remind him to respond to his teacher, see if that eliminates it!

DeWe Sun 13-Jan-13 19:12:12

My ds has hearing problems (glue ear). We didn't realise how extreme it was (sometimes he has next to no hearing in both ears) until he was tested, and when he had grommets I discovered he wasn't just running away out or awkwardness-he couldn't hear me call him back.
They told me at ENT they compensate very well. The really cute quirk he had of patting my cheek to make me turn to him when he was talking turned out to be him turning my head so he could lip read. We didn't realise this until about 2 years after he'd started doing it, and it was pointed out.

Glue ear also comes and goes, so a whisper of chocolate can get him running at times, and a shout of chocolate and ice cream doesn't another.

ipadquietly Sun 13-Jan-13 19:11:15

.... and, when you have found that his hearing is perfect, you can celebrate the good news and incorporate it into your nagging:

'Now, mini41, I know you can hear me because the doctor told me that your hearing is perfect - you're just not listening......I said turn off the x-box and go to bed.....'

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now