Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hearing Exam

Aidan had a hearing test today at the local school. The nurse who gave the exam was a wonderful lady, warm and kind and interactive– he really responded to her. She gave him a set of earphones — one red and one blue — and then he was supposed to raise his hand whenever he heard the “bird tweeting”. It was sort of a chirp in different ranges.

He kept his eyes locked on her the whole time trying to read cues. She laughed a couple of times and said, “Not yet Aidan!” He was raising his hand when there was no bird tweeting ;-). It was so interesting to see how intuitively she “read” his cooperative, humorous personality and figured out how to relate to him.

Anyway, her results confirm what we already pretty much knew. His hearing is just fine in his right ear. A bit of encouraging news with the left ear — he could pick up sounds down to 50-60 decibels in the higher ranges and 65-70 in the lower ranges of pitch. Normal is less than 25 but still that means he does hear a bit in the left. Unless of course he could hear the right-ear signal in his left — I forgot to ask her if that was possible.

She said she noticed how intently he “cued” off of her face and gestures and said that was a wonderful coping mechanism. That leads me to wonder — when he seems the spaciest with a new person, is that because he isn’t getting good clear signals from their faces or is averse to looking them in the eyes? In those cases he usually doesn’t seem to hear or respond as well. There are times when he doesn’t seem cued in to me either and perhaps it is when I am not “letting my countenance shine upon him”. Also, there is such a thing as verbal clutter. A whole spew of directional, abstract words without much meaningful change of intonation seems to leave him clueless, and maybe this is one of the reasons why.

I will have to pay attention to that. It makes me recollect how he finally did learn to talk well. It was when I started to really pay attention to slowing down, looking at him and relating to him as we talked that he took off.

Aidan as cowboy, pic taken by his sister.