Thursday, December 10, 2009

Camille's Hearing

We have known for some time now that Camille suffers from a hearing loss. It was picked up the doctors office when she had her first hearing test at age 3 1/2, but we were told not to be concerned because she did not have any speech or language delays and the screenings that are provided at the doctor's office can sometimes be unpredictable. She had a second hearing screening 6 months later at age 4. Again, she failed the hearing screen. This time we took her to the audiologist who was associated with her ENT specialist who sees her regularly for her chronic nosebleeds. The audiologist performed a evaluation and found a mild loss in Camille's left ear but said it was "insignificant" and sent us on our way. This year Camille's reading teacher and Kindergarten teacher both questioned her ability to hear properly so we took Camille to a speech and hearing specialist at Cooper. Cooper's assessment was different than the former audiologist in that the hearing loss was indicated in both ears.

Camille has a high frequency hearing loss, very similar to the audiogram below (this is a representative and NOT Camille's actual audiogram) If you click the link that says "Full Bandwidth" you can hear a short sentence. If you then click the link that says "Low Pass, 2000 Hz" you can hear how Camille might hear that same sentence.

In any case, the course of action right now is to get Camille better equipped to hear better is school. In the case of high frequency hearing loss in very young children, this is accomplished though an FM system, rather than hearing aids. The teacher wears a small microphone and her voice is fed to a speaker. There are two types, one where the speak system amplifies the whole classroom and the other where the speaker is fed directly to the child's hearing aid. Mike and I are in favor of the whole classroom version where other children could benefit from the system as well.

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