Today was a big day. My oldest son, Eli, and I went to our public school’s screening program to get his hearing, vision, and speech checked out. Eli never runs out of things to say, but between his constant congestion, responses of “Huh?” and misses on some pronunciations of things, I wanted to get him checked out for peace of mind. I wanted to know that it was just in my head, that I was a worried mom who expected too much from a perfectly normal, wiggly, four-year-old boy.
It was hard not to be proud of him as he passed the vision test with flying colors, naming objects so small that even I couldn’t tell what they were. Then they showed him a big enclosed booth, and the window where he could look out and see me watching him. They explained that they were going to play a few games with him to see if he could point to the objects they were naming. He looked for me through the window, smiled, and then sat with the assistant as she put over-sized headphones on him. The audiologist sat with me outside the booth at the control board to vary the level of sound that he could hear as the assistant gave him her instructions.
Even though they told him to tap the pictures lightly, he jumped up and hit each one as if he were giving it a high five when they said it. Airplane – slap. Ball – slap. Popcorn – slap. Seeing his little head wrapped up with those big earmuffs made me smile.
The audiologist spoke again, this time turning down the sound slightly. Airplane. He looked around, and hit the popcorn, and then looked at the assistant, slightly confused.
Airplane. He looked at the chart on the wall, and hit the ball. After a few more unsuccessful tries, they moved on to the other ear.
We’re not quite sure what’s causing the hearing loss, but it looks like it’s a relatively mild, but significant loss in both ears (20-25%), and most likely due to fluid in his ears. The next step is an ENT evaluation. I’m not really worried, and I don’t know what the outcome of it all will be, but I do know that I love him even more today than I did yesterday.