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I have a foster son. He's been in my home now for about 5 months now. He is an amazing little boy and I very much hope that we can adopt him.
He has been under the custody of DHR for over a year now (came in September 2007). He has a lot of issues that have no real "medical" reason that has been found other than a diagnosis of failure to thrive. He doesn't crawl much (just started to move a little this past month) and doesn't speak at all. He is now 21 months old. He babbles a LOT... but never says words. He doesn't mimick my sounds at all really... but every once in a while he'll do it and I'll think, "Ok, he's got it," but then he doesn't do it again and I think maybe it was a fluke.
I've recently noticed he really doesn't respond to much sound. He laughs when I play with him if we're facing one another but doesn't turn to my voice or clapping.
He does have some characteristics of autism too, though, although they've told us he isn't autistic in the true sense of the word. So, his not turning to me could be part of his tuning me out.
I've asked DHR for a hearing test and have been passed off a few times and haven't gotten one. They did a small hearing test before he qualified for early intervention (he gets PT and OT and will start ST on Friday). That test said "hearing is within normal limits" but I doubt that test now. I wasn't his mom when he had that test done either, so I don't know how it was done.
Do any of you have thoughts? Are there other things I might do to see for myself if he isn't hearing? He doesn't wake up to many sounds, but will wake if I walk loudly into his room (that makes me think he just feels the vibration). He won't wake if my daughter is talking loudly or anything. But, he was also not cared for at all before he came into custody, so he's learned to tune out a lot of stuff.
I would absolutely push for a detailed hearing test, and speak with your pediatrician about your concerns. (Even if you can't take him to the pedi yourself, speak with Sarah Beth's.) That sounds, to me, like a hearing loss ... probably not a profound one (ie, he isn't deaf), but my gut is that it could easily be in the moderate to severe range.
One thing to note is that if he does have a mod-severe loss, that could be impacting his motor skills. Children with hearing loss typically are slower with gross motor skills that hearing children with the same "extras." I'm certainly ont saying that's all he's facing, but it certainly could be contributing.
Hmm, I hadn't considered that hearing loss could contribute to his gross motor delay. That's an interesting thought!
I did speak to his pediatrician. He wants the hearing test too, but his hands are tied as much as mine. We'll have to work the system, and sadly that takes a while. It just makes me sad that he might be 2 before we find out if he has any hearing impairment since he's been moved around for so long and wasn't paid any attention to when he was very little.
That is so sad He is lucky to finally have someone who is willing to go to bat and spend enough time to look after this. For what it's worth, I know kids who are totally deaf and did not receive intervention until 2, 3, even 4, and they all go on to do wonderfully.
And most people never think of how strong a motivator sound is to get kids moving ... but everyone I work with with Danny says they see the delays all the time.
Good luck, and please keep me posted on how it goes, Beth!
Hi, your speech pathologist is qualified to give him a hearing test. Ask him/her to give another hearing test and this time establish thresholds. It was apart of her training in graduate school. I've had deaf students before pass hearings tests.
~Thank you GraysMama for my beautiful siggy~
I think it's absolutely wonderful that this little guy has you! How much do you know about his background? It's possible that he is suffering from severe neglect. He may not have ever really been given the opportunity to develop those skills so it will take him a while to catch up. He may not really be sure how to interact and respond if he wasn't interacted with much when he was younger.
Do you know if his bio mother drank alcohol or did drugs while pregnant? Those things can have a severe impact on a child's development.
I hope you're able to fight your way through the system so that he can get the help he needs. I think you're amazing to take this little boy in. Thank goodness for wonderful people like you!
Something maybe you might want to try to see if it helps his communication, is maybe try some basic signing (there's a baby signing forum on here, but you can really start at any age). My son is 25 months and likely has speech apraxia, and he's communicating so much better by using signs. DH and I just taught ourselves from online resources or ASL dictionaries, and made sure we always did the sign at the same time as the word. At the very least, he'll be able to start communicating with you once he catches on, and even if they find out he's not deaf, it can still help him communicate. And if he does happen to be autistic, I understand signing can help autistic children communicate better, too.
You may just want to make sure you're using an ASL sign as opposed to a signing English sign, so if he does have a hearing impairment, he'll start learning the correct version now.