When Little Bear was born, he failed his newborn hearing test. We tested him three more times and he failed, failed, and failed again. At first, we feared he was deaf. He wasn’t looking when we called his name and he only looked towards noises if they were extremely loud. We didn’t realize at the time that he wasn’t neurotypical, with the added issue of conductive hearing loss. The conductive hearing loss was confirmed by an audiologist and his ENT placed ear tubes last March.
The ear tubes helped him reach his gross motor milestones. Within two weeks of their placement, he began to walk regularly, at 19 months. We waited anxiously for the speaking to come, but it never did. A few new words came out here and there, but no big blossom like the ENT had promise would happen. It was soon afterwards that we took Little Bear in for a neuro consult and he received his initial PDD diagnosis.
The ear tubes stayed in place until about 3 weeks ago. Around the time the right one fell out, he started to bite again. Within a week, he had an ear infection and the pediatrician said the fluid was back. That same week he bit two days in a row and he was booted from daycare. His behavior became more short-tempered and his attention span dropped. He just wasn’t himself once the tubes came out.
We went to the audiologist on Wednesday for a hearing test. He failed. We saw the ENT for his follow-up on Friday. He said the left tube was out, too. Both ears had fluid. That, combined with behavioral changes and the ear infection meant we were headed straight for new tubes. Sigh.
Little Bear loved the ENT, though. He followed him into another exam room and yelled, “BYE BYE!” to him and, “Abrazos!”
Meanwhile, I begged and pleaded with the scheduler to try to bump him up as soon as possible so he doesn’t get kicked out of school.