Thursday, November 18, 2010

Speech audiometry

    Here in Germany, Prisha got new hearing aids and they are covered under insurance.For this we needed to get a prescription from an ENT specialist from here.A good friend introduced us to a very good ENT specialist who has a good knowledge on the subject and is not one of the pushy ones ( we had one before who pushed us to depression about his views on Prisha's hearing and was pushing CI ). She did Prisha's aided and unaided audiogram and she was so happy to see that prisha was very responsive to sounds and aided was at 20 db too here.She looked at the reports and said that she was so glad to see her hearing levels and said there was no reason to believe that hearing aids are not helping her.She said she was "NOT A CANDIDATE FOR COCHLEAR IMPLANT" .I could just not believe my ears and would have actually gone and hugged her.I felt like going to the other ENT  specialist and showing him these reports and results.But he is not worth it.I feel somewhere, if a child is not auditorily trained(conditioned) enough to pay attention to sounds, even if he hears the softest ones he should respond ,he would probably miss them out  and then the hearing thresholds would be elevated and so maybe the hearing aids too do not help and then they are asked to go for CI.Prisha has been trained to pay attention to even the softest sounds and so she has been able to amaze her audiologist from the time she was 3 yrs when she 1st went for an aided audiogram.So it is very important that while one is training the child in AVT, the child should be conditioned well.I would play games with her when she was just a year old and it took Prisha 6 months when any sound and she would start looking for the source of sound.I would constantly draw her attention to various sounds and before the test too, i would tell her she has to concentrate hard and get the best test possible.I would explain how the test would be done and as an example I too would sit with her and concentrate. Children follow their parents and are sincere if the parents give the task the required importance.As a result, her thresholds are really quite accurate and the hearing aids work well with and she is able to say what she wants loud and what she wants soft.This is one of reasons, it excited mrs.Z to do her job with more interest.She could not believe the results of Prisha's tests each time we sat down to tune them .When her new aids were tuned, Mrs.Z's colleague made some changes  as we had gone back for rectification, and there was distortion in the aids. Prisha told me that when she said "mummaaaaaaaaaa" at aaaaaaaa, she heard the sound like a telephone ringing.Mrs.Z was so happy that Prisha is able to make out those very small differences and so tuning it to her needs is possible.The ringing sound was the amplification of the sounds from inside the circuit of the aids to due over amplification.So she made some more changes and the issues were settled.
     Last week, in absence of Mrs.Z, we went to meet Dannielle who was there at Geers to help us in her absence.She is also very good with kids and her work and knowledge is great.She put in the new molds and made few more changes and put the sound recovery on.This mode helps to reduce the feedback from the hearing aids.She said as her responses to sounds are good, and so she would like to do a speech audiometry for Prisha in German.In Germany speech therapy in English is not available and even if some do it, it is not upto the mark.And so even speech audiometry in English too is not available.We have trained her with the 'ECHO" too where, she just says whatever she hears without worrying about the meaning of it.This is also very good auditory training and even normal babies do that and is a very important part of speech development in babies.So I explained to prisha about the process and we decided to go for it.She knew not a single word of German and knew numbers only from 1-29 that too not so well.She started and we were quite pleased as she got a little over 50% correct! The aidiologist was pleased and said this was good as she did not know the language and for that thsi is good enough.She has given us the list and numbers from 1-99 which we neeed to practice and then do the speech audiometry in German to get an understanding of how well she is able to hear.Look forward to that now.

1 comment:

  1. Wow- 50% correct in a foreign language! That's not too shabby! We do the "echo" training, too- we call it the speech babble game. I got the idea from Val Blakely. We say nonsense words (like manapa or cocomo) and see if Nolan repeats them correctly. He often doesn't hear the subtle differences of similar sounds (like M and N, and he doesn't hear S at all), but this will come with more training. We should get the S back when we fix his hearing aids, too!