2

Hearing Test, Hopes & Goals.

I’m not sure if you will have read how Dylan’s first hearing test but I came away from it saying I would never take him too another.
Roll forward 16 months and he was due for a review as they couldn’t get a clear reading last time due to him screaming and being disgusted by the whole situation of it all. They told me that they would recall him in 6 months time, it didn’t go well either but not quite so bad. Again they couldn’t do the full test as he would not cooperate they told me he would be recalled again in 6 months but they weren’t worried about his hearing they just now had to get a positive result for their records.
When an appointment came again for him to be checked again but in a different hospital I put on my big girl pants and took it by the horns. I wanted to get this green check on his records, rule it out and onto the next thing.

He wouldn’t let them look in his ears for very long at all, but the lady knew straight away when he was getting distressed and didn’t force it on him unlike the ones at his previous appointments. She said the one ear she got a look in looked a little red, but seeing as it was winter time this occurs to most of us especially if we have a cold. We then went back to sit and wait for the next part, thankfully we didn’t have to wait long as he isn’t ever very happy about waiting in strange places.

In the next room he had to sit on my knee while a lady tried to get him to concentrate on something while another played different sound etc to test his hearing.
As they were doing this I was thinking to myself about how if it was his hearing we could fix this, help him and right it all.
As I found myself getting caught up in those ideas I had to remind myself that if he does have a problem with his hearing, we could sort that out but it wouldn’t solve the many other things he struggles with daily, he would still be autistic too.

When she left the room to go and talk to the lady doing the sounds I felt like I had just been to a job interview. Making him sit still, hoping he would behave the best and do his best in the series of tests he had just done.
Inside I was panicking a lot that they would come back and say that some of his problems was because he couldn’t hear very well, and that he would need to get that sorted alongside everything else that was going on.
Another part was hoping she would come back and say it was his hearing and that she had the perfect solution and it would solve everything!

Though I knew in my heart of hearts this was never going to happen, I say to people that I don’t like false hope that I want to live in reality with it all and I rather everyone be honest and upfront with what they think.
This is true, but sometimes I can’t stop the little bright ideas my brain thinks it has sneaking in and bringing a whole load of false hope and joy. When I realise I’m being crazy or when I’m even proved that I am wrong then it is a whole load of heartache.
This is why I try to live in reality and not give a whole load of false hope because it just knocks you back when you are climbing.
Obviously I agree with hope, everyone needs hope and goals.
I believe in attainable goals for my kids, ones I know they can reach or are close to succeeding in so that we can celebrate together rather than discuss things they haven’t reached yet. Celebrate everything, some things that you don’t even notice your children doing are huge milestones for children like Dylan and others. It really makes you appreciate the small things, like when he looks at you, when he tries something new, when he touches something he hasn’t before.
I know its going to happen soon so one of my goals for Dylan is that he will call me mummy soon and know I am mummy and not just use the world, another goal which is going to take a lot longer but I have accepted this is that when I smile at him for him to smile back.

-WeeOhana

5

Hearing & Doubts..

I am never going to take either of my children to a hearing test again… though lets start from the start of a very eventful day.

The night before I hardly slept, so many thoughts running through my head. Worries,wonders,what ifs, hows and all those lovely thoughts us parents are subjected too. His appointment also wasn’t until the afternoon, so I filled the morning the best I could to keep myself and him busy. Why though when you want time to go fast it goes slower than you ever thought possible!  We started off having a little look in shops and picking something up for dinner then we decided to head to a forest park for a little walk!
When we pulled up to the park, he decided it was the perfect time to fall asleep so I enjoyed the peace. Peace from the outside I suppose though as I was having a million thoughts a minutes that ended up with a really sore head.. typical. When he woke up we went for a little walk around the forest, he thoroughly enjoyed himself and so did I.

Then it was on-wards to his appointment. How downhill it went from there, the waiting room was full. Every seat was taken and lots of children running about and shouting. Not something I particularly enjoy and neither does he, as soon as we went in he couldn’t handle it. Bright light, lots of people, noise, banging, and pushing. I set him on my lap and talked to him gently in his ear to try and keep him settled the best I could, unfortunately it was all just too much. (He has started to hit himself in the mouth with his hand when he is distressed) On the outside and to onlookers he seemed calm at the start until he started doing this and I was trying to stop him. He kept going and going and more people started to look and one child asked there mum why he was doing it, then he did it so hard he ended up making his mouth bleed, and not even just a little bit. I scooped him up and went on the search for the bathroom to clean him and myself up, so that when we went into the hearing test he would be calm and ready to do whatever they needed. As soon as I had him cleaned up I heard his name being called so off we went down the hallway to see how his hearing was.

It was going lovely, they started with him sitting on my knee and then they rang bells behind him and lots of other things making strange noises and he turned to the majority of them and stilled to others, it was all going so well! The lady told me she was satisfied with his hearing and that he definitely didn’t have any severe hearing problems but she wanted to do another test just to make sure.. little did I know this was more a form of torture.. I had to hold him still while she poked this thing into his ear and did a test. He did not like this one bit, neither did I. He screamed, cried, kicked, bit.. it was horrific. I calmed him down when we left got into the car and he was laughing and smiling, but I had to have a cry. I felt horrible, thought he would hate me .. but he had forgotten about it. Little does he know that she wants me to take him back in three months as she couldn’t do that test properly as he was screaming so loud.. I am not looking forward to that.

Great news is that he isn’t deaf.. though I can’t quite decide if it is great news..
I keep thinking that if he was deaf there are so many things that they can do to solve this, and ahh.. I’m really finding this all so difficult to handle. I suppose that is natural though right? I’m trying to keep my head above water, with a happy face ..I don’t know how swell I’m doing at that part.. its hard to keep yourself a float and everyone else as well.. its tough, its really tough. I must keep going.. on a positive note, we got his appointment for the child developmental team and it is on the 9th of November! So a lot sooner than I expected. which is great news! Less time to over think.. though panic because its so soon!
Answers, or at least some guidance and support is what I need right now. I need to know what I am doing with him is right, that I’m not a terrible mother and it isn’t all my fault.. though I’m not sure those feelings will ever budge..

WeeOhana xxx

18

The Start of a Long Journey

I’m not really sure what to write, or how to phrase what I write really, I just know that I need to write it somewhere as a place to get it out and as a sort of journal for what all is about to begin. Currently we are just starting a long journey with our handsome son to see what is going on with him. Our first step is Monday when he is getting seen by the audiologist.

I’ve had my worries about him for a while, but it took me  until a few months to convince myself that I wasn’t just being silly and there was something going on. I then decided to book a doctors appointment and went armed with a list of my worries and concerns about what was going on with him. I felt like a crazy mum going in with a list, but the doctor there knows me well, was very welcoming and told me he was glad I had a list so that I didn’t forget anything. So after him checking over my little monkeys ears/throat etc we discussed what I was worried about, he decided that we needed to get the health visitor over to see him asap and to get the ball rolling to sort things out with him. One thing he said that really got to me was that “he will either progress from here, or start to go backwards.”

After speaking to my doctor I was hoping to have a weight lifted off my shoulders and him telling me that I was just being silly, not to rush him and so forth but as you can tell, thats not how it went. I came home and got on the phone to the health visitor to get her to come and sort us out. I had to wait a week until she was available to come over, and I’m sure a lot of you reading this are parents and you know how long a week feels when you are in panic and upset about your child.. little did I know the waiting time of a week was the shortest I would endure in this process.

When she arrived she asked me what my worries and concerns were and we got to have a good chat as he was having a little nap. My worries were.. I suppose still are!

  • He doesn’t respond to his name, no matter how loud you shout it. Though hears things like doors creaking etc. At the start I was worried he was deaf, until I realized it was more a selective hearing thing. (this is getting checked on Monday though as they have to clear his hearing before checking everything else)
  • He is 21 months and doesn’t say a word, he babbles a bit, but no words or sounds that mean anything to him. He used to say dada/dog etc and knew what they meant.. now they have disappeared.
  • He tiptoe walks, a lot. Like right up nearly as high as he can get.
  • Extremely fussy with the foods he eats.. Doesn’t really like lumps or bumps in his food.
  • Doesn’t brings toys over to show me/his dad or his sister
  • Isn’t keen on his sister sitting beside him, when she does he will try to bite her/pull her hair.
  • Very little eye contact, or response to emotions from others.
  • Head banging against a wall/floor (very upsetting to experience =()

As I told her these she asked me had I been on google and were these all big worries or just little things.. when I told her that I used to work with children with additional needs she started to listen a little more, and then when he woke up and demonstrated to her several of these things she then said that I was right to have a list written. She then plowed on to serious mode.. She told me that she hoped she would come here and see him and tell me that she would come back and see him in a few more months and that he would grow out of the things he did. Unfortunately she told me this wasn’t the case and she wanted to write down reports etc and get them sent off that night to get him on the list to be seen by the child developmental team as soon as possible. . This was at the start of July.

I have had a lot of time to take it all in, think things over and over again, worry, get upset, get annoyed and most emotions possible really. This is a real tough thing to be going through and to be left in the dark with when the ball will start rolling. I have his audio on Monday so at least that is something but I am yet to have an appointment from the child developmental team. I am going to ask them when I am in on Monday if they have a clue about time frame.. I think the not knowing when it is all going to start is the hardest.. Especially when I know that when the ball has started rolling it wont be straight forward and that it will be a long time after many appointments to know what is going on.

As his mum, I just want to make it all ok everything be fine and one day for him to wake and to have came on leaps and bounds. Be talking and everything.. but as the days and weeks go past, I know that wont be anytime soon. It hurts a lot, but I have to keep my brave face on, keep smiling and positive for my family.

One thing I have found through all this though is that you constantly seem to be on the look out for things that are different/worrying/wrong etc.. So I have tried to concentrate on the positive and enjoy what makes him, him. The way when he laughs, its from deep within him, he has the most wonderful and infections laugh and when you have discovered what makes him laugh you can do it 1000 times over and he will find it just as funny as he did the first time! How when you hand him something new he will inspect it in great detail, turning it over and over again in his hands looking at all the tiny little details on it. That he empties out the whole box of hot wheels to find the one with the red roof and then will grab any other one to have one in each hand.. then will go to the table and play with them for ages without anything distracting.. unless his sister goes near him! 😛  That he will pick the tiny bits off the carpet and place them in my hand and will do this until he thinks they have all gone! When he climbs up beside his sister and for the brief moment will sit beside her and how excited and happy she gets by this, and how at the park he will find a bridge, and go back and forth across this bridge the whole time we spend there chuckling away to himself. He does a whole load more that makes me so proud and privileged to have him as my wonderful son. I love him, and I always will, no matter what the outcome is.

WeeOhana. xx