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Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: speech problem - how can glue ear be tested?


 rstyles - Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:28 pm

My son who will be 3 in April has unclear speech. He talks with words that start with either 'K', 'D' (back of the mouth sounds) and not much else - he doesn't use 'B', 'S', 'F' (front sounds). A couple of weeks back we went to a speech therapy assessment and was recommended for classes but not for 3 months (due to waiting list).

He has also been referred for a hearing test but that wont be for another 6 weeks.

After talking with a number of people I'm thinking it could be glue ear. He can hear me/anyone and he responds to us so he has comprehension but I'm thinking maybe his range of hearing is limited.

Last Friday I took my son to the doctor but all she did was look in his ears and said apart from wax in one ear they looked fine.

How can glue ear be tested for?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:40 pm

User avatar I've never heard the term "glue ear" before so I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to. However, speach problems should almost always be first worked up by testing hearing.

Children learn to speak by copying what they hear. If the hearing is not normal, even though they may be able to hear they may be hearing muffled sounds (for example, an underwater sound).

If your son is having trouble with speech I completely agree with testing his hearing. Also, he should have a tympanogram performed to determine if his ear drum is moving properly. This can generally be done by your pediatrician and is very similar to looking in the ear except that instead of using the otoscope with a glass view, it has a computerized tester on it. I would suggest having this done before you have his hearing tested. If he does have some fluid behind his ear drum or retraction of the ear drum, he is likely to not pass his hearing test and be referred back to his pediatrician to deal with this before he can truly have his hearing tested.

Hope this helps. Keep us updated on what you find out.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:42 pm

User avatar I've never heard the term "glue ear" before so I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to. However, speach problems should almost always be first worked up by testing hearing.

Children learn to speak by copying what they hear. If the hearing is not normal, even though they may be able to hear they may be hearing muffled sounds (for example, an underwater sound).

If your son is having trouble with speech I completely agree with testing his hearing. Also, he should have a tympanogram performed to determine if his ear drum is moving properly. This can generally be done by your pediatrician and is very similar to looking in the ear except that instead of using the otoscope with a glass view, it has a computerized tester on it. I would suggest having this done before you have his hearing tested. If he does have some fluid behind his ear drum or retraction of the ear drum, he is likely to not pass his hearing test and be referred back to his pediatrician to deal with this before he can truly have his hearing tested.

Hope this helps. Keep us updated on what you find out.

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