One month ago Muppets were off to the hearing clinic for preemie follow up. I was really hoping they didnâ€™t put significant effort into fooling the audiologists with their ninja-like ability to ignore anything that doesn’t capture their interest. (I’m looking at you Search.)
The boys have been tested and monitored approximately every six months. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, about 5% of children born before 32 weeks have hearing loss by the time they are 5 years old. Because tiny babies do not yet have mature auditory systems. And their tiny ears are particularly vulnerable to damage.
So howâ€™d the muppets do?
Destroy was seriously into it â€“ excitedly and overly-animated in his dramatic pointing and looking toward all the sounds resonating from various locations around the room. That kid seriously aims to please.
Failed with flying colors.
Search has never done it right. Weâ€™re talking a batting average of .000 here. (Ok, technically we have two fails and one â€œwe canâ€™t really tell since he wonâ€™t react but we think he can probably hear so letâ€™s wait and see.â€)
We were instructed to return with him in a monthâ€™s time for a re-evaluation.
I told his preschool teacher. (I make sure to share this information, so they have it at their disposal in the event a future IEP is necessary. This is what happens when a paranoid mother has a speech pathologist/special education teacher/educator mother of her own.)
Â Â Â Â Â Miss Teacher: Have you met the child? He doesnâ€™t do tricks.
This is a very valid point. Search will not demonstrate a particular behavior simply because you requested it of him. He will tell you what sound a doggie makes when HE decides itâ€™s time to bark like a dog.
The audiology nurse even admitted he looked her in the eye with a defiant expression that read, â€œI know exactly what you want me to do. And I wonâ€™t do it. Iâ€™m going to sit right here and Stare. You. Down.â€
Today we headed back to the clinic with high hopes for another not-exactly-pass-but-at-least-not-a-total-failure-letâ€™s-just-wait-and-see-for-another-6-months.
Destroy got dropped off at school. Because he didnâ€™t have to get retested. Search turned around with a WTF look. â€œUm, you forgot to drop me offâ€¦â€
â€œBROTHER!!!!â€ he howled on the trip back home. (The boys are now well-aware of each otherâ€™s existance.)
It was clear his anger was not going to play well in the quest to get him to cooperate with the hearing test requirements. Search was primed and ready to flunk his test again.
Way to set the bar low, son.
Guess who failed the test?
They even brought in a second audiologist to try and engage him. Nope. Getting him to respond to sounds below 40 decibels proved a futile mission. (Please note: this does not necessarily mean he canâ€™t hear sounds at such levels, just that he wonâ€™t acknowledge them.)
I know. Youâ€™re shocked arenâ€™t you? (Or as my family has so sweetly put it, â€œThatâ€™s YOUR son.â€ Stubborn and defiant? Who? Me? Never.)
Apparently there is still fluid in his right ear. So our next visit will be with an ENT (ear, nose, throat specialist). â€œWeâ€™ll go from there.â€
Essentially Search has been sent to the hearing principal.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Miss Teacher: Uh uh. No way. That kid can hear. Heâ€™s playing you.
Or heâ€™s priming himself to get away with ignoring us all whenever he feels the need for some â€œI donâ€™t want to listen to youâ€ time.