We knew that the ears were critical to speech and language, but were naive when the Drs told us the newborn hearing test was enough. The recommended schedule is annually (sometimes 2x's a year) which seems appropriate. What we learned at about 10 months is that kids with DS often have ear problems, but since they have a high pain tolerance they don't present with symptoms. I have met many a Mom that had no idea their child had ear infections! I have met several moms who kids had SIGNIFICANT hearing loss and they had no idea! Obviously this poses a problem on so many levels.. So, we started seeing the ENT every 2 WEEKS for tympanagrams. I realize many of you are saying "well, that is only good for that period of time," and you are correct, but by having such high frequency it gave us the ability to see what Parker's ears were doing and we did 6 months of that many trips. I am happy to report he has had no issues. It gives a great baseline for you and if nothing else peace of mind. We don't see the Dr each visit, but the audiologist and it isn't considered a "full co-pay" visit by insurance. Depending on your plan obviously, but we pay $50 for a specialist office visit, when we go for tymp. only we pay $20. Ask your pedi if he/she can perform the tympanagram as well. In our case the ENT is closer, so it is easier. If you are using an osteopath, they may be able to perform the test as well.
We learned that often what appears to be a problem with vision (eyes crossing, drifting away, inability to coverge properly, etc..) is usually FIRST and FOREMOST an ear issue! Many times we are quick to think that the kids need glasses or correction, but we should check ears first! We learned that the open mouth or mouth breathing can again often be contributed to an ear issue.
Be forewarned, the medical community will be quick to dismiss this, but like everything else, you have to be your child's advocate. It has too high a cost if you just take their advice at face value. Do your own research and get educated. In our book, speech and language is another top priority!
We will do everything we can to keep Parker's ears (and overall body health) as perfect as possible.
Here is an excellent article to read, one of many...
Maui - Nakalele Blow Hole
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