Ear tubes in an older child — The Bump
Special Needs

Ear tubes in an older child

I usually post about my older son, but we are off to the ENT soon for my youngest due to persistent fluid in his left ear. He had frequent EIs as a toddler and ear tubes were placed around age 2 after a severe reaction to several antibiotics. Of course the original tubes fell out long ago and while he has only had maybe 1 EI since, fluid in the left ear is still present. I took him to the pedi last week for a hearing check and he failed the left ear. It is filled with clear fluid. I believe he has had fluid in that ear for 2 years . He failed the hearing screen in kindergarten, but then passed. He is now having trouble with reading .  We are headed back to the ENT in two weeks and I am hoping they agree to putting a tube in his left ear. I was told by a different dr. in the practice he "only needs one good ear." This seems unacceptable to me.   Does this sound like a reason for ear tubes?  I wonder how much he is not hearing and how he has compensated for the hearing loss. Feeling frustrated!

Re: Ear tubes in an older child

  • My son (8) has had ear tubes off an on since birth due due to fluid only. They fell out when he was around 2, and we tried alternative methods than tubes. At age 6, it became a necessity due to hearing issues with one ear (had issues with rhyming and reading) as well as retraction of the ear drum. Which can be reversed with tubes. one tube fell out last fall and he had it replaced since he was still having fluid build up in one ear and hearing issues again in school.
    Boy 1 2/06 - Boy 2 12/07 - Boy 3 9/09
  • -auntie- said:
    It's hard to say. 

    I tend to take medical advice from physicians and educational advice from teachers. So if he's not learning to read, I'd be connected with the team at school to discuss. 

    On one hand, I often wonder if DS's chronic ear fluid which was deemed insignificant because his verbal skills were advanced impacted his ability to learn to read. I don't think it "caused" his dyslexia, but I suspect it exacerbated the disability. On the other, I have two cousins who are deaf/HOH who both learned to read at about the usual time.

    If your DS#2 has been in a formal reading program for a year and isn't learning to read, he should be evaluated for a learning disability. Phonological disorders, auditory processing glitches and Specific LDs need to be addressed sooner rather than later to maximize academic success. Sometimes these sorts of things are seen more frequently in sibling of those on spectrum- I know a lot of sibs who have an older brother on spectrum who have LD issues themselves.

    I'm keeping a close eye on things. The school has him in Chapter 1 reading right now (only recently started) and we read each night and work on sight words.  I'm not convinced it it a learning disability just yet, but if things do not progress I will ask for a formal evaluation. Dyslexia also runs in my family, so this is always in the back of my mind. Trevor only truly started reading in 3rd grade after intensive 1:1 reading instruction using LMB. Thanks for the info. Off to the ENT in a couple of weeks.
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