This morning Tony, Dakota and I drove to Johns Hopkins to have Dakota’s hearing evaluated. We’ve done this in the past with little results because Dakota wouldn’t cooperate and I was worried about how she was going to do today, but off we went. (We also dread going to Hopkins because the wait to see the doctor has always been atrociously long.)
We left immediatly after Harper got on the school bus and we were in the city rather quickly this morning. The drive in this morning was much faster than it had been in the past and we were at the hospital about half an hour ahead of time. Once we were checked in we were put in a waiting room where we waited about 10 minutes before being called back to the listening center.
The lady doing the initial screening was awesome! She really did her best at making Dakota feel comfortable and it seemed to work because Dakota participated when she was asked to. She had to listen to instructions through some special ear buds and do what the woman asked (we were all sitting in a soundproof room and Tony nor I could hear anything). She asked her to do things like touch her mouth, her hair, her eyes, nose, elbow etc. (Dakota wouldn’t touch her own so she touched mine instead, but it still worked out.).
She then told Dakota that she would hear a tweet and when she did she was to “catch the birdie” with her hand. I couldn’t hear any of the instructions and when Dakota started reaching out into thin air I hadn’t the foggiest idea what was going on! (When we were leaving she told us that she liked “catching the birdies” and then it all made sense!
The final step in the listening center was to test her ear drum movement and that was over in less than 10 seconds. As we left there to go sit in the next waiting area Dakota told me that she “really liked that lady”! That’s a big step from this little girl!
We weren’t in the waiting room more than a few minutes before we were called into a small office to see the doctor. A nurse brought us in and did her usual stuff; height, weight, etc. and then once she left a doctor came in (not her doctor) and asked us a bunch of questions and did a bit of a check on Dakota’s ears. Finally, just a few minutes past ten, her doctor came in to do the formal appointment stuff.
I told the doctor that Dakota had just begun to work with a speech therapist and that while her language was great she had some articulation issues. The doctor thought maybe we should go ahead and see an audiologist about hearing aid options but after talking a bit more (is this a hearing issue or something common with her age?) we decided to see how the speech goes before seeing an audiologist.
We’ve scheduled our next appointment for January and at that point we will reassess her needs. That will give her a good few months of speech and I will be better able to grasp her issue. I don’t want to make the wrong decisions and feel it’s important to explore all of our options.
Tony and I were both shocked and thrilled that her appointment went so well and so quickly! We were back on the road home before 10:30am which means our appointment ran ON TIME for the first time ever! I sure hope it’ll be the same next time we go!