We may have uncovered some of Schaeffer's speech problems. The story goes like this: At Schaeffer's last speech therapy session, Dee noticed Schaeffer wasn't responding to certain toys that made soft sounds (toys that rattle, swish, or crinkle). She has also observed Schaeffer trying to say words, but his articulation is horrible. Therefore, Dee suggested that I take Schaeffer to Tennessee School for the Deaf for a free hearing test. Through the use of a tympanometer, the audiologist at TSD discovered that both of Schaeffer's eardrums were not vibrating as they should be. The results of his test showed no movement of the right eardrum and abnormally small amounts of movement of the left eardrum. Luckily, when she tested his hearing as it related to tone, his test was normal. She gave me the tympanometer results and told me to take them to Dr. Feld.
Today we visited Dr. Feld and I showed him the results. He looked in Schaeffer's ears and said that he had lots of "gunky fluid" behind his eardrums. He re-tested with the tympanometer at his office to ensure the results correlated. They did, and in fact, both eardrums showed no movement at all (the graph was completely flat). Dr. Feld is referring Schaeffer to an Ear, Nose, Throat doctor. He explained that he did not want to waste any time with medications because the fluid needed to be drained out with the use of tubes. He said, "This is not a case of reoccurring ear infections, but it's a case of Schaeffer not being able to hear." I then asked if it was possibly causing the speech delay and Dr. Feld nodded in agreement.
So we should be hearing from Dr. Feld's office in the next few days with more information about an appointment with an ENT. Dr. Feld said, "Unless the ENT had a very compelling argument otherwise, I want to see Schaeffer get tubes."
I just pray that the tubes are the answer and my little man begins talking up a storm once the fluid is gone and his hearing is restored. He has begun to say "Mama" lately, although it's been a few days since I've heard him say it. Nonetheless, it has totally melted my heart!
1 day ago