How can I help my child overcome his hearing and language articulation problems?
My 10 yr old (11 in May) son is mostly a straight A student and involved in many school and after school activities. He has trouble being understood by peers and teachers (l's and r's) but has not suffered academically so everyone suggests up to this point that he just try harder to over-annunciate. He has just had an adenoidectomy 1 1/2 weeks ago and we are hoping it will help his hearing and language articulation. He did not have lots of ear trouble as a baby/toddler but 2 yrs ago his eardrum burst and he has had before and after chronic congestion. He tested negative for allergies although I think he has seasonal like me and perhaps barometric related headaches/congestion. Also, when tested 2 yrs ago for a private school, the tester said she would have been concerned about the number on his auditory processing if his intelligence had not scored in the superior to very superior range. We tried a casual approach in 3rd grade to some basic exercises, at home for articulation because we didn't want to pull him out of classes during the day and because of his grades no one thought he would qualify for special services. I visited 2 speech therapists offices and they agreed without the academic loss they did not see where he needed help.
Good for you for being so proactive over his lifetime.
You have consulted speech therapists and an ear, nose and throat specialist to establish what help they might be for your son. In addition, since he is ten, it might be worthwhile to discuss this with his dentist/orthodontist. The palate or the roof of the mouth can be involved and is worth an examination if you have not already done that. The technology currently exists to video the palate while speaking. Concerning auditory processing, that is an education phenomenon that should not affect his speech. Best also to see what affect the adenoidectomy will have. Good luck.
Wayne A. Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics