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July 25, 2008

Gwen's Hearing Test

Hearing_testWe had Gwenny's hearing checked today.  Not that we suspected a problem but just because of her heavy ear wax problem.  As suspected, she passed with flying colors.  Seriously, this child can hear the crinkle of a candy wrapper from another room!   Her hearing has never been in question.

It was interesting how they administered the hearing test.  First, they confirmed that she was "developmentally on target" and able to follow simple instructions.  I laughed when I heard that because I wasn't sure how to answer!   Gwen is BRILLIANT but usually completely unwilling to follow instructions -- unless she wants to.   And she usually doesn't want to.  For example, she won't dress herself because she wants me to do it.  If I don't do it, she's perfectly happy to stay in her PJ's (or run nekkid) all day long.    No amount of brow-beating will change this.  She's just not interested in performing this task.  Period.  Can she?  Yes.  Will she?  No.

So how would she do on the hearing test?  Would she agree to wear the head-phones?  Would she be frustrated that the tones weren't entertaining enough?  Would she be willing to demonstrate that she was hearing a tone?  Would she be willing to do it dozens of times?  I was really skeptical!  But these folks are professionals!  They made the test into a fun game that she was excited to play.   

I wasn't allowed to stay in the soundproof booth with her but could watch and listen from just outside the booth.  There was a window so Gwen could see me.  I heard the Doctor (a nice lady in her 40's with small children of her own) explain the game to Gwen.  She gave her an empty puzzle tray and handed her one piece of the puzzle that fit into a slot on the tray.  The rules of the game were simple:  Put the piece in the puzzle only when you hear the tone

In the picture above, she's holding a pink circle and waiting for the tone so she can put it in the correct slot.  Initially, she was unsure what to do but the Doctor was really friendly and consistently repeated the rules of the game at least a dozen times.  A few times, she forgot that she was supposed to wait for the tone and the Doctor had to confirm with her that she really heard something.  Eventually, she settled into a routine of hearing the tone and quickly looking at the Doctor and and smiling enthusiastically in anticipation.    The Doctor read her response (the smile) and got the information she needed for the test.  Brilliant! 

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