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Hi everyone! I would like to ask if there is a link between Glue Ear and trouble learning to do reading. My 6 year old learnt phonics fine, but he still doesn't get that it has something to do with the parts of words. Me and my partner were discussing that when he was 3 he had Glue Ear followed by Grommits. Has anyone else seen a link with these 2 things? Or does he just have a hearing problem do you think?


- Julie
  • Replied by mom23greatkidson Saturday, March 30 2013, 10:26 AM·Hide·#1
    Hi Julie,

    My son had a lot of ear infections as a young child, but we never did the grommits. I did have his hearing checked when he was 4 as I though there was a problem even then; he would mishear things all of the time. There was nothing wrong with his hearing, but now I realize I should have had his auditory processing checked as well. Auditory processing is different than hearing, it is what the brain does with what it hears and how it processes information. My son is now 10 and is reading, but his spelling is terrible. My son learnt the phonics fine, but had no clue what to do with them! Even now if he comes across a long word, he will sound the parts out fine, but then have a hard time putting them together. He did 3 years of vision therapy which really helped, now we are following up with the auditory processing test, he is booked in for next month. I had glue ear described to me as trying to hear whilst underwater, all sounds will be distorted. My nephew had grommits and he hates to read...
    Spelling magic is really helping my 10 year old, I wish I had found it sooner. I would highly recommend the Easy Read program for your son, it builds upon itself; the staff are very helpful and aware of difficulties your child may encounter.
  • Replied by CharlieWon Wednesday, April 10 2013, 05:53 AM·Hide·#2
    When was the last time you had a hearing screening? That might be useful. Last year my son said to me one day - "Mom, I am having trouble hearing." Wow. I took him right out to get his hearing evaluated. I thought this could be a big factor in his reading struggle. It was interesting to find out he was 100% in one ear and 96% in the other! His hearing was in fact very good - his processing was not, and re-confirmed his Dyslexia symptoms.
  • Replied by Mom2Boyson Wednesday, April 10 2013, 11:14 AM·Hide·#3
    My son had a lot of ear infections but never the grommets (called tubes here in the USA). He ended up with auditory processing disorder as well.

    Glue ear causes several issues for the child with can result in both poor hearing and auditory processing issues. The first is the gunk in the middle ear causes the middle ear to not function properly so the child's hearing goes in and out, much like a bad cell phone connection. This means the child cannot properly hear what is said. This is called a conductive hearing loss because the middle ear conducts or amplifies the sounds into the inner ear.

    The second issue results because of this inadequate conduction -- auditory processing disorder. With inadequate conduction the auditory systems is under-stimulated and this causes the auditory system to not mature properly. There are various degrees of auditory processing disorder. There can be an auditory weakness and there can be full-blown auditory processing disorder.

    Some ideas that might help:

    1) Have the child examined by an ENT to look and see if the middle ear is still gunked up. It's possible something needs to be done to clear it out.

    2) Make sure when the hearing test is done they check for acoustic reflexes. When these are not present or below normal levels, it's an indication the middle ear is not working properly.

    3) Try a listening therapy to help exercise the strapedius muscle, which is in the middle ear. This muscle helps the bones in the middle ear move properly, and it is weakened by the presence of glue ear. My son had a conductive hearing loss and when we did AIT it was repaired. My son seemed to awake from a dream after that. His sound sensitivity improved and he was better able to follow along in conversations. Tomatis, Enlisten and The Listening Program are other good ones to consider, but I have heard of best results with AIT.

    4) Have the child assessed for auditory processing disorder. You want to rule it in or out. Make sure you go to an audiologist who specializes in APD.

    5) Every time your child goes swimming or has a cold or maybe even allergies, some degree of the glue ear may return. You may have to accommodate his hearing by speaking more slowly, not talking in noisy places and making sure he's looking at you when talking. It takes 45 days for the ears to clear after an ear infection, about 3 weeks for them to clear after a cold.

    Auditory processing disorder can look very much like Dyslexia. In fact, some say it is a form of a Dyslexia. It doesn't matter what the label is, you need to find a way to help improve his auditory function so comprehending what is said is not so difficult.

    If you want more info on APD, let me know.
    Replied by fijybilahon Tuesday, March 27 2018, 11:18 PM·Hide·#4
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