I have a little nephew who I think is just adorable. I grew up not far from here, and my immediate family members are all in the area, so it’s easy for me to visit whenever I want. So, I spend a lot of time with this kid, and I think there’s something up with him: he can’t hear as well as I think he should.
I haven’t brought this up to my sister and her family, because I don’t want to freak them out or anything, but it’s a little scary to me. What should I say or do about this?
Our ears are very complex things, and there are many reasons why someone might be hard of hearing or deaf. It’s impossible to say if or why your little nephew is having hearing issues just based on the context of your letter, but it’s possible that there is something wrong.
If there is, though, there’s a good chance that it will be caught by a doctor, like the pros at places like the Chatham, New Jersey pediatrics office. Doctors and parents are astute observers, and there are pediatric hearing tests that can be used to determine if, or to what extent, your nephew has hearing trouble.
If he does have a problem, there are many things that can be done to treat it. Hearing aids have been around for a long time, but the technology inside of them keeps improving, according to the experts at The Hearing Group. They specialize in hearing issues and treatments. Your letter implies that your nephew can hear, but may not hear well, and that may bode well for his chances of having effective treatment options.
The question remains, though: should you bring your concerns to the attention of your sister and her family?
It is entirely possible that your sister and her family have already noticed the same things, and have discussed them with their pediatrician. It is also entirely possible that it only seems as if he can’t hear well, when there’s actually nothing wrong with your nephew’s hearing. He may have another, unrelated issue, such as with his focus or attention span. Or, he may simply be a willful child who’s great at ignoring things (selective hearing) sometimes! However, it wouldn’t hurt to tactfully mention your observation to your sister before your nephew’s next visit to the pediatrician.
Handling the conversation well is key, of course. Your brief mental notes are all you’re presenting, so do so with the gentle suggestion that your sister may want to mention the subject to her pediatrician. Don’t act sure of your observations if you are not, and don’t speculate on conditions and illnesses that could cause hearing issues. That will only stoke your sister’s fears, and you are not a doctor. Moms worry enough!
If you raise the issue gently, though, it will do no harm. In fact, it may do a lot of good! Catching issues early is key in healthcare at all ages. We wish you and your family the best.
“Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.” – Anonymous