Severe hearing loss/autism: How to treat?

zepolv zepolv at
Sun Aug 3 15:24:48 EST 1997

Having great difficulty finding medical doctors or audiologists who have
the experience/expertise in treating patients who have severe hearing
loss, autism, and developmental disabilities.  Two ABR's have verified
the suspected hearing loss in our 29-year-old son:  fully deaf in one
ear and very little hearing in the other.  We are told that they've
never had a patient with this particular combination of diagnoses.  

It's uncertain if he will tolerate a hearing aid.  Ear molds have not
yet been made since this procedure will require general anesthesia due
to his inability to sit still that long.  Before we do that, we'd like
to know of any other options that may be available.

He previously had normal hearing.  It is believed by some doctors that
he suffered an anoxic brain injury and lost his hearing due to excessive
pressure placed on his neck during a chokehold. (This was done, by the
way, by a staff psychologist in a workshop because he spilled something
on the floor!)  

What further testing is available other than ABR?  Would implants help?
We are able to take him anywhere in order to give him the benefit of a
full evaluation of his hearing loss and a determination of the best
available treatment or help.  

He has few pleasures in life; we naturally want to do everything
possible to help him regain some of the hearing that he previously had. 
He is nonverbal also, and it would be wonderful if he could regain some
ability to hear familiar voices, sounds, etc.  

We would appreciate any suggestions.  Please cc: responses to
NoDxJustRx at  Thank you.

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