We took Emma and Nic to a center specializing in hearing tests.  The tests for Emma came back negative for hearing loss, though the center did recommend hearing therapy for Nic.  Nic was sensitive to loud high pitched noises, like the fire truck’s sirens from the fire house across the street from where we lived.   He would run away from the sound covering his ears and crying.  Emma didn’t seem bothered by noise, in fact, Emma seemed to enjoy noisy situations, loved parties, the more, the merrier, it seemed.  Up until we received the results from the hearing tests I convinced myself this was the crux of the problem.  I remember telling my mother about a book I’d read regarding hearing loss and how it can lead to a variety of behavioral problems.  Surely this was what ailed Emma.

When the hearing tests came back negative, I had to modify my thinking.  Okay so her hearing was fine, this was good news, right?    It didn’t feel like good news.

We set up an evaluation through Visiting Nurse Service of New York.  VSNY is a not-for-profit organization providing health care in New York City.   There were pages of paperwork to be filled out prior to the evaluation.

Some of the questions were:

Does your child look at or turn to sounds?


Does your child respond to favorite people, making happy sounds or smiling?

YES!  She’s very happy with a jubilant, infectious laugh.

Does your child imitate you when playing a game, such as peek-a-boo?

YES! Another bull’s eye.  Maybe things were going to be fine after all.

Does your child engage in “make-believe”, such as playing with a doll or truck or playing house?

Okay, no, but she’s not interested in dolls, she’s more of a tom-boy.  She likes to run around and be outside.

Does your child indicate when she wants something?

Well no, but Emma never seems to want anything – so it’s not applicable – right?

Does your child interact with peers?


Does your child use one or more words to ask for what he/she wants?

She did… sometimes, okay, not often.  She said “chase me” when she was about 16 months old, but as her language regressed, “chase me” went the way of all the other phrases – into the great abyss.

Does your child look up when you call to him/her?

Well, no.

And so it went.  Each question – like a nail being pounded into a plank – shutting out the possibility she was going through some sort of freakish delay which would right itself if left alone and not questioned.

For more information on Visiting Nurse Service go to:  www.vnsny.org

For more information on Emma’s evaluation see earlier posts:  The Beginning  and Hug Witness.

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