Selective male hearing, my son ignores me and others

krista_marieDecember 9, 2001

When my son was born, they thought he had a hearing problem. He was tested and passed with flying colors, the doctor said his hearing was just fine. He ignores us, and others who talk to him. He has done this since birth. We would call his name, try to play with him etc and he would just ignore us. Thought maybe he would outgrow it. NOT. He is 2 1/2 now and I am wondering if he will have problems when he starts pre-school or kindergarten. This is obviously a personality thing. Does any one have any experience with this type of situation? He does interact with us and others when he feels like it and is very loving,smart and fun.

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Does a touch on the shoulder as you start to talk to him help? Does using eye contact while you talk help, or does he move away from your gaze?

How long since the last hearing test? Maybe you could do another if it's been awhile.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2001 at 9:38AM
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Ask your pediatrician about an audiologist referral. Testing whether an infant can hear or not is a much simpler kind of process than testing for frequencies or what may be %'s of less than optimal hearing ranges.

Don't be too quick to write it off as a personality thing without more refined testing. In general soft consonants are difficult to hear, higher pitches are more difficult to hear and so on. He may be inclined to look at 'different' people which can give the appearance that he hears and listens to them (and not you). But, he may be responding to nonverbal cues and/or whatever he hears or senses.

talk to your pediatrician about your concern that your 2 1/2 year old (from birth) seems to not be able to hear you even though he did pass the newborn hearing screen (so he's probably not totally deaf)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2001 at 12:06PM
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Absolutely rule out any hearing problem.

But, if this is reassuring, each of my boys went through that at around 2.5-3.5 yrs old. I bet my daughter does, too. DH used to insist they had a hearing problem and want me to take them to the doctor. I'd assure him their hearing was tested and was fine at the last check up, they didn't have an ear infection or anything. Then I'd do a little demonstration.

I'd shout "Come clean up your toys." No response, of course. Then I'd whisper "Who wants ice cream?" and both kids would come running. Go figure.

So, I make sure they are looking at me when I talk to them. Or if they are out of the room, I call and ask them to answer me before I go on. Then I'll ask them to repeat what I just said. I found that if I just kept saying the same thing over and over, they tuned out even more. If I said it once then asked them what I just said, I know they got it.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 9:29PM
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My son is 7 and still has this problem:-). He has the uncanning ability to tune people out. When he is watching something or doing something he can and will totally ignore you. It's good when it comes to school work and testing but bad when I am talking to him. It started when he was very young also. I was looking at video tapes of him recently when he was age 1 & 2. He would totally ignore me and the camera. He reminds me of a Family Circus comic strip when the little boy comes in the room and tells his mom "I did not hear you the first 4 times you called me." LOL

My dad is like that too. It takes forever for him to answer you when you call his name or ask him a question.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2002 at 12:24PM
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did you ever find out if he had any hearing problems? My son is the same way (15 months). He seems to hear just want he wants too. Sometimes I make a bring production about calling his name and I see him smile/smirk.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 1:24PM
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I think it's inherited, sons inherit this ability from their fathers, my son did, and I notice it in other men, too. Even my male cat has selective hearing.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 4:38PM
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