Preschooler must wait for critical ear surgery

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 05:00 19/01/2013

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Amy McCorkindale is desperate for her son to receive surgery to help him regain his hearing before he starts school this year.

McCorkindale is still waiting for an appointment to have son Tyler Pio, 4, assessed for grommet surgery, despite the family having to pull him out of preschool in November because of behavioural issues linked to his hearing loss.

Tyler has had behavioural problems throughout his childhood but it was not until he failed a routine hearing test a year ago that McCorkindale realised why.

Fluid buildup in both ears had left him with severe hearing loss in his left ear and only 50 per cent hearing in his right ear.

"In a preschool situation, he's just lost. It got to the point where he was just getting frustrated and aggressive with the other children," McCorkindale said. "He didn't want to go to preschool and was getting anxiety symptoms and biting himself."

McCorkindale worked at the preschool and had to resign when Tyler was pulled out so she could look after him at home.

Tyler will turn 5 in April, but McCorkindale is considering keeping him at home until he has the surgery.

"I know if he goes to school without any grommets he's going to be at such a disadvantage.

"It's going to make school a bad experience for him."

She said Tyler had been on the waiting list for an appointment to be assessed for grommet surgery since September.

The waiting time in some other regions was shorter, and McCorkindale was concerned about "why Christchurch is different".

"I just think it's such a big issue. With Tyler, of course I worry about him, but I also worry about the other children [with hearing loss]," she said.

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