Mother’s Guilt…

As a mother, I think feeling guilty often comes with the territory.  When dealing with discovering your child has a hearing loss – and you didn’t even know it  for some time – these feelings can often surge up to al all time high.  At least they did for me back in 2001, when we realized AC had a hearing loss. 

As I mention on the “background page“, AC was probably born with mild/mod hearing loss, but, we didn’t know it until he was 4 years old.  Once we were LOOKING for it, there were signs everywhere…  but, up until that point, we really had NO clue. 

This is an email I found that I had written to a friend back then…  I thought Continue reading

His speech is a little off…

ac-prek2000

AC-prek2000

Below is a letter I sent to a friend back in January 2001 – just after we had taken AC to his 4 yr check up, and at the advice of his Pre-K teacher, I mentioned that she thought his “speech was a little off”. 

This captures the mood… and thoughts of that moment…

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Date: 18 January 2001

Hey _____,

I’m feeling a little scared..

I just had my son to the doctors office for his 4 year check up. AC is very healthy – but, I mentioned to her how his preschool teacher commented that his speech was a little difficult to understand sometimes. I knew this, but thought it was normal for his age. But, his doctor said his pronunciation is a little “lazy” for his age… and then we started questioning his hearing because he wouldn’t do the headphone hearing test earlier on in the visit. We tried to get him to do it again – and he either wasn’t hearing very well, didn’t understand what he was suppose to do, or he just didn’t want to do it.

So, his doc suggested I take him for a better evaluation to a hearing and speech center. I already made the appointment for 2/1.  I never noticed or thought he had a hearing problem, but now I’m worried.

I was trying to test him myself today, and it did seem he had difficulty hearing me when I whispered or spoke in lower tones. It’s so hard to tell… and if he does have a problem, I can’t believe I didn’t notice before.  

Continue reading

Acknowledging the needs of children with mild hearing loss…

I was surfing, and found a post about a recent study and article, called: Effect of Minimal Hearing Loss on Children’s Ability to Multitask in Quiet and in Noise“.  The full text in a PDF format, and more info can be found here: http://lshss.asha.org/cgi/content/abstract/39/3/342
The abstract reads:

Effect of Minimal Hearing Loss on Children’s Ability to Multitask in Quiet and in Noise
  – Brittany McFadden, Andrea Pittman, Arizona State University, Tempe

Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of minimal hearing loss (HL) on children’s ability to perform simultaneous tasks in quiet and in noise.
Method: Ten children with minimal HL and 11 children with normal hearing (NH) participated. Both groups ranged in age from 8 to 12 years. The children categorized common words (primary task) while completing dot-to-dot games (secondary task) in quiet as well as in noise presented at 0 dB and +6 dB signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). It was hypothesized that the children’s progression through the dot-to-dot games would slow as they encountered more difficult listening environments. This hypothesis was based on the theory that listeners have limited cognitive resources to allocate to any combination of tasks.
Results: The dot rate of both groups decreased similarly in the multitasking conditions relative to baseline. However, no other differences between groups or listening conditions were revealed. Significantly poorer word categorization was observed for the children with minimal HL in noise.
Conclusion: These data suggest that children with minimal HL may be unable to respond to a difficult listening task by drawing resources from other tasks to compensate.

I found this article very interesting… a little discouraging… but, mostly I am glad that this is being researched and that the needs of children with mild hearing loss is being acknowledged. > Continue reading

“The kid with the hearing aids”…

Way more than "the kid with the hearing aids"...

AC is way more than “the kid with the hearing aids”…  but, labels come cheap and everyone uses them.  
 
Below is another letter I had written 9 days after our son (then almost 4 yrs old)  was diagnosed… while we waited on getting his new hearing aids.  Reality hits home about labeling… stigma… hearing aids.  Things that still bother me 7 years later…  

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Written: February 10, 2001

Hi ___ =),

I need to vent a little more about AC… Something hit me like a ton of bricks last night… and I can’t quite shake it now….

We were over a LE’s house… sitting around the table, while our kids were sitting in the playroom… and from where I was sitting, I could see my son sitting in a chair, just watching the TV… and I was looking at him and thinking about how cute he is with his new haircut and all… what a great kid… you know… those loving motherly feelings…

Then I was thinking that soon, he’ll have his hearing aids… and I was just imagining him with them on… I’m actually looking forward to his reaction to them… and being able to hear everything… I’m thankful we now know and can deal with this.

But, then something just hit me… and I thought “Oh my God…. pretty soon, when people look at him… like I’m just watching him now… not me, but strangers or MOST people… the thing they are going to notice is going to be those hearing aids in his ears… ya know? and, I was just > Continue reading

Apparently, he has “permanent hearing loss” in both ears…

Below is an email I wrote from Feb, 2001 – when my son was first diagnosed with having a hearing loss. He had just turned 4.

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Written: February 1, 2001

 Hi …

Well, I took AC this morning for a thorough hearing evaluation, at the advice of his Doc. As you know, we were a little worried since his pre-K teacher mentiooned that his speech is not quite up to par, and since he wouldn’t/couldn’t do the hearing test at his 4 year check up. Up until that point, it never really dawned on me that his hearing might not be normal. But, these last couple of weeks – all kinds of little things starting clicking and making sense. So, when he had his evaluation this morning, I was sorry to hear that they do show hearing loss, but, I wasn’t too surprised.

Apparently, he has “permanent hearing loss” in both ears. That was sort of hard to take. I was hoping it was fluid or something.. anything that could be “fixed”. Still… Continue reading