FM Systems: What is your experience?

I  have a question for anyone who has hearing loss, and has used or is using an FM system in school…  and/or  any parents with a child who does.  I’d like to hear your experiences with using the FM – positive, negative – when it was used, where?  What grade did you start using it?  And, was it continued through high school?  college?

This has been our experience with the FM:

AC started wearing hearing aids when he was 4 (preK), but didn’t start using an FM in school until 3rd grade.  Continue reading

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Not Alone…

One thing that has always bothered me is the fact that AC doesn’t know any other kids that have hearing loss.  It may be something I worry about more than he does…  but, ever since he was diagnosed (when he was 4) until now (he’s 15) – he has always been the only kid who wears hearing aids that he/we know personally.   In school – he’s the only one in his classes dealing with the FM too.   I’ve read articles about social issues for HOH kids, and so have tried to find other kids in our area like AC.   I’ve posted about that on here before – but, it’s never really worked out.

People will frequently compare wearing hearing aids with wearing glasses – but, it really isn’t the same.  Wearing glasses will pretty much correct your vision, but wearing hearing aids never really brings hearing quality to a “normal” level.  The sound quality is much different, and there are all kinds of other factors that come into play (batteries, surrounding noises, etc).   Then, there’s the social differences.  LOTS of people wear glasses – but hearing aids? – not so much.   Wearing glasses doesn’t present the same types of  feelings of being different or the same unfortunate stigmas.

We live in an area with one of the largest Deaf populations around – but, AC doesn’t identify with  Deaf culture either.  He doesn’t use ASL.  He is learning it in school for his “foreign language”, but it is not how he communicates and he doesn’t consider himself as “Deaf”.  His family, friends, class-mates – are all hearing… and he fits in with us/them, but,  Continue reading

Phonak – GAP (Guide to Access Planning) site…

AC is now 15 and finishing up his Freshmen year of high school. Time does fly!

I wanted to share a website here that was recommended to me by our school district’s audiologist: Phonak: GAP (Guide to Access Planning): http://www.phonakonline.com/MyGap/GapMain.html.

It has a ton of information for kids – especially teens, parents and professionals about hearing loss and benefits of technology. There are assessments to help determine just what an individual’s needs might be, and has lots of links to other resources and videos. Check it out:

http://www.phonakonline.com/MyGap/GapMain.html

“Hearing Loss In The Family”

Thought this was interesting…  and worth sharing:

Documentary video about hearing loss in the family

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=440288214442594246&hl=en&fs=true

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

What Does a Hearing Loss Sound Like?

Interesting…  and really shows what an impact background noise has on moderate hearing loss.  I give my son (and anyone else with mild/mod hearing loss) a lot of credit for dealing with this on a regular basis… 

From:
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/topics/hearingloss/hlsoundslke.htm

Play a recording that demonstrates normal hearing
Normal hearing

Play a recording that demonstrates moderate hearing lossModerate hearing loss

 

Play a recording that demonstrates normal hearing with background noiseNormal hearing with background noise

 

Play a recording that demonstrates moderate hearing loss with background noise
Moderate hearing loss with background noise

 

Finding help… and friends… (who can relate to mild/moderate hearing loss)

I’ve been so busy lately, and AC has been doing so well, that it’s been easy to forget about updating this blog.  Yet, every once in a while… something, or some ONE, reminds me of why I started this blog a few years back.  This is what happened just recently when I received an email from a woman who had found this blog, and she could relate to much of it. 

Her son is now in third grade, has mild/moderate hearing loss, has not had an IEP or 504 – and didn’t seem to need one.. until now.  And, now the school is telling her he doesn’t qualify, because he isn’t failing anything…  and, that his “problems” are “behavioral” and not “hearing loss related”.   Continue reading