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

Silent Whispers…

whisperThere’s a beautifully written post by Michelle over at the “Say What Club” blog – entitled: “All That A Whisper Is“.  Michelle is a mom who has severe hearing loss herself, and talks about how she could not hear whispers from her child.  Please go read her post…  it’s an inspiring read.

For me, it also gave me a glimpse to the other side.  Because along with not hearing the “th, f, s, sh, sp, t, b, etc” silent consonants, it was my son who could not hear my whispers.  I wrote this in response to her post:

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great post… thank you for sharing that.

It reminded me that when I realized my son couldn’t hear whispers (he was 4 when we found out he had a mild-mod hearing loss)… and it suddenly made sense why when HE whispered something to me, he only moved his lips. He didn’t think you were SUPPOSE to say it out loud.. because, he could not hear us.

When I first realized that… I felt tremendously guilty… both, for not realizing why he only moved his lips… and, because I realized that for 4 years… I was always whispering sweet nothings in his ears… I love you’s… sssshhhhhh sounds when he was crying… and he never heard any of it…

I felt terrible about that… but, 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