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

 

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That’s Just the Way We Hear…

This is great.  Thanks to Paula’s Facebook page and “HearingExchange” for leading me to this great website and video…

From: http://www.dosomething.org/bands/entry/sophies-tales

 

Check it out! =)

When will my baby brother start wearing his hearing aids?

Brothers

Brothers

AC was just over 5 years old when I had my 2nd son.  He was so excited to be a big brother. He was also so happy the baby was a boy. He wanted a brother. And, what a great big brother he was/is. I was worried the big age difference might be a drawback to how much they would bond – but, that was a short-lived worry. AC loved being the big brother… and DC loved being the baby. They get along great… each enjoying their role.

But, there are some things that are hard to explain to a five year old. Shortly after we brought his little brother home, AC asked me one day, “So, when will DC start to wear his hearing aids?”. I realized that he just assumed that since he had started wearing his HA’s the year before – that his little brother would eventually do the the same.

I tried to explain to him that we had the baby’s ears tested, and that his baby brother didn’t seem to have the same needs as he did. That he might not ever need HA’s.  This didn’t make AC happy. He wanted his little brother to be just like him… and, I think, maybe this was one of the first times he felt that old “that’s not fair” feeling (more on that in this other post).

I wasn’t sure what to say. I tried to explain to him that everyone is different… that the world would be pretty boring if everyone was the same. etc.   I also pointed out that they had lots of things that were the same… like, they both had big blue eyes…  and me for a mom…  and how they would always be brothers…  and how lucky the baby was to have him for a big brother, etc.

The funny thing is – my younger son, DC, looks up to his big brother soooo much… that years later, when DC was about 4 yrs old and AC was then 9, DC INSISTED (for weeks) that he could not hear me.  He WANTED hearing aids too! At first, Continue reading

So… What’s YOUR Problem?!

jan2006-downAs I mentioned before, the year AC was in 3rd grade was a bit of a rough year for us. It was the first time he really ever “got in trouble” in school. He was basically being misunderstood, and was falsely accused of misbehaving, when he simply wasn’t hearing. 

Third grade was also the first time that AC really got a taste of being picked on or singled out by other kids because of his hearing aids… and of course he didn’t like it. Fortunately, the picking on was a few isolated cases… and, he always had lots of friends –  but, even a little “teasing/bullying” is hard to take.  Being the only kid you know who wears hearing aids makes you different, and being “different” when you’re a kid can be difficult.  The fact that this was also the time his teacher was suddenly on his case for “misbehaving” probably didn’t help.

On this particular afternoon back in third grade, AC came home mad.  He didn’t want to wear his hearing aids anymore. “I don’t NEED them!”, he said.

Of course, what he really wanted was NOT to be different. Not to Continue reading

That’s not a Bluetooth headset! (Jerks steal HA)

Heard this in the news recently… about a kid who had his hearing aid ripped right off his head!  I was so appalled…. I had to share and vent.  I mean?  What the &@^%&?  I can’t hardly believe it – but, then agan, yes, I can.  Still, what a world we live in!  Read on:

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from: http://www.latimes.com/technology/la-me-speech14-2008jul14,1,5365903.story

That’s not a Bluetooth headset

Thieves, perhaps after cellphone gear, have twice stolen a deaf boy’s special earpiece.
By Mary Engel, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 14, 2008
The first time someone snatched the speech processor from behind her son’s ear, Hilda Giron got it back. She had been shopping for groceries and shouted to the cashier 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