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

 

Must be MY SIDE… ;)

The big brain on my son, that is…  (my side ;) ). 

I hope this doesn’t come off the wrong way… but, I am pretty psyched and wanted to share. We just got AC’s first report card from middle school today. He got strait A+’s!! . =) We’re so proud of him!!

I thought he was doing well… but, I wasn’t sure just how well.. and half expected to have at least one class or teacher that he might be having some problems with.  So, when he called me today (obviously pretty pleased, himself) and he told me he made high honor roll – well, can you say “ecstatic?”.  =)  This was just wonderful news. =) A relief even. Like, “Whew! Maybe middle school won’t be so bad.” sorta feeling…

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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

Mild Hearing Loss or ADD??

I want to share another thing I learned that blew me away in our “year of discovery” (when AC was in 3rd grade).  Apparently, a lot of kids that are HOH get misdiagnosed as having ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder.  AC was almost one of them.  That was how we figured out he needed the FM and all – because his teacher started saying all these little negative “behavioral” things were happening. Things like many of the ones noted on this list from phonic ear.  Check out the chart: 

Similarities Between Mild Hearing Loss & Attention Deficit Disorder
Similarities Between Mild Hearing Loss & Attention Deficit Disorder

Maybe, this information is old news now… but, when I first heard this I had a HUGE “light-bulb moment”.  I wish I had known this information BEFORE that point.  So, maybe this will help someone else out there who’s just starting off with a child diagnosed with mild hearing loss.  

At the time I discovered this (thru my OWN research) we were in the process of weeks of jumping through hoops. 
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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

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.  

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