With no known family of hearing loss, it was a shock to learn of having children with bilateral sensineural hearing loss, meaning that it is loss of hair cells in the cochlea, therefore it is irreversible. Here is our story:
It is a blessing that our state law mandates a newborn hearing screening. It detected a loss in both A and R. As a follow up with A, her testing came back inconclusive, but when R was born 2 years later with a confirmed mild to moderate loss, we had A retested, and confirmed a moderate loss. Proceeding her scheduled testing, her speech began to decline, and with a greater loss than R, there is a bit of a suspicion that she may have had some progressive loss.
Within six months of R’s diagnosis of hearing loss, both girls were fitted with hearing aids and are continuing to adapt to the world around them.
In the world of hearing or deaf, A and R do not fit either, but thrive right in the middle, at hard of hearing. Their losses may confuse those that are unfamiliar with hearing loss, because even without their hearing aids, they can hear some, and they are able to communicate verbally, but they still struggle. With the assitance of hearing aids, they are able to access speech and hear the spoken language, but it cannot be mistaken for a full audio correction, because it will never be 100%.
We may have to do things a little bit differently, but they can do anything everyone else can do, except fully hear. It’s not a disability, but a special part of their identity.
In this blog, it is my goal to journal our journey as hearing parents to hard of hearing children. It is my goal to share what we learn along the way, the struggles to triumphs, and the pride I share in being a mother to two beautiful girls that have hearing loss!
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