12

thread: Anyone here have a child with a hearing impairment?

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Jul 2008
    Home with my Son :)
    2,611

    Anyone here have a child with a hearing impairment?

    Long story short, DS needs hearing aids for a moderate sensorineural hearing loss. I only found out yesterday. I was shocked, I knew he had some hearing loss, but I didn't realise how bad. He responds and reacts so well to sound.. I also know that without the hearing aids his speech would be affected quite badly, so we pick them up in 3 weeks.. I am scared now people are going to treat him differently. Do things like yell when they speak or treat him like he's slow.

    I know that after all the challenges he's had, this is nothing, he is an amazing healthy bub who's development is coming along beautifully, better than expected. I am very lucky to have him. I was just a bit shocked.


  2. #2

    Jun 2010
    District Twelve
    8,425

    Hi BAL

    My sister was hearing impaired.

    Can I ask if they know the cause of Jett's hearing loss. Was it the gentamicin? That's what caused my sister's.

    I really hope you find someone to chat to to debrief.

    I can give you my mum's number if you like. I am sure she would be more than happy to chat.

    Take care x

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Jul 2008
    Home with my Son :)
    2,611

    N2L, yeah they think it was a combination of the gentamicin, long term ventilation and hypoxia. Or it could be genetic.. They want to do some tests for that, but I'm pretty satisfied that it was from him being prem.

    How significant is your sisters hearing loss?

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jul 2008
    Eastern Surburbs, Melbourne
    1,841

    Our accountants grandson wears hearing aids and has adjusted really well. The hardest thing is getting him to keep them in.
    It's good that this was found so early so he can be helped before bad habbits start.
    After a while people will not even notice them.

    It is natural to be a bit shocked but I know you will handle the adjustment with flying colours as will your beautiful and precious son

  5. #5

    Jun 2010
    District Twelve
    8,425

    My sister died when I was in primary school so unfortunately, I cant answer your question

    I know my mum always referred to her as being "profoundly deaf" and she had a hearing aid as a toddler. Not sure if that helps...

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Jul 2008
    Home with my Son :)
    2,611

    OMG N2L I'm so sorry ... I only asked because I noticed you said 'was'. I was thinking maybe her hearing got better

    Rivlas - I'm sure it will be fun with a curious baby with wandering hands. This is why I want to learn some sign, so if he doesn't have them in we can still communicate. I'm hoping the sooner he gets used to them the better.

  7. #7

    Jun 2010
    District Twelve
    8,425

    No problems BAL xxx

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Sep 2009
    Melbourne, VIC
    581

    DH is deaf in one ear - he was prem and it was attributed to gentamicin. He didn't need an aid because his other ear is fine...but he's been talking lately about looking into one as he really struggles to communicate when there's lots of background noise.

    I'm sorry to hear DS's hearing is impaired...but being so young I'm sure he'll adapt really well

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Sep 2008
    Melbourne
    3,300

    My DH has worn hearing aids for past four or so years - people never even notice them. My mum can only hear in one ear (since birth) due to a nerve growing in one place and a hearing aid would do nothing - you have to stand on right side of her and she does lip read a little but copes pretty well. DH's mum hearing is bad, I was always told was a diving accident but I suspect there is more to it due to DH's hearing loss and the fact hers seems really bad (far worse than my mums).

    Anyway what I wanted to say really was is interesting about you saying how responsive to sound your DS is, as due to above history both mine have to have additional hearing tests - when DS had his a month or so ago - they said seemed to be some loss but could be due to middle ear infection clearing up - and I was really quite surprised he showed any at all because he seemed to respond to sound so well (we are having follow up for him and DD in a couple of months). I always thought it would be easy to notice any hearing loss especially in young children (DH took us ages to realize because he had become so adept at lip reading and filling in the blanks he wasn't hearing that he didn't know he wasn't hearing them) but have seen it appears is not - so I understand the shock a little.

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Member

    May 2007
    ACT
    523

    We don't have hearing loss but I can relate to your fear of having DS treated differently and/or as if he's slow. Our DS is almost two and not yet walking. We've just seen relateives interstate with one repeating numerous times "he's very bright" as I think they were expecting the worst. I fluctuated between feeling "yes, that's our bright little boy" to "grrr, what were you expecting".
    I do find myself getting defensive of my son and his accomplishments. At times it's harder to keep that in check than others. I know he's a happy, healthy boy who just has a difficulty in one aspect and dont want people to assume that means more than it does.
    You and Jett have come so far together. You are a good team and will get through this together too. Xx

  11. #11
    Registered User

    Jul 2008
    Home with my Son :)
    2,611

    Thanks for support I have been reading through some of the material I have been given so I have plenty of access to support. I might access it to begin with but because I don't want it to define him, I don't think I'll go to specific playgroups/events etc.. I'll just see how I go.

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Oct 2008
    Newport, VIC
    1,885

    My parents are both Deaf and I grew up with many Deaf and hearing impaired friends.

    The Deaf community in Australia is very strong if you are interested in being a part of it. AUSLAN is a great language and even though he's only hearing impaired I'd still encourage you both to learn. It can help immensely in the future as it is a method of communication. I have a few friends who are hearing imparired and were never taught AUSLAN. When they got to mainstream schools, their hearing and speech wasn't good enough to learn or communicate. As such they had no way of communicating with people and then had to learn AUSLAN as teenagers.

    Sorry if this is rushed, I'm finishing work now. PM me if you want more info or just to chat.

    Fiona

  13. #13
    Registered User

    Nov 2009
    Scottish expat living in Geelong
    5,572

    Hi BAL

    my youngest was diagnosed as moderate to severely deaf at 5 months old, and had hearing aids until 15 months when they discovered his deafness was conductive and not sensoineural and hence he needed grommets and not aids. When he had his aids I did notice a few people staring at him but like Jett he was blessed with incredible above average cuteness so I put some if it down to that. Most kids asked what they were for and just told them, we decorated them with dinosaur stickers and told people they were like bionic ears. Kids were interested and kind, it was the parents that made a big fuss.

    I did start to learn Auslan though, because although he wouldn't need it the research I did suggested that lots of kids with hearing loss like to socialise with other hearing loss kids and so I wanted boytwin to be able to fully emmerse himself in the deaf community or in the hearing community. I also intended for the entire family to learn Auslan so that his friends would feel welcome and understood in our house but as his diagnosis changed so did this intent. I had decided that unless his communication was massively affected that he would go to a regular school though, as being one of 4 I didn't want to separate him from his siblings. That said there are some considerations for school, things like do they have carpets and curtains as this will help him be able to hear better as they absorb background noises.

    If you have any questions please PM me.

    Trav
    xx

  14. #14
    Registered User

    Jul 2008
    Home with my Son :)
    2,611

    I am happy to learn Auslan now and I have got a chart of some simple signs that we will use but my question is if the hearing aids help him to hear why does he need to socialise etc in the deaf community? I'm thinking the more I focus on being 'in' with the deaf community the more I am segregating him? Does that make sense? He should be able to hear fine with the aids and communicate so there shouldn't be an issue for him to play with kids that don't have a hearing impairment. Maybe I'm still in denial a bit? I am really surprised how much this diagnosis has affected me.

  15. #15
    Registered User

    Nov 2009
    Scottish expat living in Geelong
    5,572

    I understand exactly what you are thinking BAL, but what I learned when I researched was that a lot of kids (not all) prefer to be in the deaf community where they are one of many, rather that try to integrate in the hearing community where they are the deaf child and therefore different from their peers. Quite a few deaf children will take out their hearing aids to fit in more with deaf children I wanted to give boytwin the choice about who he wanted to associate with.

  16. #16
    Registered User

    Jul 2008
    Home with my Son :)
    2,611

    Thanks Traveller, that makes sense..

  17. #17
    Registered User

    Oct 2008
    Newport, VIC
    1,885

    For my parents and friends, it's mostly about communication. My Dad is profoundly deaf, my mum hearing impaired. They prefer to hang out with people that they can fully communicate with. My mum is very oral, can hear quite well with her hearing aids on and people can understand what she says when she talks. However she still prefers AUSLAN as it means she doesn't miss anything that people are saying. Even though she has good hearing, it's still not the same as understanding everything that people are communicating with her.

    I also know of a few Deaf teenagers that took out the external part of their cochlear implants as they weren't really helping them much anyway and they wanted to be Deaf, not hearing.

    It can sound a bit confronting and you are probably processing lots right now. At this stage, I think that Deaf playgroups, social groups when older etc are more about giving him choices than segregating him. At least then Jett has had exposure to a range of people he can hang out with and then he can make his own decisions based on what he feels most comfortable with.

    People will sometimes try and speak loudly to my dad or talk to my mum with her back turned. Some people think my parents are stupid because they are Deaf and automatically turn to me in any conversation so I can translate. I see my role as helping to educate these people about how to communicate with Deaf people effectively. Basic stuff like speak slowly to my Dad and look at him, no point shouting as it doesn't make a difference. Make sure you have Mum's attention before starting otherwise she won't realise you are talking to her. If someone is particularly rude, I'll just walk away so they have no choice but to communicate with Mum and Dad as I've said. Mum and Dad are absolutely able to assert themselves if they don't understand what someone is saying and conversations can take a while in shops. However that's the way things work with them and they have as much right as everyone else to understand what is being said to them by a hearing person.

  18. #18
    Registered User

    Jul 2008
    Home with my Son :)
    2,611

    Thanks Fabfiona.. I think it is just processing. I am not sure why i am struggling so much. It could be so much worse! I guess the fact that he is now 'special needs' takes some getting used to. I don't know anything about hearing impairment really and how will impact on his life. I want him to be 'normal' whatever that means .. You make a lot of sense when you say I would be giving him choices. I have a social worker, I sent her an e mail so she should get back to me next week. She can tell me where to start. Honestly I just don't know. I don't want to have this huge label hanging over our heads, I don't want him known as 'the deaf kid' or to be treated like he is stupid, but I don't want to deny his hearing impairment either, as that could disadvantage him too.

    I appreciate the advice.

12