Thursday, October 17, 2013

Living With Hearing Loss & #HearTheWorld Twitter Party

I’m going to be joining and Hear the World for a Twitter party next week, but I wanted to share how our family has experience hearing loss in a child. This is a sponsored post.

When my youngest son was born, everything seemed fine. He had a slight tongue tie, but he had no issues with nursing. It turned out he had a few other issues that showed themselves over the years. I have four kids and the other three never needed any surgeries, he’s had 3, and thankfully, none were serious.
Spring forward to Doodle being 8 years old. I got a phone call from the school nurse. The wonderful thing about our small school district is being on a first name basis with just about everyone. She wanted to let me know Doodle had failed his hearing exam.

I. Was. Shocked.

It’s such a strange thing to learn your child has a “disability”. We took him to our clinic and we were SO amazingly blessed with Dr. Wendy. One of the kindest people I’ve ever met. She ran all of the tests on Doodle and he had enough hearing loss in his left ear to warrant a hearing aid. He also has hearing loss in his right ear, but not enough to warrant a hearing aid.

She did tell me that he didn’t HAVE to have a hearing aid, but believed it would help him significantly. Well, I’m of the opinion that if something will help my child succeed in school, we’re doing it. Doodle was given the option of design for the part of the hearing aid that went behind his ear. He decided on a clear colored hearing aid. I wanted him to feel like he had some control over what was going on and picking his hearing aid was an easy option.

I have to admit, when I found out he had hearing loss, I wondered what I had done. Was it having the radio too loud a couple of times? Was the tv too loud? Maybe my yelling and my other kids were immune to it? Ok, just kidding on that last one. But for real, I did ask Dr. Wendy if it had been something I actually caused. She reassured me that I hadn’t done anything to cause it, but didn’t have an answer as to why he had the hearing loss.

If he had any hearing loss at birth, I have no clue. He never showed any signs of not being able to hear, at least as a baby/toddler. I could look back to his early elementary school years and remember signs of having to repeat myself or yell louder. I just figured he was being a kid. Thankfully, he did well in school before he failed his hearing test. Not every kid does so well.

One of the most important things for me and my family is to never have treated Doodle any different. Yes, sometimes we have to repeat ourselves if he’s not wearing his hearing aid, and I have to remind people that he does have hearing loss, but he’s still just his Doodley self. He does amazing at school and has quite the little personality. Honestly I wouldn’t want him any other way.

Did you know…

Children with untreated hearing impairment don’t perceive auditory stimuli to a sufficient extent or fail to respond to them at all. This will severely delay their language acquisition and may even prevent them from ever learning to speak. Deficiencies at this stage of development are extremely difficult to overcome later on. Children affected by this often experience problems with interpersonal communication and feel socially isolated.

How can parents tell if their child might have hearing loss?

  • If a child responds unusually slowly to acoustic stimuli or fails to react at all – when being spoken to from outside his or her field of vision, for example – or does not seem frightened by sudden loud noises such as a door slamming, this could be an early sign of hearing loss.
  • If they notice that their child is learning to speak at a much slower rate than other children of the same age or stops uttering any sounds.
  • Monotonous babbling or when a young child produces a more limited variety of sounds than his or her peer.
What can be done to help children with hearing loss?

If parents suspect that their child has a hearing impairment, they should consult a pediatrician, an Ear-Nose &Throat specialist or a pediatric audiologist immediately. Hearing loss can be treated in various ways depending on the type and severity of the impairment.

#HearTheWorld Twitter Party Details

What: Did you know that every year, approximately 665,000 babies around the world are born with significant hearing loss? A child’s ability to hear and speak is vital for emotional and social development. It is crucial to detect and manage hearing loss as early as possible!

We're teaming up with Hear the World Foundation to spread awareness of how to detect, treat and prevent hearing loss in young children. Join this Twitter party to learn about protecting children's hearing and ask questions of expert audiologist Christine Jones, Au.D., CCC-A, Director of Pediatric Clinical Research at Phonak as she answers your questions from @Hear_The_World.

When: Tuesday, October 22nd at 12pm ET
Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #HearTheWorld hashtag to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Twtvite:
Hashtag: #HearTheWorld
Prizes: Five $25 Amazon gift cards will be given away to randomly selected participants who answer the trivia questions correctly. (U.S. winners only.)
Hosts: @TheMotherhood, @TheMotherhood25, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann, @Hear_The_World

My fellow co-hosts:
Andrea, Mommy PR - @mommypr
Anne-Marie, This Mama Cooks! - @amnichols
Felicia, Go Graham Go - @gograhamgo
Gina, Kleinworth & Co. - @FireFam5
Mariah, Formula: Mom - @formulamom
Mimi, Woven by Words - @MimiBakerMN
Shell, Not Quite Susie Homemaker - @NotQuiteSusie
TerriAnn, Cookies & Clogs - @cookiesANDclogs


Liz Mays said...

You are such a caring and attentive mom. You did exactly the right thing and of course it's not your fault! My ex had some hearing loss from childhood but we never knew how that came about either. He ended up getting hearing aids as an adult. (Problem was he was heavy-handed and busted them all the time!) lol

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

This is great information. Thank you for sharing Doodle's story.

Jerla Oh lalala said...

It's good that you guys found out about it while he is still very young. I had the same problem with my son, not with hearing though but with his vision. He had problem in his school that was because he couldn't see good but after he got his Rx eyeglass he's doing great in school already.


LaVonne said...

What a great Twitter party Mimi. My godson had a 4 wheeler accident and though he was wearing a helmet he wasn't wearing it properly. He hit his head on his ear and now has zero hearing in that ear. It is amazing how kids were mean to him, how hard it was in school for him to adapt, and how he is dealing with it now. Thanks for sharing your experience and shedding light on this issue.

Whitney @ Momma Knows Best said...

I don't think I knew this about Doodle until now! So glad you are both being proactive about it! Very helpful information.

cbusch said...

My son has a student this year who has hearing issues. It is amazing the technology that has helped him excel in the classroom.

Onica said...

It's such a good thing you found out now and were able to find a solution to help him. Good tips for parents about finding out and helping if their child has hearing loss. Have a great twitter party.

Anonymous said...

Wow, great information, thanks for sharing! I am always worried about Jack so this is good to know. My older son had a temporary hearing loss issue and we decided to go through with tubes for the second time and then within about a month his hearing came back. Glad that you were able to get your son help right away while he was young.

mail4rosey said...

How wonderfully you handled the situation, and I like that you let your son be actively involved.

Wishing you a successful Twitter party!

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.