Infant with Hearing Loss

Updated on February 26, 2009
M.M. asks from Arlington, TX
7 answers

Hi,

Ladies I have a problem- maybe someone has some advice or information. I have a beautiful 3 week old boy and he is diagnosed with moderate hearing loss on his left ear- we are still doing some other ABR test (hearing test) at Cook's Children hospital but they pretty much have established that he has hearing loss. I know is not the end of the world but i'm just concerned what to expect next?! The audiologist stated that they recommend hearing aids but is up to the parents. But i'm just wondering has anyone encountered anything like that - does child suffer from speech or other development problems because of the hearing loss? I'm trying not to get to emotional or stressed out because other than the hearing loss our baby is experincing he is very healthy and such a good baby, we are very blessed with him. But y'all know how it is- is just in our mother genes to get over worked about every little thing.

P.S. another thing that has me worried is our wonderful insurance (United Healthcare)we have thru my work doesn't cover the hearing aids, what a shame. They told me at the hospital that if i was covered under CHIPS or Medicaid they do cover the hearing aids

Thank you for your advice and information.
M.

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So What Happened?

Thanks you all for your advice! God willing baby will be alright just completed some other abr test and they are getting different result - so the audioligist believes it might just be sometime of blockage in the inner ear possibly fluid, so she suggested to go back to ENT - went to the ENT and he thinks his ear will be just fine. He suggested to take baby back in a couple of months to retest him, hopefully everything will be clear by that time.

Thank you again for all your positive advice. I will post again when i find out more.

M.

More Answers

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R.E.

answers from Dallas on

Hi, First thing is to remember God gave this beautiful child for you and you can handle this. I know, my daughter is 89% deaf and was not diagosed until she was 3. Even though I kept telling our doctor's she a language all her own. I know that you are very unnerved but everything will be O.K. Take everything one step a time and don't quit asking questions and for help until you feel you have the right answer. I'll be glad to give you as much info as I can, my daughter was told she would not speak , oh then I spent 3 hours everyday teaching her to watch my mouth to make sounds and she speaks as well as I do. Then they told me she would never be able to make the sound of a s or f. Well, wrong again. Today she is a adult and has two wonderful boys and works at a very good job just as well as anyone. Her son has just had surgery toput tubes in his ears because he lost hearing. Which freaked out my daughter. I'm sorry I am rambling. My daughter is working with a program that helps with her hearing aids. Let me know..Good luck and don't accept just everything that one person tells you.. You are this childs mother for a reason. You will knoe what sounds right.
R.

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J.A.

answers from Amarillo on

Hi M., my best friend of many years is deaf in her right ear. It hasn't caused her any problems at all. She says in school her mom just made sure the teacher was aware of it and sat her in an area where her good ear was closest to the teacher.

I would try not to worry too much about it, he isn't deaf at all... just hears less on one side. I don't think it will slow down his speech or anything else, just make sure when you talk to him you are either looking at his face or standing on the better side. I can't imagine putting a child in a hearing aid that can already hear... just my opinion though.

Also, I was reading the response about teaching sign language. I totally agree that it won't hurt him! My son was taught sign language letters, colors, and numbers when he was 3, 4, and 5 because he has a memory recall disorder (he couldn't recall the right name for each thing so they taught the sign as a cue). This did not hinder him in any way and certainly did not prevent him from speaking when he could. I would absolutely start with sign language as soon as you can. It will help you both a lot while he's a baby and he will stop signing when he learns to talk. You can check out books on signs at the library or attend a sign language class at the local college.

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S.

answers from Dallas on

As aspeech-language pathologist, I would strongly suggest that you start early!!! Early intervention is the best key to unlocking your child's potential. At TCU, you may want to contact Lynn Flahive in the speech and hearing department. I am sure she would be able to recommend excellent professionals with whom you could consult.

Your child is so fortunate that you are already starting to help him. You are also fortunate to be near TCU.

Good Luck,
S.

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J.S.

answers from Houston on

I'm a deaf ed teacher. It depends on what type of hearing loss he has & how much hearing he still has. Go see an audiologist, educate yourself extensively, research!

Hearing aids: Talk to an audiologist & know your options of what kind of hearing aid your son needs. Do this early. There are many programs out there to help with hearing aids & other technology that he will need.

Speech delays: This depends on the hearing loss & how much hearing he still has. This also depends on you as his parents on how much you work with him & expect of him within his physical abilities. Start early.

Developmental problems: Hearing loss will cause your son to have developmental delays. Any delays will be determined by the education he receives & how much time is spent on his education. Start early.

Also, contact your local Early Childhood Intervention program. Contact your local school district about their deaf education program & early childhood.

I know it seems like this is very overwhelming right now. I can't even imagine. This is not a worse case scenario, and this is very manageable. It's about educating yourself & starting early with him & you. Remember to choose what is best for your child.

There may even be some that will tell you not to teach your son to sign...that it will impede him from speaking. THIS IS NOT TRUE! Teaching your son to sign will give him a method of communication that may be his only way. You will not know this until he's a lot older, but if you only try 1 method, then you will never know which one is best for him.

Let me know if you have anymore questions.

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A.E.

answers from Amarillo on

M.,
Yes, by all means, get a hearing aid -- Infant brain development is hugely important -- if you infant doesn't hear sounds, his brain dendrites will not build the proper connections, then his brain won't develop to ever be able to hear that sound -- it's like those pathways were wiped away for good.

Parents as Teachers has a wonderful fact sheet that will explain it. (I'm sure others do too, I just used to be a PAT teacher.) If you cannot find one (see your local school district or health department.) then send me your snail mail address, and I'll ask a former co-worker to send one to you.

A. Evans [email protected]____.com

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L.S.

answers from Tyler on

I'm a HUGE proponent of early intervention. There may not be much you can do at this early age, but be sure to find out what your options are. There may be some services available to you that would cover a hearing aid. Further, you may want to look into specialists in the field that could maybe do surgery to correct the hearing problem (I have no idea if this is possible or not). I also highly recommend that you learn sign language. I did basic sign language with my son (who does hear) very early on and it helped him communicate sooner. For a child that definitely has some hearing loss, basic sign language skills could probably really help.

Good luck! And don't forget, YOU are your child's advocate. My son had to have some help (sensory integration issues) and I was turned away and ignored time and time again. Finally, at 18 months, people started listening to me and he got help.

-L.

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

I am a speech pathologist, so I know a little bit about this. The most important thing is intervention early. She will have less of a chance of severe speech delays. Hearing aids at this age would probably be the best thing for her. The more input she gets now the better, but you have to be religious about her wearing them. I hate that the insurance stated that they are not covered. Sometimes there are loop whole around that so make sure and talk to as many people as you can at your insurance before giving up on that. Also, sometimes a professional is able state things to were the insurance with pay so make sure and talk to different companies that distribute the hearing aids. The hearing aids will be a great help to your child. You should probably talk to a pediatric audiologist or speech pathologist that provide therapy for kids with hearing losses. They might want to do some preventative therapy or they might be able to give you things you can do at home. With preventative therapy she might never develop a delay and if she does you know that you have done everything you can. I know that this is a lot to process, but there is help out there. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need any help.

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