Magic Ear Kids

My daughter was diagnosed with moderate sensorineural hearing loss just before she was three years old. Resources for parents of children with hearing loss can be found at my other blog, Magic Ear Kids.

Our Story

By the time we made it to the audiologist's booth at Children's Hospital, I had already come to terms with some level of hearing loss. Or maybe not. The thing was, I didn't understand hearing the way I do today. In the time between scheduling the appointment and having it, there was a considerable amount of family discussion.

"Well, she heard THAT," we'd say of some noise. She'd turn her back and I would call, "Julia." She wouldn't even flinch. That was my major sign.

The night before the appointment, I had a heart-to-heart with my husband. I told him that if she could hear normally then we had big problems. Julia was engaged and interested in a lot of things. Talking wasn't one of them. For a year of speech therapy in our home there had been little gains, but on the night before our diagnosis, I felt like I was banging my head off of the wall. She had become completely disinterested.

Julia sat on my lap in the sound proof booth. Our audiologist went into the other room with all of her gadgets and played whirling whistles over speakers. They were very loud in the beginning. When Julia turned toward the speaker that was making the sound, she was rewarded with a little mechanical character that lit up and did a dance.

As the sounds got quieter, I got a heavy feeling in my stomach. She's failing pretty bad, I thought.... read more at the Magic Ear Kids blog.

Understanding Hearing Loss

Hearing loss has been difficult to explain to the people around my daughter. I rely heavily on my own past perceptions of the hard of hearing. Before I became educated and intimately acquainted with the workings of the ears I just didn't understand much about hearing.

Before Julia, the only hard of hearing person I knew was my grandfather. His hearing was destroyed during World War 2. He has hearing aids that he won't wear. Our communication with him consists of yelling at increasing volume and repetition.

Seeing hard of hearing older folks made me think that hearing was sort of "on" or "off". Grand pap used to hear, now he doesn't. Everything needs to be louder. When Julia was a baby, I knew that she could hear because she responded to some sounds. I had no idea of all of the things she wasn't hearing. more.