To this day, I still remember how annoyed my daughter was with these hearing aids. The hearing aids were big and bulky. Not to mention, they were constantly falling off of her ears. My daughter was a pretty smart cookie, even for being just over a little over a year old, as soon as I would put the hearing aids in her ears she would immediately snatch them off. It was very difficult to make her keep them on. Besides that the hearing aids only provided her with minimal sound improvements due to the severity of her hearing loss. Her hearing aids only allowed her to hear sounds that were considered loud or very loud and she only heard a muffled version of the sound.
I continued exploring my daughter’s options and determined that she should getting a cochlear implant. In order to find out if your child is a candidate for a cochlear implant, you have to go through a series of tests, procedures, and evaluations to determine if child is a good match. It was a fairly lengthy process when we were getting her prepped to have surgery for a cochlear implant.
The first part of the evaluation, doctors wanted to try and determine what the cause of her hearing loss was. This helps them determine whether or not she is a good candidate for a cochlear implant. So the ENT, sent us to a larger hospital, which was over two hours away from where we were living, for genetic testing. Genetic testing is fairly easy and doesn’t require invasive techniques. In fact, it is done by simply drawing blood. It took a few weeks for the test results to come back. They told me that her results came back inconclusive. Thankfully, her hearing loss wasn’t caused by genetics; however, they weren’t sure what actually caused her hearing loss.
By the time we got all of the work up completed and decided to pursue the surgery, my daughter was almost 4 years old. Usually, the surgery can be done much sooner than this but it was a tough decision to make to determine if she should undergo a long surgery.
Looking back, if she had her surgery done sooner, she probably wouldn’t have the communication delays and troubles that she does today.
My daughter only received one cochlear implant because doctors felt that there was enough evidence that one implant provided children sufficient amount of hearing. Plus, doctors wanted to give the parents the opportunity to have the other side implanted at a later date, especially, if technology got more sophisticated or changed dramatically over the next few years.
As soon as you find out that your child is deaf, I highly recommend finding books or classes so that you can start learning how to use sign language. As you are learning, start teaching your child how to sign.
Continue Reading: “Cochlear Implant Surgery Was Successful – My Daughter’s Story”
Did your young child have to wear hearing aids? If so, did they like wearing them?