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Community spotlight: Callie’s hearing aid helps her hear like a superhero

unilateral hearing loss

Hearing loss in one ear, or unilateral hearing loss, can often go unnoticed in children until they are in a classroom or more social environments. This was the case of seven-year-old Callie.

When Callie Huerta was born, she had a newborn hearing screening and passed it, giving her parents reason to believe Callie had normal hearing. Like any child, there were things she performed well at, and other points where she struggled. When Callie learned to talk, she had trouble with her speech and not being able to say her words clearly. Her parents enrolled her in speech therapy until age 6. But when Callie began Kindergarten the reasons for her struggles with speech became a bit more clear. After having a hearing test at school, she was diagnosed with unilateral hearing loss. 

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A fun way to learn animal sounds and grow communication skills for children with hearing loss

communication skills for children with hearing loss

Spontaneous dance parties and nonstop giggles were some of the advantages that my daughter and I experienced this week while using the BabyBeats app by Phonak and Advanced Bionics.

BabyBeats™ is an early intervention resource that taps into the amazing benefits of music to help develop a child’s auditory brain while working on language and speech development. As a family, we have been trying out each section of the BabyBeats app. This week, we jumped into the Explore Animals section.  

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What it was like growing up with hearing loss before digital hearing technology

growing up with hearing loss

I was born at a time when video conferencing was a reality only on “The Jetsons,” the Americans with Disabilities Act was years away, and the web was only something Spiderman used.

Newborn hearing screenings wouldn’t be routine for at least two decades. Back then, only babies born with conditions that put them at high risk for hearing loss were screened. This meant, according to the National Institutes of Health, that about 50 percent of newborns with hearing loss were sent home each year undetected.

I was one of those babies.

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Deaf teen receives invite to royal wedding

deaf teen royal wedding

14-year-old Reuben Litherland from Derby, UK has received an invite to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding as recognition for the things he’s done for the deaf community.

“When I opened the letter… I actually danced around the room! I felt proud because someone recognized all my hard work to support my community,” Reuben said with joy. “I can’t believe it’s going to happen. The Royal Wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event and I’m going!”

Who is Reuben Litherland and what sparked his passion to help the deaf community? It all starts when Reuben was 5 months old and his family found out he is deaf.

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Engaging and fun speech activities we use at home for babies, toddlers and children

speech activities

Speech activities for children with hearing loss don’t have to be a boring or frustrating experience. In fact, working on speech can be fun and connecting.

Developing speech and language skills at a young age is important. The need to have brain simulation helps lay the foundation for future language development.  Ayden’s awesome speech pathologist, Amy Krischel, offered some insight on the importance of speech development.

“Maintaining speech production at an age-appropriate level is important for the academic load that begins as early as preschool,” says Amy. “Children with speech sound errors often have more difficulty learning letter names and their sound associations, which is an important precursor to reading success.”

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How traveling has made me more open and confident with hearing loss

confident with hearing loss

Growing up, I hid behind my hearing loss because I used to have people get frustrated with me when I would say “what?” repeatedly.

If I mentioned that I had a hearing loss, I would have people slow down the rate at which they spoke to me and enunciate words extra carefully as if I was not competent enough to understand what they were saying. Regardless, I decided that in my year of traveling, I would tackle my hearing loss head-on. I mean, really, what did I have to lose?

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These mothers share the most rewarding parts of raising children with hearing loss

raising children with hearing loss

Mothering a child with hearing loss has broadened my perspective. As a hearing person, I used to take certain things for granted. Now I understand that not everyone experiences the world the way I do. My hard-of-hearing daughter reminds me to have empathy in this diverse world.

 A HearingLikeMe tradition for Mother’s Day is to ask moms to consider the question, “What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mother to a child with hearing loss?” Here’s what they said:

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Deaf circus artist soars above obstacles to achieve his goals

25-year-old Jason Brügger dreamed about being a circus artist since he was a child. As he was on his path to becoming a circus artist, he experienced sudden hearing loss from a severe inner ear infection. 

“The doctors advised me against becoming a circus artist as I had real difficulties with my balance,” Jason told Sonova. “I felt like I was in a pot with the lid on.” 

This obstacle didn’t stop Jason, as he continued to pursue his dream of being a circus artist.

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