Melissa, a mother of three, said she and her husband know people with hearing loss due to old age, but before her children were born they never knew a deaf child.
“I fought a lot of shame and guilt,” she says. “I wanted to protect my children, to take their pain away. Often I prayed a line from Mumford and Sons, ‘Keep the earth below my feet.’ I found myself at times lost in the shame and missing the joy that was right in front of me.”
“I found myself at times lost in the shame and missing the joy that was right in front of me.”
After her son Ayden failed his hearing test, they were referred to the ENT and Audiologist, where he received tests. First, he had an MRI to check the structure of his ear, then an eye exam to look for illness that might impact his vision. After that he underwent an EKG to make sure his heart was okay, then finally he received a genetic test.
“We were originally told it was a mild hearing loss,” she says. “For the past few hearing tests that have been performed in the booth, we think that his hearing loss is dipping into the moderate-severe levels for the high sounds.”
Her five-month-old daughter Sayge has similar results, but even after all those tests, Melissa says they’re still not sure the cause of their hearing loss.
“Everything came back normal except the genetic testing, which gave us strange results,” she says. “But, we are still labeling the cause of their hearing loss as ‘unknown.'”
Both Ayden and Sayge now wear Phonak Sky hearing aids for kids, or as they call them, their “Super Ears.”
“Hearing aids have been a gift that is always hard for me to put into words,” she says. “I think the best way to name it for me is that they have created and ensured connection.
“Connection with me, my husband, his brother, his sister, his grandparents. With his teachers, and friends. Connection with the world around him as he experiences the sound of a helicopter flying in the sky, a bird chirping, or water boiling.”
“Connection with the world around him as he experiences the sound of a helicopter flying in the sky, a bird chirping, or water boiling.”
Thanks to their early hearing diagnosis and powerful hearing technology, Ayden has never had a speech delay and has been speaking since he was one-year-old.
“He really hasn’t missed a beat in his childhood. Ayden loves his hearing aids, or as we call them his ‘super ears.’ In fact, we struggled for a while to get him to take them off at night. We had to go into his room after he fell asleep to take them off.”
“Ayden loves his hearing aids, or as we call them his ‘Super Ears.'”
Ayden is also a big fan of the Phonak Roger FM system, she says.
“Ayden started using the FM system at school at 3 years old. We began to notice how much it was helping his clarity in speech and decided we would get one for home. This is not a small investment, but I cannot speak enough of the benefits.”
Sayge is new to her Sky hearing aids, but Melissa says she expects her daughter to follow in the footsteps of her big brother.
In the meantime, Melissa is back to enjoying her children’s laughs, and loving every moment in front of her.
“Success to us is when I whisper ‘I love you’ and knowing that he hears me,” she says. “Then he snuggles in closer to whisper, ‘I love you too.'”
Read more about Melissa’s journey here on HearingLikeMe.com in the future, or follow her personal blog, www.melissahyder.com.