Posts Tagged ‘parents’

Ask Anna: How do I keep my baby’s hearing aids in?

Ask Anna is a weekly advice column for the hearing loss community. 

Dear Anna: My 8-month-old has hearing aids, but it’s difficult to keep them in her ears! She’s always grabbing them and pulling them out. I don’t want her to lose her expensive hearing aids, but even more, I want to make sure she’s wearing them so her speech and hearing can develop. Do you have any tips on keeping her hearing aids in? – Patient Mom in Colorado  

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Childhood Hearing Loss: A conversation with my parents

Today is World Hearing Day and this year’s topic is Childhood Hearing Loss. Thirty-two million children around the world live with disabling hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization. While I was born with profound congenital sensorineural hearing loss, 60 percent of children with hearing loss obtained it from a preventable source, such as infections – mumps, rubella, meningitis, measles or ear infections – or by using ototoxic medicines. 

To raise awareness about hearing loss and World Hearing Day, I thought I would take this opportunity to interview my lovely parents to learn about their experiences when they found out I had hearing loss. 

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Cochlear Implants: The Big ‘Switch On’

After Harry had his cochlear implant operation I found myself flooded with messages of congratulations that Harry could now hear. Unfortunately, of course, this wasn’t quite the case just yet. The operation was just the beginning and without the external hardware Harry still wasn’t able to access sound.  It took a while to explain this to people,  and on top of it was the fact we had no idea how successful the op would be until his “magic ears” were activated.

The big ‘switch on’ loomed over us like a ridiculously exciting – but nerve wrecking – bubble. We could barely sleep with the anticipation of what the day might bring. 

I found myself watching endless videos on YouTube of other babies and adults having their cochlear implants activated, which made that bubble of emotion almost explode. It’s so amazing to see some of the dramatic reactions that you can get from people on their activation day, however it’s also important to remember that everybody responds completely differently.

In fact, most babies and children have barely any reaction at all.  I realized quite quickly that I needed to calm down a bit and that it was quite likely we wouldn’t see the huge reaction we had first expected from Harry when he heard his first sound.

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Community Spotlight: Gabby’s first hearing aids

We love it when people share their hearing loss stories with us on social media. Our community often provides comfort, encouragement, inspiration and support for others in similar situations. Recently we connected with one of our Instagram friends who we think has a wonderful story to share.
I had the opportunity to chat with Kellie, the mom of 7-month-old Gabby, about a video she shared with us. This is their story: 

Posted in Open Ears

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Support for parents of deaf children

Although we personally don’t refer to deafness as a disability it can be seen as one and does come with its own challenges. Being a parent of a deaf child requires a little more time, patience and understanding of what your child may be going through. First, coming to terms with your baby being diagnosed with hearing loss can be a highly emotional and stressful time. It can bring fears, questions and a sense of loss, especially if it comes out of no where, like it did for us and Harry.

When we found out about Harry’s hearing loss, the first thing we did was turn to the internet. We headed straight for forums for parents of newly diagnosed deaf children to try and understand what this meant for us as a family. To say it helped would be an understatement. I immediately felt a huge sense of hope as I connected instantly to each person’s story. It was almost like we were part of an exclusive group.

Posted in Open Ears

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Parents push the boundaries for deaf kids

Every Friday we’ll feature the most buzzed about topics relating to the “hearing loss” community. Join us on social media or check in on the Hearing Like Me forum, and find out how our community is going viral!

We’re still amazed at all the wonderful hearing loss stories that went viral last year. Aside from our list of 10 Hearing Loss Stories that Defined 2015, two stories relating to the deaf community was picked by Mashable’s 10 Amazing Parents Who Inspired us in 2015 list.

Parents play such an important role in helping their children adjust to and be proud of wearing their hearing technology, and we’re glad they’re getting viral attention!

Here are the #1 and #6 stories from the list:

  1. A UK supermom designed colorful superhero hearing aids for kids.parents make cool hearing aids

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Learning Sign Language with a Baby or Toddler

We started learning sign language as soon as we found out about Harry’s hearing loss.

Even though Harry has a cochlear implant and can hear our voices, we wanted him to know the basics of sign language for the future. Not only to better communicate with him, but also to be a part of the deaf community. He is still a deaf person after all, and he may very well have deaf friends who only use sign language to communicate.

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Finding out our baby was Deaf

We were still getting used to the fact we had a mini human who was awake most of the night when we found out that Harry was deaf. He was just 7 weeks old when he failed the Newborn Hearing Screening.

After a series of tests and a very intensive ABR he was confirmed as profoundly deaf with no threshold of hearing. The emotions hit us like a steam train and immediately we felt worried and scared for what the future would hold for our perfect baby boy. I remember that day so clearly; when my partner Scott and I held each other close and cried ourselves to sleep. We almost had to mourn what our idea of a perfect child was, and come around to the fact that our experience as first time parents was going to be a little different than what we had expected.

We spent a good few days feeling extremely upset and worried for our little chap. Our baby was the only deaf person we had ever met. It was a completely new thing to learn about. I started to panic when I left him alone to sleep, as I thought he would wake up and be scared because he couldn’t hear us. It took me a while to realize that actually Harry had never known any different, and he shouldn’t be scared because to him the world had always been silent.

It was as quick as the day after Harry’s diagnosis when we had a phone call from our local Teacher of the Deaf. The amount of information being fed to us was quite overwhelming, but comforting knowing a support system was already in place. She came over soon after to introduce herself, and we immediately felt confident that our son wasn’t going to be forgotten about or left behind. She explained that she would help us with his development from Day 1 until he finished his education, which filled us with hope and a lot more confidence than we had initially had.

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Son of My Deaf Parents

When Stephanie contacted me, I had actually never heard of Mother Father Deaf Day, which is this Sunday. It’s probably not well known in France, and that’s a pity. On the other hand, everybody these days is talking about “La famille Bélier“, a movie which features children of deaf parents. It is funny and moving, and allows everybody to discover the world of silence. People are astonished and ask me if it’s realistic. And I have to say it is!

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