With 90 percent of deaf and hard-of-hearing children born to hearing parents, this is a common storyline that is made unique for each family by their individual circumstances.
Given that their first born son, Landon, was born hearing, Ayden’s hearing loss came as a surprise to the Hyder family. They knew that Ayden didn’t pass the newborn screening test right away, while they were still in the hospital. Initially, they received the same narrative most families receive: the test was failed due to fluid in the ears. It would go away eventually.
The words of the doctors went against what Melissa and Matt felt. They knew that there was something more going on, but didn’t exactly know what it was. A couple of months later, Ayden was diagnosed with a mild hearing loss.
“Our third child, Sayge, also has hearing loss. The difference between both experiences was that it was pretty different because when we found out that Ayden had a hearing loss, we knew nothing. We didn’t know how he was going to communicate, how he was going to connect with us, how he was going to connect with his brother. And that was a really hard time for us.”
“We didn’t know how he was going to communicate, how he was going to connect with us, how he was going to connect with his brother.”
The confusion and uncertainty is part of the process is what the Hyder’s learned. When they had their third child, also born with hearing loss, they had a much better idea of what to expect.
“As a hearing parent, we want our child to communicate in similar ways to us.”
The fact that Ayden and Sayge will navigate their world differently than their parents doesn’t discourage the Hyder’s in any way.
“One of the coolest experiences for me as a mom is to see that, like fear and it’s intense. I’m going to get emotional thinking about it, because it is hard. But it doesn’t need to be. And we’ve talked about that. We want to hold in one hand the reality of our grief, and that’s what we felt. But then hold on the other hand the reality of the joy of our children. It [their hearing loss] doesn’t take away any part of who they are, if anything it brings out who they are.”
“It [their hearing loss] doesn’t take away any part of who they are, if anything it brings out who they are.”
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.
Both Ayden and Sayge now wear Phonak Sky hearing aids for kids, or as they call them, their “Super Ears.”