Gia's New Hearing Aid

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Its been a busy week for our brave 3 year-old! She started two new classes this week (BSF and Pre-School) AND she just got her very first hearing aid today! She is very excited about it and we are doing our best to help her see it as a positive thing. So far, she's doing great.

We've known since she was born that we would need to closely monitor her hearing, as Sean has genetic hearing loss. His mom wore heaing aids by the time she was 30, and now Sean has hearing aids as well. His grandma (mom's mom) was also almost completely deaf at the end of her life. So we've been having her tested regularly. More recently, she's been saying things like "What'd you say Mommy?" more often so I knew it was time to schedule another hearing screen. It did show that one ear has mild to moderate hearing loss, where the other one is just mild. Since we knew it was important to stay on top of for the sake of speech development and learning, we decided to go ahead with the hearing aid. Kids with hearing loss who are properly aided before or around the age of 3 have a much better chance of being on par with their peers in school and speech than those who are delayed in getting them. 

We had hoped to get two hearing aids so that the other ear won't get "lazy" and just for balance, but insurance only approved on. So that's what we're going with. About 3 weeks ago, we went and had her ear molds taken. She got to choose the color she wanted and she chose purple glitter. She was so incredibly brave for this. I know some kids kick and scream at this part because it does feel really foreign, but she did great. 

Today we went back and got the actual hearing aid. It definitely helps that Sean has hearing aids- its not quite so scary of a concept. The audiologist (who is also a friend from church- thank you God for that provision!) showed us how to put them on, keep them clean, change the batteries, etc. then she programmed them for Gia. She has them set to filter out background noise and loud noises, as Gia is really sensitive to that. I told her she didn't have to wear them to school this afternoon but she was excited to wear them! She told me that she really needed them at story time so she could hear the stories. 

When we first found out she needed hearing aids, my heart kinda sank. Even though it is what we had been expecting all along, it was difficult at first to accept it. I kept thinking that she didn't need them because she was speaking ok and seemed to be hearing *most* of what we say. I didn't think about how frustrating it must have been for her to only hear bits and pieces of conversations and things like that. My mommy heart still aches a bit when I think about what other kids might say, but hopefully since she has them so young, it will be a non-issue for the most part when she gets older. For now, we've just told her that if her friends ask her about them, she can just tell them they help her to hear. If bigger issues come up with it later, I hope I'll have the right words and open arms to reassure her that she is beautifully & wonderfully made by God. That's really all I want her to know. But for now I am so grateful that she is feeling good about wearing them. And really, they do look pretty cute on her!!

**Edited to add: Gia's first day at preschool with the aids went pretty well. Though her teacher told me that a little girl in her class walked up to Gia and said, "What is this?" then pulled it out of her ear! Kids are curious! Thankfully her teacher was able to just put it right back in, then explain to the class that it helps her hear and that only an adult should touch them. I think at first that made Gia feel self-conscious, but she seemed to get past it.**

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  1. I think it's great that you guys are able to start this process at such a young age. I hope that it becomes a non-issue for her, because I regret allowing my pride and self-consciousness make me miss out on so many things in high school and college. I'll be thinking of you guys when I put mine in every morning and take it out every evening--praying that this transition goes smoothly!


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