We have a wonderful ENT. She has made this process smoother than it could have been.
On December 14 we took Haleigh to CRS, for her audiologist appointment. They did three different hearing test. The all showed the same profound hearing loss in the right ear and normal hearing in the left. She was fitted for a hearing device and we were told we would be contacted. So a week later I get a call reminding me of Haleighs appointment with DrE on the 22nd. DrE had set it up, she wanted to go over everything with us and make sure we understood everything. So hear is what we know.
1. Haleighs cochlear nerves are underdeveloped. It's a birth defect. If you don't know where that is this should help.
2. She probably couldn't hear out of her right ear from birth. However since she did pass the newborn screening, we can't be sure. And because of that we can not be sure she'll never lose hearing in the left ear. Therefore we will be having her tested with DrE once a year. If her left ear dips at all below normal, be will begin sign language classes. We will not do in depth sign now, because apparently some children learn to sign and refuse to speak. So we will be learning simple signs and take a wait and see approach to the other. Also if she ever starts to say huh? Or what? Or complain she can't hear us. We will take her directly to DrE.
If you don't know the difference between normal, minor, major and profound hearing loss. This should help.
3. She will not be getting surgery for this. She doesn't need it.
4. There is a hearing aid that she could get. However, it will not help her and may even hurt. How's that? Well a couple of reasons. First, if you don't know what a hearing aid looks like this should help.
If we were to get a hearing aid it would actually be a transfer device. An aid that makes noise louder will not help. No matter how loud something is Haleigh hears it as if she has ear plugs in. Wearing a device that makes things launder will not help. The transfer devices, take sound you hear on one side and transmits it to the other side. She would wear a device on both ears. So first there is the stigma of having hearing aids behind both ears. Second, right now even though it's muffled and she can't tell what the sound is, if lets say an ambulance or a car is coming from the right, she can hear a muffled noise and know that something is on the right side. If she was to wear the transfer device she would lose that ability. So if the ambulance was coming from the right she would hear it on the left. She would have no idea there was anything on the right. DrE said these devices have a place. For adults in a professional setting they are benefiting. For children still grasping where sound is coming from it's not. If she was to get the device we'd also have to have this sign
Placed where we live, since she wouldn't know if a car was coming from the right at all. We have decided that she will not be needing the device.
4. We are blessed to live in a community, that has a school system that is small and that employe teachers who care about our children. DrE's main concern was Haleighs schooling. She needs to be sat so that her left ear is to the entire class room. No circle time. No games of telephone. DrE was blown away by my statement that I had already contacted the teachers and nurse at Haleighs school. She was impressed with the acceptance of Haleigh needed special placement and ease of getting her seat moved. She stated that in most county schools there are letters that need faxing and papers that need a doctors signature, before the teacher will do anything. It sadnes me know know that about the county schools. But also makes me very proud of our city district, and its efforts to treat each child as an individual.
So what can she hear? Well if you are in her right. She might as well have these in.
If she's standing facing you or your on her left she hears you. Just remember to speak clearly. She's processing what you're saying with one ear instead of two.