Olivia's hearing loss

My daughter, Olivia failed her newborn hearing screening at the hospital. We had several re-tests... all of which she failed and we were referred to an audiologist for further testing. At that initial appointment we learned that our sweet baby had a moderate sensorineural (permanent) hearing loss in both ears. As a mom, and Speech Pathologist, the news was crushing. Though I told myself I wasn't going to cry; I did.  However, I very quickly got my act together. I told myself I could figure this out. I had the background I needed to help Olivia and that I would give her everything she needed so her hearing loss wouldn't be a disability to her. You can read about that visit here.

We had a second opinion at UNC Chapel Hill . We became involved in CASTLE's REACH program to work with an Auditory Verbal therapist through distance technology on our home computer. I made self referrals for early intervention and got set up with an Oral/Deaf Educator to come out to work with Olivia weekly. I even pulled out my old audiology notes to brush up my hearing loss knowledge.

Olivia having her ABR (hearing test) at 2 months old

We returned to Chapel Hill a few weeks later (a 3 hour drive for us) to fit Olivia with her hearing aids. We ordered pink aids with pink sparkly ear molds. It was so touching watching her smile and light up when we turned on amplification for the first time.

Olivia with her new hearing aids

As we close in on Olivia's first year of life I am so thankful. She is right on target where she needs to be developmentally, she has over 15 words and is making sounds just as she should. I am thankful for technology that allowed us to identify her hearing loss at birth. I'm thankful for the many grants and programs that North Carolina offers for parents with children that are hard of hearing or deaf. I am grateful for programs like REACH that allow us to access therapy we normally couldn't, for our Early Intervention team, and for our Deaf/Hard of hearing teacher that comes out weekly. 

I have high expectations that Olivia will be successful in whatever she wants to do in life and hearing loss won't get in her way! 
Photos by Katy Cook Photography!

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