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Unilateral Hearing Loss
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Grace22282 posted:
I was just wondering if anyone else has this issue. My DD failed her left ear hearing screen in the hospital. We then went to the local Children's Hospital for another screen which she failed again. Yesterday we took her back for a diagnostic test and it appears that she has very significant hearing "loss" or may be completely deaf in her left ear. Her right ear is perfectly fine. My DH is VERY upset that they call it hearing "loss" because how can you lose something you never had?? I know she will be fine but it's hard to deal with. I know there's nothing I could have done to prevent this, obviously God made her this way for a reason, but I still feel guilt. The Dr's said that it shouldn't affect her speach or learning in any way, but that we need to protect her good ear...has any one else had to deal with this?? If so, what advise do you have for me??? DD is only 4 months old so to her this is normal. I just don't know how to handle this I guess. I'm just looking for advise.
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aka85 responded:
Not sure exactly what kind of advice you're looking for...but...I'm a Sign Language Interpreter, so I deal a lot with hearing loss. You definitely shouldn't feel guilty. Hearing loss can be hereditary but it can also just happen. Two Deaf people who have a baby have a 50/50 chance of having a Deaf or hearing baby. I would just encourage you to treat your baby the same...as she grows, like you said, she won't know any different. Although deafness is considered a disability, most Deaf people do not consider themselves disabled. They're proud of it. Since she has perfect hearing in the other ear and you don't know the exact degree of hearing loss in the one ear, try not to stress about it too much. I know the unknown is scary...but God made her perfect Maybe you can take it as an opportunity to teach her Sign Language! She could be bi-lingual at a very young age! Again, I know I probably didn't answer any questions or concerns, but I hope you got a positive perspective. What state do you live in?
 
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Grace22282 replied to aka85's response:
Thank you. I guess I'm just looking for support in how to handle it. We are in Arkansas. I took sign language in college, but can't remember a lot of it. She is perfect in my eyes and I know God has a plan. I just didn't know if any other mothers out there have this issue. The thing is for me, not knowing...they say she shouldn't have an speach problems, but everything I've read says that she could have problems in school, etc...I guess I'm borrowing worry from the future...there's nothing I can do, and we will just learn to deal and adjust as we need to as the situations come up...who knows she may not have any issues at all...I'm just a worried mom...But thank you for your insight, it does help.
 
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Groolphite replied to Grace22282's response:
My little neice has the same issue except it is her right hear that doesn't hear. She just turned 1 and is perfectly normal. They got her into the early intervention program they would visit her monthly and go over her cognitive and language skills to make sure she is progressing normally and if there were any delays because of the hearing loss they would work on those skills and help her to catch up to other peers her age but I believe that she didn' t have any problems so I would be too worried. The program I believe is available almost anywhere just check with the school system or state and see if they offer where you live.
 
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lrswid replied to Grace22282's response:
I am experiencing the same issue. My 2 month old had the 3rd screening yesterday and we were told he has significant hearing loss in his left ear. Have you connected with any other mothers out there who have dealt with this? I am so worried about him and just don't want him to have to struggle. I am thinking baby sign language would probably help around 6 months? How are you coping?
 
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Grace22282 replied to lrswid's response:
My little girl is doing just fine. We go for another test on the 23rd to see how she reacts to sound. She'll be able to sit in my lap and look for the noise so we will know more after that. Honestly I can't really tell much of a difference between her and any other baby right now. The hard part of it all is that until she's actually old enough to say "hey, I can't hear on this side" all the tests in the world won't convince me that she can't hear at all out of her left ear. It was difficult at first, but now it really doesn't bother me as much because it doesn't seem to hender her at all. As far as the sign language goes, I would say that until they can actually talk and understand what you are saying sign language would really help. It's just like talking to them now...they know you are saying something but they don't comprehend what it is you are saying. Maybe the best way to do that would be to sign while you talk so that they understand both. Hope that helps some.
 
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alaska_mommy replied to Grace22282's response:
My 17 month old son doesn't have any hearing problems, but just to give an example, I have been teaching him simple signs to help with communication until he gets a fuller vocabulary. I think I've been doing the signs for about 6 months now, but you can start much sooner.
You can find signs online to use, here is a link for a sign language dictionary: http://www.aslpro.com/cgi-bin/aslpro/aslpro.cgi It gives a short video clip of each sign on the list to show you how to do it. You can replay it over and over if you need to to get the hang of it.

I find it really useful, hearing loss or not, to be able to have a leg up on communicating with my son. He can only say about 5 words right now verbally but has an additional 8 or 10 signs that he knows and can use. It's really helpful, say for instance he wants his binkie. Verbally, the only thing he does to indicate he wants something is a sharp intake of air/gasp while looking at that object. That is helpful, but it's even easier when he can just make the hand sign for binkie and I know immediately what he wants. He can sign "finished" after eating, "more", Mommy & Daddy, bottle, bird (he loves birds), "fish" (goldfish crackers), milk and drink. Verbally he knows Mama, Dada, up, ba-ba (bottle), and that's about it.
So, just to give you an idea of how it worked for me. I hope that helps! In my humble opinion (not from experience), kids can learn very easily how to make up for a disability, to cope and work around it. I have a good friend who is blind in one eye, but she still drives even though she doesn't have the depth perception. You'd never know except for the one eye that doesn't track with the other. Kids are smart, and with encouragement I'm sure your little one will be just fine. Thank God she still hears out of one ear! No one wants their precious baby to be cheated out of life, but I'm sure she will have a full and happy life even if she never hears out of the one ear.
 
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dbarcelo89 responded:
Hello, I know this is an old post but my son was recently diagnosed with unilateral hearing loss as well. How is your daughter doing? The doctor suggested we help my boy with a hearing aid. Is this accurate? I am very concerned I dont want him to be affected by this. I am looking for some advice from a mom going thru the same thing.


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