This time last year I was already starting to make new years resolutions (or reservations as Z calls it). Except all of my big plans for 2016 came to a screeching halt when on December 18th Elle was diagnosed with hearing loss. I was devastated. Even though her hearing loss was shown as mild at the time we knew from experience that she was more than likely going to be deaf like her sister. No one knew for sure, but the entire team agreed it made the most logical sense.
The word that the Lord gave me for that season was NEXT, as in “Just Do The Next Right Thing”. I had so many ideas and aspirations that had to take a backseat at that time. All of my focus was on Elle and getting her the treatment she needed. The Doctors, schools, and early interventionist were calling and I was preparing for the long haul. Except as you know if you’ve followed our story, Elle does NOT have the same form of hearing loss as SJ. This news was like an enormous boulder being lifted off of me. It’s life changing for our whole family because since Elle is not deaf we don’t need to figure out a way to pay for her treatment/schooling or live near the deaf school for an unknown amount of time. We would have been fine and if that were God’s plan I would trust Him as I always do, but I am so so so grateful that we don’t have to walk through that again.
Still, I do not want to overlook the fact that Elle does have some hearing loss and it needs to be taken seriously. Her audiologist recommended holding off on hearing aids until she was upright. She can hear MOST things, so it wasn’t urgent that she be aided. In her case it probably would have been more harm than good to try to keep hearing aids on in the early months of development. Here we are a year later and Elle is definitely upright and learning to talk. So it’s time to move forward with the hearing amplification.
She has been tested several times to get an accurate reading for her audiogram so that the hearing aids can be set appropriately. Yesterday after the test I sat down with the audiologist to go over the final results and talk about treatment.
Elle can hear almost everything that a normal hearing person can. If a phone rings, or someone calls her name or plays peek-a-boo she can hear all of it. The part she is lacking is the highest frequencies, or as I was told “the crispness” of sound. That means she doesn’t hear the f, s, and th speech sounds. That is why hearing aids weren’t really important until the stage where she is learning to speak. The ball is rolling now with getting the hearing aids and we will have another appointment to get her fitted at the beginning of the year when school starts back up.
She will also continue to have speech therapy once a month per my request. She technically doesn’t fall into the qualifying parameters because she is age appropriate. She responds to simple commands and she can say uh-oh, mama, and sometimes bye bye. But because of her medical diagnosis she is automatically eligible and I said YES, let’s continue. After what I have been through with SJ, and even Ezie is in speech therapy now I feel like it won’t hurt to have more eyes on her making sure she’s on the right track.
So that’s the latest. I appreciate all of the prayers and support. I’ll post pics and updates again in 2017 when she gets her new aids. Here is a pic of her napping in the car. It doesn’t get any cuter.