It can often be difficult to accept a child’s hearing loss, but early diagnosis and treatment can make a lifelong impact in cognitive and emotional development. Owen’s story is a case in point.
Owen’s hearing loss
was discovered in a neonatal intensive care unit when he was just one month old. A hearing test
showed initial signs of congenital hearing loss, and after administering the same test 3 months later, an audiologist identified a hearing deficiency of 60%. Shortly after, Owen was fitted with his first pair of hearing aids.
At first, the news of Owen’s hearing loss was difficult for his family. His mother, Tasmyn, spoke about some of the emotions she felt at the time:
“I wondered how severe his hearing loss would be. Would he need hearing aids? Did I need to learn sign language? I was also worried about how much hearing aids cost
. Would I be able to afford his hearing aids?” With the support of friends and family, Tasmyn learned to approach her son’s needs one step at a time.
When Owen first received his hearing aids, it quickly became apparent how much technology could change his life. Owen’s mother shares her account of that memorable day:
"I will never forget the day he got his first pair of hearing aids"
It was August 2011. We had an appointment set up at our audiologist’s office for the fitting, and an audiologist assisted with the whole process. Owen was ten months old and wasn’t happy to have two or three people fiddling with his ears. It took a bit of patience, but we finally got them in. Once settled, he was looking around more than normally, and we could tell that something was different.”
The change in Owen has been remarkable, and his mother’s accounts are proof of the difference hearing aids have made in his daily life. Owen’s family is thrilled at the technology that exists to help him hear and succeed.
“The biggest change was when we left the office and got into my husband’s truck. As soon as he started that engine, Owen’s eyes opened wide and glowed. He turned his head around and tried to distinguish where that noise was coming from. I just started crying!"
It didn't take long for Owen to get used to wearing his hearing aids, Tasmyn tells us. It didn’t seem to bother him that much at all and when it did we took his mind off it with a snack or by talking and keeping him busy.”
“They have helped him in such a big way! He went from being the quiet and sleepy baby to being full of life, responsive and so playful and cheerful. He took longer to start talking and communicating because of his time without hearing aids, but we knew it wouldn’t happen overnight and we now see major results.”
“Every mom wants and wishes the best for their child. With him being hearing impaired, it almost feels like he has the odds stacked against him compared to kids with hearing. I just want him to live a normal life and be respected and treated like everyone else. After all, he is no different now.”