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Readers Respond: Parents' Reactions to Hearing Loss

Responses: 26

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Updated February 19, 2011

When parents discover their child is deaf or hard of hearing, or their child's hearing loss is confirmed, their reactions can range from outright grief to "Oh? Is that all?" Now that we have newborn hearing screening available, parents are learning about their children's hearing losses much earlier. Are parents' reactions to hearing loss any easier today? What was your own reaction to finding out your child had a hearing loss?

Read more about parenting deaf and hard of hearing children.

Daughter Losing Her Hearing

My daughter is 21 months. Found out at 12 months that she was deaf in one far and had moderate hearing loss in other. Since then the moderate hearing loss has gone to severe and still getting worse. We are just waiting now and can do nothing for her. Been told she may lose it completely but she may not! I don't know how i am suppose to feel? Very sad at the min. I suppose its just hit me! My Little princess loves her aid and is starting to talk now she is always happy :-)
—Guest Kate

Twin A is Deaf

Although we are deaf, our 5-year-old was hearing so it was a total surprise to learn that our second child (one of twins) was born deaf. Notification happened like this: a nurse came in and handed me a note: "The girl passed. The boy DID NOT pass." She promptly left the room without giving me a chance to respond. I didn't know what she was talking about, nor that tests were being done. It took some anxious moments of asking around before I realized it was a hearing test. The school for the deaf did far more in terms of noninvasive testing, helpful information and aids than the audiology department or city special ed programs, and this is because they are the REAL specialists. Now all three kids are grown and are either in college or graduated.
—Guest Dianrez

My Angel

My daughter was born early, weighing only 3 lbs 6 ounces. The overwhelming feeling being only nineteen, first baby. We were in the NICU with her for over 17 weeks everyday was a learning experience for me and and battle for life for my daughter. The relief to hear I could take her home. My baby is healthy and ok now. The day we got to take her home the doc says she has failed all for hearing screens hands me a appointment card for a audiologist and says have a nice day. My heart sunk I had never been around deaf ppl. I was so scared that I couldn't give her what she needed. My daughter is two now. Everyday is still a learning process and battle for success and achievement. She is the most amazing strong willed outgoing lil girl. Everyday she reminds me that anything is possible and to slow down and enjoy the connection I have with my daughter because she is deaf. Everything she has accomplished and learned I get to learn and enjoy watching her. I'm a proud mom.
—Guest My angel

Son Deaf at Birth

I refused to accept his diagnosis. Everyday, I would smash pots together until one day when he was 3 months old, he responded. He could hear! How could this happen?
—Guest Joanne

It Could Have Been Worse

hi i had 3 healthy children then after 6 loses in between all i fell pregnant with identical twin girls, went into labour at 23 weeks & thankfully mamaged to stop it then delivered at 36 weeks all was fine for 48hrs then twin 1 was admitted to scubu as she couldn't feed, thankfully after a week we went home, we had some hiccups with twin2 constant nose bleeds & vomiting blood (tests revealed nothing) then due to failure of screening girls were refered & both failed hearing tests & were fitted with aids which obviously at 3 months they wore with ease then my 2nd oldest was diagnosed with hearing loss & again took it great (2 eldest children are from previous relationship) Doctors could not believe how well i accepted it but i always thought to myself 'well it could be worse' they could be given a short life span/severe disabilty & now we are seeing neurologists (suspected spina bifida) but still i think things could be worse! sometimes i cry but i smile for each day with my special LIVING children
—Guest vicki

Still Emotional for Me

I'm so glad to read about all the tears because when my daughter was born HOH I wanted to slap the technician who did the screening too! I kicked her out of my room. I just knew she was wrong! Well she wasn't. I cried for a few months and now that she's almost one it's still emotional for me although she wears her aids with no problems and is copying words I say. I feel she was short-changed in a way even though I know she's blessed that it's such a minor "disability" She always has appointments to attend and it feels like she's growing up surrounded by doctors. Thats hard. My family sees it as no big deal including my husband, and I bear the weight of it all.
—Guest bri Scohier

Tears Wouldn't Stop!

I could of slapped the audiologist when she told me the bad news! Instead I just cried and cried! No one in our familes has a hearing problem so it was a complete surprise to us! It's genetics. We found out when he was born and was aided at 6 months. The struggling we had trying to keep the hearing aids in is enough to want to make you cry more! My son now is two years old and he is the most amazing child I've ever met! He's smart, he's got attitude, and is slowly starting to talk! I do not blame myself anymore, I do not hate god anymore, (although him and I will talk when I meet him) I do not cry anymore! It is such a long road and for anyone who just found out that your child can not hear at all or is moderate to severe like my son, don't worry! When they turn about 2, they keep the aids in (so don't stress) and when you accept that he or she can't hear like mom or dad, you'll realize that you wasted you time thinking on that rather then enjoying their little life, yours comes together.
—Guest Diana

Finding out my child is HOH

What a relief to find this site, my 8 year old boy was starting to get into trouble at school, he is top of his class and never "naughty", however his teachers recently started to discipline him for not listening and following instructions, it turns out they had moved him side ways on to the teacher and he couldn't see their lips! I feel dreadful/ guilty for not putting it together sooner for all concerned and angry that he started to get really told off, rather than recognising there was a problem. My son is amazing he is a chorister and has huge musicality, he has developed his lip reading skills, has loads of friends, reading skills of 5 years above his age, and is very engaging and sensitive to others moods, probably because he really looks at people when lip reading. I am still emotionally struggling as I just want to get on with discovering the extent, causes and possible treatment so I can assist him as much as possible, waiting for consultant appointments is frustrating!
—Guest Nikki

Unsure About Acceptance

My daughter was given doses of gentamicin and ampicilin after she was bron. for I gave birth inside an out of order restroom of a public hospital while sitting on top of the toilet bowl. She's now 4 and still not talking. She just points on things she wants and just shouts (no words)to get our attention. I've sent her to an EENT and the dr said that her eardrum is normal and advised me to go to a hearing center for some tests to double check. I'm still confused...I want to bring my child there to treat her if it is needed, but i'm also hesitant for I don't want to learn that she is deaf.... I'm not really sure if I can accept it. It is the hospital's fault, they advised me to go to the restroom, for the dr said it is not yet time for me to give birth and it might just a poop that needs to come out. They held my baby with bare hands!cut he cord with bare hands! and wrapped her with a rag sitting on the corner of the restroom!!!! I'm really confused.....
—Guest gheng

It is a Birth Defect

My mom always said that she was blaming herself for my hearing loss but when we found out it was a birth defect she said that she felt so much better. I used to cry myself to sleep for so many years but then I realized that I was hard of hearing for a reason. Some of my friends still will tell me I am wrong when I say I have a disability or I have a handicap they just won't believe me.
—Guest ...

Son Born Deaf Due to Rare Disorder

My son failed his newborn screening but the audiologist assured me it was just fluid in his ears, she would come back the next day and he would pass..We were discharged from the hospital that afternoon so we had to schedule an outpatient appointment for a few weeks later they said to make sure all the fluid was gone..I knew something was wrong at that next appointment when the audiologist said she would be right back and explain what she found. At first when she told me he had bilateral profound hearing loss I was in shock. "You mean he can't hear at all?" I said and she nodded. For a second I just stared at the wall and then the tears started flowing.. Why my baby? What did I do wrong when I was pregnant? I had all these questions going through my mind. Would I ever be able to hear my baby say "Mommy"? Turns out he has a very rare generic disorder called ddod syndrome. It wasn't my fault this is the way god made him and he's amazing just the way he is.
—Guest Allicia

Grown Deaf Son Now Deaf Granddaughter

AS I read all the reactions, it reminded me I went through the tears too. BUT fortunately for or (but some would say unfortunate), we learned about signing when he was 18 months old. My only regret is that I didn't move near a state school when he was young and not mainstream him. In our small community there was one other deaf child 2 years younger. They kept them together. I have been reading, Alone in the Mainstream by Gina Oliva, and I asked my son if he felt tormented. He told me the story of an Indian dad of a classmate that defended him against teen tormentors. He was pretty outgoing but did tend to stick with the other deaf boy. Now he is in his 30s and loves adventure. He would be skydiving and BASE jumping still if he were not fighting for his own Deaf child, 8. The school thinks she hears good enough with bilateral implants but reading Gina's book I know she is struggling.
—Guest Judy

My Daughter has a hearing loss

I felt sad. I could not stop crying for days and when I thought that I was ok I would start crying all over again. It was hard for weeks. I felt guilty that I had let this happen to my little girl and that I did not take her [in] in time. She failed the first 2 screenings and then passed the BAER then failed the booth at 6 months supposedly because she had fluid in her ears, then I did not take her back until she was 18 months. It was all my fault and now my 2 year [old] barely says a word. She has had her hearing aids for 3 months and still does not talk a lot. But we are working with a state program to help her and she has been seeing them for 4 months now. I hope for the best she deserves a good life.
—Guest Guest

Finding out my daughter is deaf.

i was shock and was in denial. confused cant eate or sleep resign my job. commit myself fully to my daughter. keep blaming my self and questioning God why me what could have caused her deafness . her father side of family and my side of family dont have any deaf member. i got even moore protective and love her even moore. i used to cry a lot feeling sorry for her. and then one morning before day break i fall on my knees and ask GOD for forgiveness and begged for guidance , knowledge wisdom , patience,and continous good health for myself and daughter my the 10yrs old son and my husband at that time. i felt relief next morning i was out searching for my daughter and myself. know she is 14yrs beautiful love school ,beautiful dancer getting ready to start high school and i am looking foreward to go to college to take sign language the intrepeting degree. she is my strenght .
—Guest beverly archer

It Changed Our Lives - for the Better.

The initial fear of having a deaf child was tempered when the numbness turned to action. We considered our options and put our new life in gear. We quit jobs, moved from a small town to a city and soon found out that we were all benefiting from expanding our scope. We loved the opportunities of urban living, all 3 of our kids thrived. We had a strong connection to our old small town lives and extended families. We were experiencing the best of both worlds. We had new jobs but had to also make a new social life which now centered around the schools and families of their peers. It is wonderful! It is a win/win environment for all of us. The kids excelled, traveled, were open minded, took advantage of whatever came their way, graduated college with honors! I cannot say that I am happy my daughter is deaf. No parent wants to make life any more difficult than what it can be for a child but she rose to the occasion and showed us the way.
—Guest Pam

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