Hearing Aid!

On Wednesday we headed to the hospital to pick up Benja’s {long awaited} hearing aid!

As I’ve mentioned before, Benja was born with microtia of one ear.   That ear is very underdeveloped and has no opening.  Weren’t quite sure what was going on inside until we had some tests done.  We found out a few months ago that Benja doesn’t have a functioning ear canal and has no hearing on that side.   When they tested the other ear they found that he had very little hearing in that ear either and labeled him essentially deaf.   We knew he could hear some things (he repeats certain sounds we make and turns his head when we call his name) but it probably wasn’t much and not very clear.  Benja is also non-verbal.  He makes noises/sounds but has never spoken a real word.  We (and his speech therapists!) have been really hoping that once he can hear, he may begin to try some words.

Anyway, back to Wednesday.  We drove up and picked up his Cochlear Baha with a softband.   I was a bit anxious to see how he did the first time with it on.  I had been warned that some kids freak out the first time they get their hearing aids so I was prepared for a difficult transition.   Benja wasn’t sure what to think when we first put it on (the hearing aid was still switched off).  He reached up to pull it off several times.  We turned the hearing aid on and he immediately jerked around and stared at us with wide eyes.  We talked to him and he smiled at us and reached for the hearing aid.  When he touched it, it squealed (as hearing aids do).  He started crying then.  I comforted him a bit and he stopped.  He touched the hearing aid again to make it squeal and this time smiled.  He would touch it several times in a row and laugh when it made a the squealing noise.  It was quite cute.   Then Jovie pushed a button on a (loud) toy which started making noise and I think startled him so he started crying again.  It must have been such a shock to hear all those loud noises after all this time!   We took it off in the car so he could sleep (he hadn’t napped yet).  That evening when we got home and put it back on him he smiled and started jumping around.  He hasn’t looked back since !  He doesn’t seem upset or disturbed by it at all.  He doesn’t even try to take it off.   If he accidently makes is squeal (leans up against a pillow or someone brushes it) he either fusses or laughs depending on his mood.  But otherwise I think he forgets it is there.

I’m so relieved it has been such an easy transition for him so far!  I can’t wait to see if we can make any progress with his verbal communication.   I’m anxious for us to really start communicating.  He’s been regularly signing “more” but that’s about all we’ve got so far even though we’re signing a good number of signs fairly regularly throughout the day.  We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks and months!

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2 Comments to “Hearing Aid!”

  1. This is awesome! So, there is no implant with this form of cochlear stimulator? Pretty amazing…have you tried PECS with him?

  2. That is so sweet!

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