July 22, 2009

Hearing Pride

Hadley sometimes makes comments about how her hearing is improving and that she thinks she can now hear sounds that previously were impossible to hear. Sometimes she even goes the extra step and states that she may not need to wear hearing aids when she is older. We've always been careful to be supportive, but straight forward with our responses to her. We talk about how she can understand more without her aids because she is working harder to read our lips and fill in the gaps with clues. We talk about how her listening and comprehension skills are always improving because she continues to work so hard on them. We talk about how technology evolves and changes and that the hearing aids she will wear in the future may be much smaller and different than those she wears now. We even talk about the scientific research that is ongoing with Connexin 26 and the special role she can play by participating in various studies that might help Cx26 kids who are born years from now.

In all of this, I've never thought about how Hadley feels about the amount of residual hearing she has (what she can hear without her hearing aids). I've certainly thought about how she feels about the amount of hearing she doesn't have, but not the reverse. As she gets older, she mentally catalogs the sounds she can hear both with and without her hearing aids, similar to how we tracked her response to sounds in the early months of AVT (ok, yes, it was on a spreadsheet and I had charts showing changes over time). There's a certain amount of wonder and surprise to this, especially when she realizes she has heard an exceptionally soft sound with her aids. She has a huge amount of pride in her ability to make these discriminations-- particularly when she is relying on the limited hearing that she actually has without her hearing aids. At a time in her life when I once anticipated she would be unhappy with what hearing she didn't have, instead she revels in the hearing she does have-- and, like the other AVT kids we know, makes full use of each and every decibel she has.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kerry. Just wanted to write you to tell you how much I enjoy your posts about Hadley and her hearing. My kids are not nearly as in tune to their hearing issues, so I really do get a lot of insight reading about Hadley's perspective. I am quite amazed how articulate she is. She is growing into such a mature young women. Keep up the posts...I look forward to reading them.