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Growing & Learning with Progressive Hearing Loss: Claire's Story

  • Growing & Learning with Progressive Hearing Loss


    Claire was born on June 7, 2008. Within the first 24 hours of birth she did not pass the newborn screening in her right ear. So we went to Boys Town a month later and again her right ear did not pass. And then we did another recheck two months from birth and she failed that test also and that’s when it was identified that she had a hearing loss.

    We just really didn’t know what to think or what which direction to turn. You’re going to have a baby and all is going to be healthy and everything is going to be exciting and everything a first time parent would hope for.

    It was scary really, didn’t really know what to expect and how severe it would be and what impacts it would have on Claire’s development.

    We were so afraid of what it was going to be. If what her hearing loss was going to become, so we acted like she could lose it tomorrow. We read to her and we talked to her and explained kitchen and played house and focused on speech intervention through Boys Town. So anything we could do.

    We really wanted to try to get her as much as possible in those early formative years in case it God forbid went away.

    Claire is sweet and a helper and a leader. She’s a role model. She’s also a little sassy. She’s full of life. She knows what she wants and what she likes, so she’s got a great personality.

    Never mind said Jakey, I know just what to do.

    We’ve always commented that we’re thankful for the personality she has with the hearing loss. It doesn’t faze her. It doesn’t bother her at all. We always, you know, joke and watch her in awe with how she is with people. And people ask her what that is in her ear, and she says well, I wear hearing aids to help me hear just like people wear glasses to help them see. She’s just very matter of fact with it. It doesn’t faze her, it doesn’t bother her.

    She’s a great big sister. She cares about her brothers. She’s helpful. She’s always worried about them and trying to keep them on the straight and narrow path also.

    They didn’t’ go fast but they didn’t go far, they made it to the lake in the rattle trap car.

    We feel like we’re at a good spot. Feels great and just hope it stays where it’s at.

    She’s been a part of 3 or 4 research studies. One of the biggest research projects we’ve been in is the outcomes of children of hearing loss. That was a 3 year long study.

    I guess we kind of feel as we want to give back to Boys Town any way we can because they’ve helped us in so many areas. Without them I think we’d have felt a lot more lost or a lot more confused.

    Yeah an emotional time and they were considerate and helpful and tried to give us as much information as possible and educate us as best as possible. Helped us understand that it wasn’t going to be a huge issue if we didn’t want it to be.

    It’s a family. It’s a support system to help. They’re there to help. They’re there to support and they will do anything in their power to do so.

    They were great and really they were the ones that made it such an easy transition and experience for us. They gave us some real good information and still do today.

    She’s doing wonderfully now. She’s right on grade level. You won!

    It’s nice to see where we are and to see all the early intervention and all the support we had from Boys Town and professionals. It really was worth it, really did pay off.

    It was very critical, it was I think the key to how successful if you will Claire’s doing today.

    And she doesn’t stop talking so we joke maybe the early intervention backfired because now she doesn’t stop talking. Woo! Claire won. Yes.

    Claire loves her hearing aids, and I just want her to always be proud of who she is and continue on that path.

    I want her to succeed in everything she does I guess and know that hearing loss isn’t anything that should ever hold her back. I think we’ve taught her to be pretty strong and self-sufficient and want her to always feel that way and know she can do anything regardless of any challenges that are thrown in front of her.

Patient Story;Childhood Deafness;Hearing Aids Hearing and Balance