One week from today, Jace will be getting fitted for hearing aides. My heart broke a little as I sat in the Mesa Public Schools audiology sound booth and watched him fail the hearing test last week. I could hear the sounds he was unable to hear. He wanted so badly to do well. He sat as still as a statue and listened so intently. At one point, he looked at me out of the corner of his eye and whispered, "Mom, help me." It was pretty awful to not be able to help him.
I'm a swirl of emotions. One person said, "it's just like your child needing glasses" and I agree with that to an extent. I'm grateful that we are catching it now and he'll potentially learn to speak really well before kindergarten starts. I know his hearing loss is relatively mild and I'm grateful that it's not worse. BUT I still worry. We've been to a second audiologist since then and the results were the same: mild hearing loss bilaterally, hearing aides recommended.
Here's what I know: If an adult had a similar hearing loss, they wouldn't get hearing aides because the impairment is that minimal. But because Jace needs to hear the high frequencies of the consonant sounds so the he can learn to talk correctly, he needs the hearing aides. No telling if his hearing will progressively get worse or stay this way his whole life. He is not going to grow out of it though. It's not going to get better. He was born with this hearing loss. Once he learns to talk, he may be able to manage it just by sitting in the front of the class and looking at people when they talk. Or maybe he'll always wear hearing aides.
Here's what I worry: He's 3 and I dont fully believe he'll wear the hearing aides as often as he needs to. I worry that he'll flush them down the toilet because he hates wearing them. I worry that he'll lose them or brake them accidentally. I worry that he'll get teased by other kids. I worry that our insurance is only going to cover a fraction of the cost of the initial hearing aides and that any replacements or repairs are going to be outrageously expensive. I worry that his hearing loss will get worse with time. I worry that he'll feel different.
I cant help looking back at all the failed hearing tests and wondering if we could have caught it even sooner. The only time he ever passed a hearing test was at 8 months old with an audiologist that I was skeptical of during the whole process. I should have questioned her passing him that day. It didn't make any sense when he had failed so many tests before then. I guess that doesn't matter now. We are here and we'll move forward with the information we have. And I will only cry every once in a while. :)