Teagan was born on 10-22-08 on 10-23 we were told that she did not pass her first newborn hearing screen. In the wee hours of the morning on 10-24 they tried again and she failed a second time. They told us not to worry a lot of babies fails because they have fluid in their ears and scheduled her back when she was 9 days old (Halloween). She failed again. They still told me not worry but referred her to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
When my daughter was 7 weeks old they performed two test on her. A Otoacoustic Emissions (Oae) Test that revealed a absence of OAE's at all frequencies. The other test was called a Auditory Brain stem Response (ABR) and it revealed my daughter had a condition called Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing loss. In her left ear she has mild sloping to moderate hearing loss and her right ear is severe hearing loss. It is permanent, she will have to wear hearing aides the rest of her life. At this point there is not enough information to tell us if she could lose more hearing but if she does she would be a candidate to receive chocular implants.
My daughter had wires coming out of her head and she was sleeping when her audiologist told me. I looked at my beautiful peacefully sleeping daughter and i cried. A bunch of questions and thoughts running through my head: Her father and i both have no history of hearing loss, WHAT DID I DO?, Will she talk funny? Will she talk at all? What will she look like?, Will she go to a "normal" school?
Melinda (her audiologist) was awesome. she sat there she let me cry and ask all the questions in the world. But at this age there is not a lot of sure answers. She would have to have a ton of more test: EKG's, MRI's, Kidney analyzes and see a ton of specialist: ENT's (Ear, Nose, & Throat Doctors), Cardiologist, Ophthalmologists. We would have to have to see a Speech and Language Therapist and get a genetic evaluation. It all hit me at once. I cried for a few hours after i left.
* side note-all the test and specialist were to rule out any underlying conditions and so far everything has come back negative*
My daughter has ears for God and his Angels.
I remember making all the phone calls to our family and I was so fearful that people would be disappointed or blame me. But it was totally the opposite everyone was wonderful and very supportive. My mom also gave me a great bit of advice when she said " It's all about your attitude, if you are positive and ok with it, then she will be ok! "
So I let myself cry and worry and grieve for the rest of the day and that night before I went to bed I picked Teagan up out of her crib held her tight to me and promised that I would do everything I could to make this easier for her I told her I loved her no matter what. That was the last time I cried over her hearing loss.
At 9 weeks old Teagan had her first ear molds done. Melinda prepared me that babies will usually through a fit when getting molded. Yeah well Teagan will never follow the "norm" that's just not her style..haha. She did so great she sat there half asleep and smiled up at Melinda.
Then 1 day shy of turning 3 month Teagan got her first pair of hearing aids. It was a beautiful moment. Once she started hearing more she just "talked" up a storm... She was no longer a quiet baby. Her screams, cries, giggles, and "words" are music to my ears.
About a week after she got her hearing aids she saw her first Speech and Language Therapist at CHOP (downtown) named Rebecca. Rebecca was great with her and taught us how to do therapy at home to help Teagan learn to communicate a little better. Teagan (with her aids) at 3 months old was comparing to "normal" hearing kids at the same age. That was wonderful news. We discussed learning American Sign Language (ASL) and Rebecca thinks its a great idea but suggested that we wait until Teagan starts talking before we teach her because any earlier and she may depend on ASL and not want to talk. I still decided that at least some sign language was important and we started on Signing Time Videos. If anything I think introducing sign language early helped her to speak earlier. Both my and Teagan's sign vocabulary grew quickly.
Teagan was doing wonderfully on March 6th 2009 she received her pretty, pink, permanent hearing aids, they are so tiny! The technology they have these days are truly amazing.
July 2009 Teagan went in for Genetic Testing and a MRI to see if we could find any cause to her hearing loss. The MRI results of showed no abnormalities her ears LOOK perfect. The genetic testing also came back clean. Currently there is absolutely NO reason for Teagan's hearing loss. They good news is they expect her not to have any further lose.
Teagan has and will continue to have a hearing support team. On her team will be a Hearing Support Teacher and speech teacher. We've been very lucky to have an amazing team put together. Not only do they help her but they support me and help me to be able to help teach her and advocate for her.
2/22/2010. Teagan went to CHOP for a sedated ABR after having a couple of not so great booth test. The results: Her left ear now ranges from Mild to Severe and she has gone profoundly deaf in her right ear.
2/2/2011. Teagan received her FM system today!
8/25/2011. Teagan has moved from Early Intervention to the Preschool 3-5 year old program
9/16/2013. Teagan started her first day in PRE-K. Her hearing support Team: Kathy (hearing support), Christine (Speceh) and Marci (Special Instruction) will continue to see her in her classroom. Her classroom teachers Ms. Debbie and Ms Anji will be using her FM system.
9/30/2013* Teagan had a booth test at CHOP today. Her hearing in her left ear now ranges from Moderate to Profound. For now they adjusted her hearing aid and they are ordering a new hearing aid the Phonak Nadia-Q