Hearing for the First Time

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It’s probably been a week or two since I have given a Loghan update but if you ever feel like you aren’t getting your Loghan fix, you can check me out on Instagram @squirreledmom.

What can I say, Loghan finally got her hearing aids and we couldn’t be more excited! Her first ear molds were done during her last Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) and unfortunately, they did not fit properly so we had to have them redone. However, we were able to program them, get them in and turn them on for the first time.

Once they were on, we instantly noticed she could hear better, so much so that it brought tears to my eyes. Our little Logi Bear – how she tugs on our heartstrings. She endures so much and never gives up and I cannot wait to see where this next chapter leads us.

After her appointment, I couldn’t wait to go back and luckily we didn’t have to wait long. They were able to get the new hearing aids within a couple days and we were back before the end of week. Again, we noticed a difference right away when the hearing aids were turned on.

One of the things we are hoping hearing aids will help with, other than hearing, is Loghan’s speech. I want to point out is that there are a few cases of others with RERE Syndrome that are non-verbal and if you know Loghan, then you know that her vocabulary is very short and consists of lots of ‘Ahhhs’ and blowing raspberries. At eighteen months old, that puts her behind the ball in the speech department, but I’m hopeful she will get ahead of the curve and keep on proving people wrong.

I know that we will not see instant changes vocabulary wise from Loghan since she hasn’t been hearing 100% since birth, but we are already seeing a difference with her response to commands. She is already responding to cues that she was not doing prior to hearing aids, like “clap” and “so big”. This makes me SO happy and shows what a difference the hearing aids are really going to make.

Loghan is classified as having mild hearing loss. To give you an idea of what that looks like on paper, here are the hearing scores she was given. The first number is how she hears without amplification and the second number is with amplification.

RIGHT ear:

Soft Speech: 41 – 98

Medium or Average Speech: 90 – 94

LEFT ear:

Soft Speech: 17 – 89

Medium or Average Speech: 65 – 93

Don’t be fooled by Loghan’s hearing loss being classified as “mild”. As mild as it may be, these hearing aids will help her pick up sounds she wasn’t hearing before, especially consonant and vowel sounds. Sounds that are key in developing her speech.

The path to getting Loghan’s hearing aids was not an easy one. Her scores from her first ABR left us just short of qualifying for them under Medicaid and our regular insurance doesn’t cover them either. No insurance covers them – it’s crazy! There is vision insurance, dental insurance, pet insurance…but yet, no hearing insurance. Mind blown.

Luckily, you can reach out for assistance to some great local resources. Some of them are income based while others are non-profit or charitable organizations. I reached out to a few (I will blog about those later) while we were waiting to do a second ABR to ensure Loghan’s hearing loss wasn’t progressive. The Sioux Empire Realtor For Kids provided us with a $750.00 grant toward Loghan’s hearing aids. This was great news, considering her hearing aids were going to cost just shy of $5,000.00.

After Loghan’s second ABR, her scores were almost identical, but one ear decreased just enough that we now qualified for her hearing aids to be covered under Medicaid. We are not hard up for money, but things do add up. I can’t imagine how stressed out some families must be about financial assistance if they have a family member with extra needs. It breaks my heart to think that some kids won’t be able to receive hearing aids because they can’t afford them and insurance doesn’t cover them. This needs to change.

Besides the cost, there are some other challenges that come with this powerful tool. One of them being, getting them in your child’s ears and staying there! Although there is this struggle, Loghan realizes that they help her so the only time she really tries pulling them out is when she is tired. She’s an ear puller when she gets sleepy.

Loghan is also a squirmy little one, however, we found a system that works and has helped our support system getting them in, out and to stay on!

  1. Turn them off.
  2. Put them in the hearing aid headband.
  3. Put the headband on. I found some cute ones from Etsy.
  4. Get YouTube ready!
  5. Put them in.
  6. Turn them on.
  7. Reward her for being good.

We have only had Loghan’s hearing aids for a little over a week so we are still learning, but I can’t wait to share what we learn and how she continues to develop. I know you are rooting for her right along with us and if you see us out and about feel free to say hi! Until then, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @squirreledmom.

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