Today was a day that we have been dreading for a few years now. We brought Shay to Sick Kids for a follow up hearing appointment today and the results indicated again that he has a mild to moderate hearing loss. This was the first testing session that Shay verbally was able to identify when he heard the different tones. It was the first time that I felt confident that the testing session represented his true hearing potential. Over the past four and a half years, his audiology tests have been all over the place - ranging from normal hearing to a severe to profound loss. Today was the second time in two months that Shay's results were consistent. As a result, Kelly, his audiologist recommended that we do a three month trial with hearing aids.
To back track a little - when Shay was five months old, we were told that he had a severe to profound hearing loss and that he would never hear. Cris and I were initially devastated, but soon quite confident that Shay could hear based on his behaviour around the house. After running more tests at Sick Kids Hospital, Shay was diagnosed with Auditory Neuropathy which is a a very unique hearing condition (and not completely understood) common in preemies. If you are interested in understanding the condition a little more, click here.
I will be honest - I don't love the idea of Shay getting hearing aids - it is just another thing that is going to make him different from his peers. It is just one more thing that we will have to worry about. That being said, Shay is one of the strongest, most resilient kids I have ever met. He has taught me to not set my own personal expectations on him - he runs his own show - he will let us know whether or not the hearing aids are a "fit" for him. His biggest desire is to keep up with his peers - something as small as a hearing aid may help him get him that much closer. Time will only tell.... he had the mold made today - the hearing aids should be ready in the next few weeks - I will keep you posted.