Communicating with grandchildren is one of the joys of a grandparent relationship. What happens if they can’t hear you?
This post made possible through the support of Cochlear. All opinions are my own.
As a baby, my younger sister Nancy seemed to be developing and reaching the typical milestones just like every other baby. She smiled, cooed and babbled right on schedule. It wasn’t until she was two years old that concerns about her development began to be raised. Whenever Nancy had her back turned, she would not respond to verbal cues. Observing this happening over and over again, my grandmother suggested to my mother that maybe Nancy could not hear — something my mother had also been considering but was afraid to vocalize. My grandmother suggested that my mother get Nancy’s hearing checked, so at her next pediatrician appointment, my mom broached the subject with the doctor. This was 1966 and pediatricians’ opinions were gospel. To my mother’s surprise, the doctor totally downplayed my mother’s concerns. He said Nancy could hear fine; she was just being stubborn and willfully “shutting you out.” His advice was for my mother to take control and make Nancy respond.
A couple weeks after that appointment, Nancy got a rock stuck up her nose. My mother took her to an ear, nose, and throat doctor who in 2 seconds popped the pebble out. He told my mother that was the easiest money he ever made. My mom replied that if he really wanted to earn his pay that day, he should check Nancy’s hearing. The doctor stopped dead in his tracks and asked my mother if she thought Nancy could not hear which my mother replied, yes. This kind doctor then replied,
[bctt tweet=”“If a mother suspects her child is hard of hearing,that is something worth looking in to.” #IWANTYOUTOHEAR” username=”caryn_mlg”]
Thus began the numerous appointments with hearing and speech specialists that eventually confirmed: Nancy did indeed have a severe hearing loss. My grandmother’s original suspicions and my mother’s unrelenting advocacy got the assistance my sister needed to hear and communicate in order to lead a normal life.
In those days, hearing aids were the only option available to help my sister hear. Luckily, today, parents and grandparents have more options and resources available to help their child/grandchild hear. One of those options is a cochlear implant by Cochlear.
For over 30 years, Cochlear has been the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, providing products (cochlear implants, bone conduction, and acoustic implants) that are designed to treat a range of moderate to profound types of hearing loss. Cochlear has helped over 450,000 people worldwide have access to sound. Cochlear’s Nucleus Implant System can help make sounds clearer, which is critical to help young children understand sound and learn to talk.
Outside support and information was not readily available at the time my sister was diagnosed. My mother often felt isolated as she searched for the proper treatment for my sister to hear better. One of the benefits of using Cochlear is that they want to actively partner with families of children with hearing loss throughout their lifetime. Cochlear is dedicated to providing parents with the online support, information, and connection they are looking for around hearing loss, as well as encourage families by sharing stories about how hearing implant families are living without limits.
The first step to seeing if a cochlear implant is the right choice to hear better, a medical professional–such as a hearing implant specialist, an audiologist or doctor– needs to be consulted. Cochlear helps prospective patients find a hearing implant specialist on their website.
Grandparents can play a vital role in helping their grandchildren communicate about their world. After all, it began with my grandmother’s concerns and encouragement that started my mother on the path to getting Nancy the medical attention necessary to diagnose her hearing loss. Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away unexpectedly before Nancy was officially diagnosed and never got to see Nancy hear like everyone else.
Start by visiting the Cochlear website to get the information and support to help your child/grandchild achieve a personal best hearing experience every day.