01 Aug May 2022 Recipient Story
Serah, from southern Texas, applied to the Hearing Aid Project on behalf of her son, Ashton.
How and when did your son begin experiencing hearing loss?
Serah: At age 2, my child was not responding to his name, not talking, and had some delayed milestones. He was receiving early child intervention (ECI) support in my home and they suggested having his hearing tested. His pediatrician said he had no hearing concerns and did not test his hearing. Six months later, after moving to another state, and connecting with the ECI program in the new state, it was again suggested that he have a hearing test. At age 2.5 years old, my child was diagnosed with moderate to moderately severe hearing loss. I still remember that day, I was overwhelmed with the news and began sobbing in the audiologist’s office. She was so kind, outlining the next steps to take on a sticky note…the final step being hearing aids.
How do you think assistive hearing devices impact your son’s daily life and life in the future?
Serah: I still have that sticky note, and it has been quite a journey. After an ABR determined sensorineural hearing loss in both ears, it was finally time to get him fitted for his first pair of hearing aids. He was all smiles as he sat for his ear mold impressions to be made and I was happy with the technology selection and choice of ear mold colors. It was quite a long process from start to finish and at age 4 he finally had his hearing aids. He could now progress to learning spoken language as his primary language and sign language as his second. My child now speaks in full sentences and the language gap has closed significantly. He only uses one sign, “I love you” and I think that’s pretty awesome that he held onto that one! Recently due to the pandemic and distance (virtual school) learning, my child was able to Bluetooth his hearing aids to his school-supplied technology/computer and this was very beneficial! When he goes to school on campus, his teacher wears an EDU mic which transmits what she says directly into his hearing aids; this helps him in a noisy classroom to hear the instructions and lessons.
I anticipate his future to be bright, with nothing stopping him–as the modern hearing aid is pretty fantastic! I am very pleased with his advancement and growth and it was all made possible because he was given the gift of hearing by means of advanced hearing technology. We call them his “ears” and they are pretty amazing!
How did you find out about the Hearing Aid Project, and what do you want people to know about it?
Serah: I found out about it through a school social worker. When I asked her for assistance, she said they could not help, but she offered to look up information and see if she could find someone who can help—she just used google to find your organization! I am very thankful to Mrs. Thatcher for connecting us to you.
I want people to know that if limited monetary funds are holding them or their child back from hearing, please reach out and ask for help—help is there, and no one should be without a good pair of “ears.” In the words of my son, Ashton, who excitedly said, “I can hear the wind!” … that’s the difference it has made in his life! I think everyone should be able to “hear the wind”, and smile doing so! Having hearing aids and hearing accessories has given my child language that he didn’t have before, it enabled him to reach new levels in growth and development and I know he will continue to do so because of this hearing technology.