Why are we doing this?
My son, at 8 days of age (born December, 1993), was tested on an ABR and diagnosed with a severe loss. No information was given to us except a business card and we were told to have another test in six weeks. The multimedia project will provide general information about hearing impairments, terminology, how tests are administered, what to expect, and where to turn for help.
There is no other completed resource available that covers the generic information after a diagnosis of a hearing impaired child for the parents. Most hospitals do not give the parents anything, others give brochures at the time of diagnosis. Most want you to contact your audiologist and get into a learning program right away or get a case manager, home intervention worker soon.
Miles receiving the HIKE Fund from JOBS Daughters in Colorado
The parents are left hanging out there with no immediate simple information to let them know what their child just went through. What does this mean to me? Is there any one else? What now? During this time of grief and frustration, no one wants to read through dozens brochures (I sure didn’t). If your child is diagnosed at birth, you don’t really care about which school to send them. A lot of information is currently on children diagnosed from age 2 up, and on deaf children. What about those who are hard of hearing?
Universal testing is now being used in 17 states (see Research under Communication). Otherwise the only newborns tested are the high risk ones. The average seems to be about 1 in 250 babies tested have a hearing impairment (mild to profound).
By the way, now that my son is three, his hearing loss is slight in one ear, and mild/moderate in the other. He will start pre-school the fall of ’97.