By Kasey Cain, California H&V

Nothing went according to plan with my oldest son’s birth. He was sunny-side up and his heart rate dropped seven times in labor. After many attempts to reposition, I finally had a C-section. He didn’t pass his first hearing screening but was very difficult to soothe. On day two, he “eventually” passed in his left ear, but not his right. “It’s probably fluid or maybe vernix in his ears since he was born through C-section,” we were told. We dutifully showed up to get his “pass” two weeks later, or so we thought. Zander failed in both ears. We were shocked. Like most families, we had no family history of hearing loss. All fluid should have been gone by now. After the ABR, we learned he had sensorineural hearing loss, mild-moderately severe on his left, and worse on his right. I was speechless when I asked a quiet question over my sleeping newborn and the audiologist answered in her normal tone of voice, “He can’t hear us right now.” What could he hear?

Alysa was born with TCS, and bilateral Microtia-Atresia. Treacher Collins Syndrome is a rare genetic condition that affects the way the face develops; it is estimated that it occurs in approximately 1 in 50,000 live births. Microtia is a birth defect that occurs 1 in 10,000 live births, and Atresia is absence or underdevelopment of the ear canal and middle ear structures. She has had over 9 surgeries, years of orthodontics, and speech therapy in school. She has moderate to severe hearing loss and wears bilateral bone-anchored hearing aids.

By Marie Morgan, California H&V

I will always remember the day that I drove away from the hospital with my newborn knowing that she just failed the hearing test again and had a high likelihood of a mild to moderate loss. I looked at her, thrilled to be taking a baby home after suffering a loss two years prior. I knew that she would have to deal with this hearing loss her whole life, but I wouldn’t let it define her and I most certainly would make it her super power. That is exactly what I have tried to do every day since.

Razi M. Zarchy, MS, CCC-SLP and Leah C. Geer, PhD

Our names are Razi Zarchy and Leah Geer. Razi is a hearing speech-language pathologist (SLP) with over 10 years of experience in deaf education. Leah is a deaf Associate Professor of Deaf Studies at California State University, Sacramento. She has 10 years of experience teaching American Sign Language (ASL). Together, we wrote the innovative, family-centered curriculum called ASL at Home. This is our story.

By Michelle Hu, Au.D. CCC-A

“Mommy, I can’t hear.”

No parent ever wants to hear their child cry out in distress. These are words that my mom and dad had to hear more than a few times as I grew up. The very first time, my mom says she sprung out of bed in a panic — she didn’t know what to do. She wasn’t a physician nor was she an audiologist, so she was left to wonder - Was it just a cold? Was it an ear infection? Something worse?

About CA Hands & Voices

California Hands & Voices is dedicated to supporting families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in a respectful and non-judgmental manner regarding language opportunities, communication tools or educational approaches. We’re a parent-driven, non-profit organization providing families with the resources, networks, and information to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children.

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California Hands & Voices
c/o Cora Shahid
15274 Andorra Way
San Diego CA 92129

 

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