Know your why!
Hearing loss affects 12,000 children born in the United States each year, making it the most common sensory birth defect. In South Carolina, roughly 4 percent of infants fail the newborn hearing screening due to deafness or some degree of hearing loss, and our daughter, Alyssa, born November 2009, is a member of that group. While we are greatly appreciative for the diagnostic services provided to us, our journey to meet her medical needs revealed that there is no state health insurance coverage for hearing aids. Your support of children who have hearing loss is greatly appreciated.
We need to bridge the gap between identifying children with hearing loss via the newborn screening and providing a pathway to amplification devices, regardless of income, that can correct the deficiency.
A parent of a 22 year old child diagnosed with hearing loss at 18 months:
It has been challenging raising a child with a hearing loss. My child is also mentally handicapped. I found it hard to believe that glasses and braces (for teeth) can be covered by insurance, but not heading aids. Sister with a sibling diagnosed with hearing loss explains impact on her life: My sister XXXX, being deaf has influenced me to become a Special Education teacher. I want to help those who are deaf or hard of hearing in a school environment. I am also in the process of becoming a certified interpreter. There are such little efforts to help improve the deaf and hard of hearing community. My sister taught me sign language when I was a toddler therefore giving me a way to communicate with her my needs when she took care of me. From my experiences I have seen how hard everyday life is for this unique community. They are so much more thankful than those with the ability to hear. My sister and I share a bond most siblings don't because of her inability to hear.
An adult with hearing loss explains how, due to the lack of financial resources, she did not have access to hearing aids in her youth: Actually I'm a 30 yr. old woman now, but I have struggled with hearing loss since I was a young child. Nobody knew right away until they started noticing I wasn't learning as quick or speaking that well. My parents struggled to get my surgeries I needed and to get my hearing aids. I hadn't wore any hearing aids for many years until about 2 yrs. ago. I didn't have the money to buy hearing aids, but my mother, who also has hearing loss, found a program in our area to help us get some. Which we both needed them for both ears. Since I have gotten my hearing aids, I have gone back to school and feel like I have much more confidence. By getting my hearing aids has changed me in so many good ways. Although, my hearing aids have helped a lot, I still have some problems with hearing everything. I think if I could get better or more advanced hearing aids that would help even more. I'm a single mother, going to school and works a part time job. Recently my job took away one of my positions because of my hearing. I feel this is wrong and this is just one of the many struggles I have faced my whole life. By this position being taken away from me, it has cut my hours tremendously. I feel strongly about any issues dealing with hearing impaired since I have dealt with it my whole life. That’s why I’m attending school in hopes of getting a degree to work with the hearing impaired.
A parent of a child with hearing loss explains her child’s experience utilizing both hearing aids and cochlear implants: My daughter has auditory neuropathy with a progressive loss. August 31, 2010 she had surgery for a cochlear implant. She is doing well with the implant because of her prior experience hearing in that ear. She has worn hearing aids for 3 years. I will never forget the day she was fitted with them. I called her name vand she turned and looked at me. It brought tears to my eyes. A child needs access to sound regardless of how much money their parents have in their checking account. A child should not be denied hearing for this reason.
TELL YOUR STORY
We want to know your story.If you have a child that has been impacted by hearing loss, will you share your story? I believe that our legislators need to know the personal stories of life impacted by hearing loss and the amplification devices (i.g. hearing aids and cochlear implants) that help us hear the world.Our efforts will make them aware of the need for private health insurance policies to offer hearing aids benefit coverage for children.