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HEAR we go .... where is HERE?

Hearing loss can have a significant impact on a child’s development, especially if it is not detected and treated early. According to research studies, a child should start communicating by 12 to 18 months old in order to learn language and communication skills. The period between 2 to 6 years old is the golden opportunity time for developing communication skills. Without hearing, a child cannot learn other things such as reading and writing, which are essential to their overall development. It is therefore important for children with hearing loss to take advantage of this golden time to catch up. Early intervention and support are key to help children with hearing loss to reach their full potential later in life.

My Ears

Diagnosis

Cochlear Implant

Newborn Hearing Screening Test in government clinic at 2 months old by Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)

Auditory Brainstem Response tests in PHONAK at 3 months old

Further tests in Queen Mary Hospital including the Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR) which require sedation at 6 months old and 18 months old

Wearing hearing aid for both ears since 6 months old

 

Hearing test on quarterly basis to tune the hearing aids

Before the cochlear implant surgery:

MRI and CT scan

 

On 2 March 2009 operation by Dr HUI Yau in HK Adventist Hospital

Weekly training in PHONAK until 6 years old

Auditory-Verbal Therapy

Hearing Aid

Challenges faced

01: Uncertainty

When parents first face the challenge of their child's hearing loss, they may initially feel uncertain about the diagnosis. In some cases, it can be difficult to determine whether the hearing issue is actually a hearing problem or if there might be other underlying problems. It is important to seek guidance with a medical professional to determine the cause of the hearing loss and discuss any available treatment options.

02: Cochlear Implant?

Deciding whether or not to get a cochlear implant for a child with hearing loss can be a difficult decision for parents. The surgery carries certain risks, and the outcome is not always certain. Parents should consult with their doctor and the child's audiologist to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of the implant. Ultimately, the well-being of the child should be the top priority when making such an important decision.

03: Speaking?

Parents of a child with hearing loss face another challenging decision – should they teach their child to communicate through sign language or spoken language? Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Sign language is a visual language that typically requires both hands to communicate, but it is not a universal language and may not be widely understood by everyone. On the other hand, spoken language can be used to communicate with people of different cultures and backgrounds. However, it is a more complex and requires a greater investment of time and resources.

04: School Life

Parents of children with hearing loss may struggle to decide which school is best for their child – a mainstream school or a specialist school. Mainstream schools offer opportunities for the child to interact with their peers and access the same educational resources as other children, but specialist schools provide more focused and tailored support to children with hearing loss. It is important that parents research and explore all the options available to them and make an informed decision based on what they feel is best for their child.

05: Socialising

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06: The future

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