Recently, we’ve gotten an influx of questions regarding Baby Dax. I can understand the curiosity, so we’re going to have a quick FAQ to address our most common questions.
Was Dax born not hearing?
Yes, Dax was born hard of hearing. We do not know what caused his hearing loss yet. We may learn more when imaging occurs around six months old.
Will Dax ever gain any hearing?
No, at this time we don’t believe Dax will ever gain any hearing back. His left ear is his “good” ear and even then it has deteriorated since his last ABR.
Is Dax’s hearing permanent loss?
From the information we have gathered so far, Dax’s hearing is permanent loss. There is no underlying cause for the lack of hearing such as fluid in the tubes, etc.
How do you determine hearing loss?
Dax initially had a hearing screening in the NICU. When he failed the initial screening he did a second prior to leaving NICU. Since he also failed the second hearing screening he was referred to a more in depth hearing test called an ABR. An ABR or Auditory Brainstem Response. This test registers brain waves to sounds, pitches and clicks. It takes almost two hours and Dax must be sleeping for it. We haven’t been able to complete two ears in two hours, only one ear per session.
How do you feel about his hearing loss?
To be frank, initially I was extremely upset about the hearing loss. It was a huge shock to us. How could something so right, go so wrong? What would our future look like? How could this happen to my baby? This is just some of my initial reactions. Perhaps some day I’ll do an in-depth post. However, I reached out to a good friend, Beth, who also went through hearing loss with her baby boy. What a wealth of knowledge she was! I was so happy to know someone I know had already been in my shoes. She is so helpful and I’ll continue to use her as a shoulder to lean on throughout our own journey. Thank you Beth Price!
What prompted you to check for hearing loss?
All babies are routinely screened for hearing before leaving the hospital. That’s how we knew!
Are you able to get that implant thing (Cochlears)?
The implants many of you are referring to are called Cochlear’s. We are currently not a candidate for Cochlear’s. This is neither here, nor there. However, we are extremely grateful for strides being made in the auditory world.
How do you know the aids will work?
Dax can hear certain pitches, tones, clicks etc. The hearing aids are meant to amplify that sound. While growing Dax will need to get his hearing aids adjusted frequently and have new molds for the aids made routinely.
Will the girls learn sign?
Yes, all of the family will learn to sign. Even cousins will learn to sign, willingly! It is an amazing thing when a family comes together to “speak” the language.
How do you teach a baby sign?
I sign the alphabet to Dax daily. The idea is that his brain makes so many connections daily that the repetitiveness will help him identify letters early on in life. Additionally, it is suggested to sign “baby” sign language to both boys starting now, or even at four months. “Baby” sign language are simple signs such as milk, more, please, thank you , mom, dad and so much more.
Will Emrick have hearing loss?
We do not believe Dax’s hearing loss is hereditary as neither side of the family has been genetically disposed to hearing loss. Emrick clearly hears as he turns his heads to sounds, etc. We will monitor as a “just in case”.
Will Emrick learn sign?
Yes! We will teach Emrick just as we teach Dax so the boys are able to communicate clearly.
How much are hearing aids?
I have explained this many times. Unfortunately, despite stellar benefits from my job. Hearing aids are one item that are not “covered”. Hearing aids range greatly in cost therefore we’re planning for approximately $3,000 per ear. There is a loaner program in which Dax will be getting his initial aid through to start. This program will give us three months to push the insurance to cover the aids as durable medical equipment. This also gives us time to apply for grants, save money and overall pray. Dax deserves the best out there, so we’ll do whatever it takes to get him that.
Have any more questions? Give us a shout, we’d be happy to answer them for you!