Published Date: April 26, 2021
AS CONCERNED PARENTS, WE MUST DEFINITELY TAKE NOTICE.
Any individual should know that a child or adult would be labeled disable, if they suffered with severe deafness.
It don’t necessarily have to be loss of limb or some form of a mental condition that hinders one from functioning day-by-day in society.
This is why routine hearing exams are so important if you suspect something is not right as your child develops.
Because as you know, raising a hearing impaired child, could be a daunting task.
If your child is under age two, or is uncooperative during his or her examination, the child may be given one of two available screening test, which are the same test used for newborn disability screening.
They are painless, take just five to ten minutes. and can be performed while your child is sleeping or lying still.
THE SOUND TEST
This is a response test which measures how the brain responds to sound.
Clicks or tones are played into the baby’s ears through soft earphones, and electrodes placed on the baby’s head measure the brain’s response.
This allows the doctor to test your child without having to rely on his or her cooperation.
This test measure sound waves produced in your child’s middle ear.
A tiny probe is placed just inside the baby’s ear canal, which then measures the response when clicks or tones are played into the baby’s ear.
These tests may not be available in your immediate area, but the consequences of an undiagnosed condition are so serious that your doctor may advise you to travel to where one of them can be done.
Certainly, if these tests indicate that your baby may have a problem, your doctor should recommend a more thorough sound evaluation as soon as possible to confirm whether your child’s hearing is impaired.
YOUR CHILD’S TREATMENT
Treating a deaf situation will depend on its cause. If it is a mild conductive issue due to fluid in the middle ear, the doctor may simply recommend that your child be retested in a few weeks to see whether the fluid has cleared by itself.
Medication such as antihistamines, decongestants, or antibiotics are ineffective in clearing up middle ear fluid.
If there is no improvement in the hearing over a three-month period, and there is still fluid behind the eardrum, the doctor may recommend referral to the ENT specialist.
If the fluid persists and there is sufficient (even though temporary) conductive hearing impairment from the fluid, the specialist may recommend draining the fluid through ventilating tubes. These are surgically inserted through the eardrum.
This is a minor operation and takes only a few minutes, but your child must receive a general anesthetic for it to be done properly, so he usually will spend part of the day in a hospital or an outpatient surgery center.
Even with the tubes in place, future infections can occur, but the tubes help reduce the amount of fluid and decrease your child’s risk of repeated infection. They will also improve his or her hearing.
- CONDUCTIVE HEARING LOSS
If a conductive hearing loss is due to a malformation of the outer or middle ear, an aid may restore hearing to normal or near-normal levels. However, an aid will work only when it’s being worn.
You must make sure it is on and functioning at all times, particularly in a very young child. Reconstructive surgery may be considered when the child is older.
- SENSORINEURAL HEARING LOSS
Hearing aids will not restore hearing completely to those with sensorineural hearing loss (also called nerve deafness, which is caused by an abnormality of the inner ear or the nerves that carry sound messages from the inner ear to the brain).
Mother had rubella (German Measles) during pregnancy. Son now suffer from a hearing disability.
The loss can be present at birth or occur shortly thereafter. If there is a family history of deafness, the cause is likely to be inherited (genetic).
If the mother has rubella (German Measles), cytomegalovirus (CMV), or another infectious illness that affects hearing during pregnancy, the fetus could have been infected and may lose their hearing as a result.
The problem also may be due to a malformation of the inner ear. Most often the cause of severe sensorineural hearing loss is inherited.
Still, in most cases, no other family member on either side will have hearing loss because each parent is only a carrier for a hearing loss gene.
This is called an “autosomal recessive pattern,” rather than “dominant” where it would be expected that other family members on one side would have hearing loss.
Future brothers and sisters of the child have an increased risk of being hearing impaired, and the family should seek genetic counseling if the hearing loss is determined to be inherited.
Hearing loss must be diagnosed as soon as possible, so that your child isn’t delayed in learning language – a process that begins the day he or she is born.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that before a newborn infant goes home from the hospital, she needs to undergo a hearing screening.
GENETIC DISEASES THAT CAUSE DEAFNESS
There are a number of diseases that can be passed down in families that will result in hearing loss. These include Paget’s disease. Alport’s disease, Cogan’s syndrome and Pendred’s synrome.
Alport’s Disease – This genetic disease causes kidney inflammation in childhood, followed by a sensorineural hearing impairment in young adulthood and eye problems later in life.
(It’s more common among men than women).
Cogan’s Syndrome – This inflammation of the cornea, which occurs for no known reason, can also damage new bone formation around the round window and destroy the organ of Corti and cochlear nerve cells.
It can lead to vertigo, tinnitus and severe sensorineural hearing loss.
Pendred Syndrome – An inherited condition that causes deafness (usually at birth) and development of goiter (enlarged thyroid) in childhood.
People with the syndrome have different degree or hearing loss, but it is severe for more than half of them.
The syndrome is probably the most common form of deafness that appears with another condition (in this case, goiter).
Scientist are not sure what causes the problem, but recent research suggests that Pendred’s syndrome may be related to a gene mutation that produces a defective form of the protein pendrin.
New research suggests that pendrin may be associated with the transportation of iodide in the thyroid.
For those with Pendred syndrome, a defect in iodide transport may cause the thyroid to enlarge, although the gland will usually continue to function normally.
UNITY IS THE ONLY WAY
What is meant by the term unity? Unity implies harmony among parts to form a whole – the condition of many, becoming one. Family togetherness requires that each member of the family contribute to the family whole.
Parents, as the heads of the family, are indeed important in the development of the unit.
However, each individual member is key in maintaining the unit’s harmony. Each child contributes his/her personality, wishes and desires to add structure to the family unit just as a variety of colors, textures, and forms harmonize and provide structure to a beautiful landscape painting. Parents of deaf and hard of hearing children encounter a unique challenge to relations
unity. Since most parents of deaf and hard of hearing children are themselves hearing, they experience the feeling of being “different” from their child.
Some parents have stated that the child who was expected to be very much like them, after diagnosis of deafness, became a stranger with whom they had little in common.
The deafness affecting their child was a real difference that seemed to set them apart. Their deaf or hard of hearing child became the focus of the relationship unit rather than an active member of it.
The fact that hearing parents and deaf children do not experience the world in the same way demands adjustments in the family system.
Condition affecting all members, influence unity in different ways.
Deafness is a condition that has an impact on the family’s overall communication process and the entire communication system within the home.
The single largest issue facing parents in maintaining relations harmony is the task of involving all members in home communication.
For parents who are hearing, a main source of stress is the need to communicate with their deaf child in a different manner than they do with their hearing child.
Research has shown that deaf children with deaf parents who share a common language have an advantage when attempting a variety of life’s tasks. Communication within relations creates the bond that supports the structure of the family unit.
Hence, communication is the backbone of a strong relationship structure. When there is inadequate communication, the outlets for venting frustration and working through difficult situations as well as celebrating happy moments or subtle enjoyments are often limited.
Everyone’s interactions, both healthy and no so healthy, are forms of communication.
If you think back on some of your most enjoyable moments as a child, you may remember a trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house where you listened to them describe their past life experiences.
Or, you may remember sitting around your own parents dinner table where, during a meal, you discussed important things that happened to you on a particular school day.
Or, finally, you might recall Sunday trips by car to the local ice cream parlor where you anticipated telling your parents your favorite flavor of the day. Each one of these scenarios involves hearing and non-hearing members conversating. This is an important part of the relations system.
These conversations represents an important vehicle for developing intellectual and social skills, and for developing a sense of belonging. Only when the deaf child is accepted as an equal participant in the system, will the family be able to provide the full range of support that the child need.
Early communication difficulties between hearing parents and their deaf children may disrupt the process of conversation and future interactions. If deaf children have limited participation in their relations interaction, their access to family life is restricted.
A deaf or hard of hearing child is an important part of the family structure. If the child is separated, left out, or ignored while the family communicates – isolation occurs.
Parents may act differently with their deaf child than they do with their other children, altering family functioning, and, in turn, affecting future interactions.
SPECIAL ISSUES RELATED TO IRRESPONSIBILITY AND DEPENDENCE IN DEAF CHILDREN
Your child may have slipped into the habit of irresponsibility due to a number of factors: lack of knowledge of the child’s part; lack of expectations on the part of adults in the child’s world and /or the hearing public; lack of access to communication, and lack of appropriate devices, services, and resources.
When your child is introduced to and learns how to use a TTY, alarms, relay operators, interpreters, hearing aids, and TV closed captioning then he mini-minimizes his reliance on others for vital needs.
Some deaf people own hearing dogs, have visual alarms to alert them to important noises, such as their baby crying; and have houses designed with light switches in convenient locations, such as on the outside of rooms so that people can flick a light to get the attention of the deaf person inside the room.
This takes the place of knocking on a door for deaf people.
However, having these items does not necessarily create “equal” access. A hearing aid simply helps with residual hearing – it does not turn the child into a hearing person.
A closed-captioned TV helps only if the child is able to follow the written English. A TTY and relay operator require practice and some written language capabilities.You must understand that communicating with a deaf child is an important aspect in ones life.
An interpreter is useful in formal situations and must adequately match the child’s communication system.
Hearing aids are often a point of struggle for children and parents. Talk with your child’s audiologist to understand the type of hearing loss your child has and how the hearing aid might benefit him.
Teach your child the advantages of wearing an aid, but do not force the child to do so. Often children go through stages; they may choose to wear an aid only in certain situations; they may actually like the aid if their friends wear theirs, much in the same way that braces on the teeth have become more acceptable; or they may find the aid uncomfortable due to a bad fit or the nature of the amplification.
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