Say what?

Most of you know that Abbie has some ear issues. She was born with a birth defect that falls somewhere between Canal Stenosis and Aural Atresia. Her left ear is tiny, the ear canal even tinier, and her ear bones are malformed. The good news is that somehow her left ear can still conduct sound, and that her right ear is completely normal. The bad news is that she has about a unilateral 40 db hearing loss.

We've been working with a specialist, her pediatrician, and the school district to find the best solution for Abbie. We've decided that for now we will try a hearing aid. Yesterday was her first fitting. Since she's still only 3 and they expect her ear to grow, she will have a BTE (behind the ear) aid fitted with an ear mold. We've decided to go with the Eleva, made by Phonak. As a special treat it comes in pink! If you know Abbie, you know she's got the spunk to pull off a pink hearing aid. :)

Stephen and Clara know that Abbie is getting a special microphone for her ear since her ear has the volume turned down. So far, Abbie feels pretty special about it all as she's the one who gets to play the games at the doctors office. Sometimes, though, it's tough for her to have to drop off Stephen and Clara at fun playdates. She's had many tests done by the school district to make sure that her hearing loss hasn't affected her vocabulary, speech, social skills, motor skills, etc. So far she's still head and shoulders above average and a spit-fire to boot. Lots of kids with unilateral hearing loss develop problems later in school once the background noise gets louder. Hopefully Abbie can avoid that heartache and be used to her aid by the time she gets to school.

Her ear form and aid should be in within the next 2 to 3 weeks - assuming that everything goes well with insurance and the fittings. Then we'll start a new era as a family - one where we can ALL hear! I can't wait!

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