Hard of Hearing/Deaf

Hearing Therapy & Anxiety

Sometimes, when C and I are out and about another mom will be shocked with how much she signs or how verbal she is. Somebody may notice that she doesn’t really fuss.

Today, I’m thankful for the hearing therapy that C gets.

Now, I’m sure that there is a correct word for this therapy, but I don’t know it. So we call it Hearing therapy. It helps her build her listening and verbal skills and helps me learn how to encourage her skills.

We had C’s one year check up today. C is on par or exceeding the verbal skills of her age group and she signs too! I’m so thrilled for her. The Nurse Practitioner, who we have seen since she was 4 days old, told me how proud she was of C. She told me that kids aren’t able to choose who they are born to or their disabilities but that C was lucky to have me as her momma. I needed to hear that.

Last week, I went and saw my doctor. I told her that ever since C was diagnosed as Hard of Hearing, I’ve dealt with intense anxiety. I’m not talking momentary freak outs. I’m talking about laying in bed all night thinking about all the ways my baby could die while my eyes are closed. I’m talking about daily thoughts of how I could lose all of my blessings in an instant. She agreed that it was time to think about some options to help with this.

Therapy is an option, but I’m not depressed. I’m so happy with my family that the thought of losing them terrifies me constantly. So, we chose to get a prescription so that maybe once in a while, I can turn those thoughts off and rest. Two nights ago, I had the best sleep of 2018 with no meds. I was just relaxed, I wasn’t worried and I knew we’d all be okay. I fell asleep next to my husband feeling safe. Maybe, this is what I needed. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, hearing that I was doing all the right things for C, that’s been huge. I’ve walked around feeling a huge weight off my shoulders. I wasn’t prepared for her to be Hard of Hearing, so I have often questioned if I was handling her appropriately. I know that I’ve been freaked out often, but our hearing therapist has been this rock. She has often told me how well C was doing, calmed my fears and helped me focus on the things I could change. So, today, I’m thankful for her.

It doesn’t matter if your kid is Hard of Hearing or Autistic or neuro typical… spend time with them, read to them, speak with them with your phones put away and your focus on what they are really doing. I tried to do this with my first two but with C I’m really working on it, because she needs to absorb my words. Hearing Therapy gives me a reason to focus on her and be a better mom this time around.

So, what exactly do we do in Hearing Therapy? It starts with the fabulous M coming in and us playing with C. We play with the toy she’s most interested in, often blocks. We then move to sounds. Using toys, we make sounds and play with a single toy. The goal is for her to be able to repeat that sound and relate it to an object. Ahh for Airplane. We also teach the sign for it at the same time.

From that we move to other games that focus on difficult noises for her to hear and repeat (shhh). We read a book and learn to sign to it (fun fact – ASL doesn’t use prepositions when reading). This is great for me because it naturally increases my vocabulary. We then talk about C’s routines while I practice sign.

This happens once a week, the rest of the days I get down on the floor with C and recreate it as much as I can. I sign the animals, read the book and really engage in playing with her. I do this without my phone so that my focus can be on her and the skills she is learning. It’s funny because I engaged with A and E at this age, but not in such a dedicated and structured manner. It shows with C.

It’s a reminder to me that the effort I put into helping each of my blessings grow is important and incredibly valuable to them.

It also helps that I have a 13month old who can tell me what she wants thanks to Sign Language!

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