Wednesday, October 29, 2008

He Loves To Listen!

Are we doing the right thing???? This has been a huge question in our minds ... recently. There was no doubt in the very beginning when we were told Aiden would probably not have any response with his hearing aids. Since then, we have seen Aiden respond so well with his hearing aids. But, are they good enough? Will they give him what he needs to hear and acquire the sounds of speech needed to be successful in the hearing/speaking world we so want him to be a part of? These questions flood our minds every day. Every day we wonder are we doing the right thing for our baby.

Before we left Texas, they turned up his aids ... he's getting bigger and therefore can take on more. He responded ... he definitely responded. He's been responding and today in the sound booth he proved it ... he loves to hear. He didn't only respond to spoken language, but to what I call the boring "static/monotone" sounds. He responded to the "mmmm's", to the "ahhhhh's", and even to the "shhhh's". He showed responses not only through the infamous "binky" tests, but TURNED HIS HEAD TO ALL THE SOUNDS! Continuous responses at 50 to 60 db. Flat line ... all the way across all frequencies. His audiogram shows pretty much a flat line between 50-60db. My baby is definitely hearing something and all I could do was smile and cry.

All the countless hours of ...
...him pulling his hearing aids out and us putting them back in,
...nonstop talk and singing and narration,
...of making sure we talk to him within his "hearing bubble", him every bit of auditory information we can.

All the countless hours we just want to STOP talking, but keep on going ... he is responding ... and every minute of our time has been worth it. The soundbooth confirms what we see at home, but always question, was that a response?!? Aiden wants to hear ... his auditory nerve has such integrity, and we are doing something right!

So we've questioned ...
Does he still need cochlear implants?
Will hearing aids be enough?
Will his hearing keep getting better or will it get worse?
Can he learn to communicate in a hearing/speaking world that we want him to be a part of with just his hearing aids?
Should we implant one ear or two?
How could he have no response at 120 db unaided six months ago, yet test so much higher with hearing aids?

Aiden loves to hear ... his brain is getting ready for listening, and he loves it.
We know that Aiden will not receive all the sounds of speech with just his hearing aids. Could he learn to speak with just his aids? Probably. Will it be at the same level he would get from implants? Not at all. We don't want him to struggle any more than he has to already. Our goal is for him to be mainstreamed by kinder. or first grade and feel the least bit of difference possible from his peers. Either way, Aiden will always have to wear devices on his ears, whether it is hearing aids or cochlear implants. At his hearing levels, we know that the implant will give him opportunities to so many more sounds, at an age that is imperative to development for spoken language. We know in our hearts what the right answer is.

We have gone round and round with questions in our mind if we are doing the right thing for Aiden. This is a choice we are making for him, yet a choice I believe will benefit him for the rest of his life. We are empowering him with the fullest potential to hear and speak. We feel in our hearts that this is the route to take. Aiden wants to listen ... he hears and speaks to us everyday! He shows us he wants more. He shows us he is ready to take it all in. That he is ready.

I can't keep dwelling on the question to implant or not. I've questioned myself, I've done my research, asked my million and one mom questions to the professionals, and have done my own "mommy diagnosis" with my son. We're moving forward ... and there's no doubt, he's going to continue to amaze us each step of the way!


leahlefler said...

Way to go, Aiden! All that work on learning to listen has definitely been worth it! Being a mommy is so very hard, and you are doing a wonderful job.

Leah said...

You rock Aiden! I am so proud of you and your family. All you have to do is put your trust in God and He will see you through. All those tough questions....He will answer!
We will continue to pray for your Binky Boy!

Julie said...


I'm so excited to see what happens 'down the road'...


Mom to Toes said...

He is doing so well! I am so excited to hear about the testing. He's a smart one!

You are in the same position we were with Erin. Her aided booth results were right at the same level.

Remember, there are no right or wrong answers. You and your family are doing an incredible job and he will continue to progress and amaze you beyond your wildest expectations.

Go Aiden!

Becky61655 said...

The power of AV therapy at the baby stage and pre-implant - never ever ceases to AMAZE me! His brain knows that sound has meaning - and he loves it....just imagine the sounds he WILL hear with those cochlear implants....birds chirps, a cricket, hiss of the fireplace (which you'll use a heck of a lot more often in MD than TX), understand on the telephone.....he loves to listen because of what ya'll have done to maximize his residual hearing! Enjoy your new surroundings and a real FALL!!!

Christian's Mommy said...

What an amazing little boy... and a belated welcome to Maryland! We need to get together!

tammy said...

Becky ... yet again you remind me of the power of what's to come with his CI's ... it's so much more than just hearing the sounds of speech, it's hearing all the beautiful sounds our world has to offer too!

Tina - Can't wait to meet you and Christian! I'm hoping to check out that AWESOME school your son goes to real soon! I'm so excited!

Loudest Mom said...

YAY Aiden! And, Yay mom on the big's exhausting isn't it???

I can't wait to check back in and see how you all are doing :)

kristen@nosmallthing said...

Do what you believe is right for your son and your family. You will find people on all sides of this issue, and in the end, you are the only one that can make the decision, and I don't believe there is a right or a wrong. There is only a "best" decision for you and your son and your situation. Good luck! And congrats on making a decision!

Deborah said...

Aiden will take his family on wonderful journeys in life. When one has to work hard for something, it means so much more. And there will be a joy of triumph each step of the way. I am proud of you, Aiden, and your lovely family. There are people all over the country that love the Kenny Family and will be there to help with your journeys. You are missed in Keller!!

Angela said...

My own son, Alex, has had bilateral cochlear implants for 10 months now. I like following your blog. And what to let you know that you are doing a good job. At times it can be frustrating, but look at that sweet baby Aiden and now that everything will be alright.