Empowering Hope & Healing Through Education
Empowering Hope & Healing Through Education
Finding out your child has hearing loss is a huge blow. Everything you knew or read about communication with your youngster is, for the most part, is not relevant. Maddie’s diagnosis was combined vision and hearing loss, or deafblind. However, through speech and vision therapy we have been able to not only teach Madeline to use sign language, but now she has her own “vocabulary” of adapted signs. Adapted signs are sign language signs that are adjusted to fit the personal lifestyle needs of a particular person. For example, Maddie’s adapted signs are things like diaper which typically you would do in front of a person, but we modify it so we still do the same sign, but we place our hand on her diaper strap to let her know what is going on. This is just one of the many tools and techniques we have learned to help Maddie’s communication soar.
- Special Outfit Wearing something special can make for a great photo memory of your child hearing for the first time! Check out our Hearing Aids…. They’re Not Just for Old People, t-shirt in our shop!
- Pilot Caps https://www.hannaandersson.com/search?q=pilot+cap&lang=default- Pilot caps are worth buying if you have a little one who loves to play with their hands! I would suggest also asking your speech therapist or the speech center where your child receives therapy if they have any loaner hearing aid caps, I was able to get a loaner to make sure Maddie would use it before we bought our own. Hanna Andersson has cotton as well as sweater knit in various colors and prints.
- Bring a camera Regardless of whether they cry right away, smile, or are completely silent, you will want to capture this special memory. Let your audiologist know ahead of time you plan to want to record your child’s fitting to make sure it is ok. Most hospitals have strict policies on video taping staff, but a simple “Is it ok?” will save you from an awkward situation in the doctor’s office.
One sure fire way to know if your kiddo needs new ear molds is when you hear that god-awful whistle. Ya’ll know that sound means it’s time to put a call into the audiologist to get new molds.
- Pink Putty Snakes – While Maddie lets her molds set, I always ask the audiologist if Olivia can play with the extra putty. Not only is it fun to shape but once it hardens, it will stay that way! It also will keep your toddler busy while they wait the 5 minutes, per ear, that it takes for the molds to set properly. Also, if your more than special needs child is very handsy and tries to pull the molds out while they set, letting them play with a little bit of the putty can be a great solution.
- Clear vs. Colored Molds – One of the most exciting things about ordering Maddie’s hearing aids was getting to choose (we get to choose up to 3) colors for her molds. I immediately was drawn to the pale hot pink and thought how cool to swirl silver and add clear iridescent glitter. Due to the size of Maddie’s ears, I ordered two sets on our first fitting and did our second color as 3 clear iridescent glitters. Now, don’t get me wrong the silver and hot pink swirl molds were adorable, but it was nearly impossible to see down into the hearing aid tubing inside the mold. This posed a huge problem when I was attempting to clean her molds. Maddie produces allot of wax, so she tends to get a little bit on the end with a few hours of wear. The clear iridescent glitter molds are definitely superior for cleaning. You can see if there is anything in a mold and therefore troubleshooting if your kiddo is having issues with their hearing aids, can help eliminate the possibility of buildup causing the problem. With a little creativity I have learned to layer different colored glitter, and honestly love that her hearing aids always match her outfits now, but above all the care and maintenance is a breeze when we choose clear glitter.
These incredible DVD’s, created by a mom who has a child with hearing loss, are a perfect introduction to sign language. Not only are the videos fun for both mom and baby but the colored tape on Rachel (the host’s) fingers and repetition of words throughout each episode will have you and your child ready to learn!
- Signing Time Foundation - https://www.signingtime.com/foundation/Another reason I love this organization is that they have established a Singing Time Foundation that is dedicated to ensuring sign language is fun and accessible to all children. Sign It: ASL Made Easy is provided at absolutely NO COST to families with children ages 0-36 months, with hearing loss, within the U.S.A. through the partnership of The Signing Time Foundation and The National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM). If you qualify, fill out the application at https://www.mydeafchild.org/apply if your child is older than 36 months or if you do not qualify for some other reason they also offer 20% off of the entire 3 unit series! The link to purchase the discounted modules can be found at https://go.platformpurple.com/shop/148865?e=signitasl and it costs roughly $119.99.
Registration for this incredible program begins on Maddie’s Birthday, November 1, so I have no problem remembering when registration date is. But, if your child’s birthday doesn’t happen to fall on this day we promise it is worth adding it to your calendar. Each year a company called Max Mods hosts workshops all over the country where they work with volunteers to make regular toys into switch adapted toys. They then give the toys away to deserving children for Christmas. Yerp you heard that right, FREE SWITCH ADAPTED TOY FOR CHRISTMAS! Space is limited so that is why I encourage you to sign up early to ensure your child can get a toy.
When your child cannot play like other children a gift like this is priceless. Watching her light up because she did something all by herself is not something I can put into words.
Maddie has been fortunate enough to receive three switch activated toys over the last two years as well as being chosen again this year to receive another toy!