Our Club for young children with hearing loss can be a huge support for families. Over the last year and a half they have been helping a family with a scarcely believable story.
Nearly a year and a half ago a mother came to our Club for the first time with her little boy, Slava, who had a Cochlear Implant (which can help profoundly deaf people perceive sounds). She was heavily pregnant, so after the first visit Slava would come with his grandmother.
One Thursday evening our colleagues heard the news, which was joyful and sad at the same time. Baby Fedya had been born, but had not passed the hearing screening test. The family had just got over the stress of one child’s diagnosis, when they realised that their new baby would also have problems. After lots of investigation, it was confirmed that the baby would indeed be deaf. Incredible as it may sound, the family’s troubles didn’t end there. The mother also lost her hearing quite suddenly.
Slava used to cling to his babushka when he came to the group and hold on to his rucksack. He soon grew in confidence and started playing with the other children, and fighting over toys like any toddler. He is three now and goes to kindergarten.
Fedya is now a lovely, confident boy of 15 months. He has a hearing aid is making great progress with his speech. He can already say “mama”, “papa”, and “baba” and names some of his toys: “Meow” for his cat and “Moo” for his cow.
Fedya’s favourite toy is the doll’s bed. He starts off by putting the dolls in, but then climbs in himself. Sometimes he has competitors, but they manage to peacefully resolve the situation and both sit in the bed together.
Fedya and Salva’s mother is also doing well. She has had a Cochlear Implat fitted. Those parents whose children have a CI ask her how she hears the world around her now. She is able to compare her current experience with what her natural hearing used to be like. The parents are very glad to be able to get some insight into their children’s experience with a CI.
Great credit goes to the family for their resilience and love. The story could have ended quite differently without the Club. There they were able to get professional advice, and reassurance and support from friends who could understand their situation.