Current Child Count

  • HOGAR DE AMOR I: 11 babies
  • HOGAR DE AMOR II: 6 boys
  • HOGAR DE AMOR III: 8 girls

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hearing aids for babies?

We're on our way to becoming experts on this one. Since February, we've known that our special baby Benito needed at least one hearing aid, for his weaker left side. After doing a very specialized test a second time a couple weeks ago, we were told he might need two, particularly from the guy at the hearing aid clinic. But another neurologist said still just one.

At the same time, we tested a new baby (the one I'm holding in my profile picture) and one neurologist said he needed hearing aids and another no, and the hearing aid specialist yes. He certainly has potential for issues, due to meningitis, the abuse, and even the medications he received while hospitalized for two months. The lack of stimulation during that time didn't help much, either. To us, it seems that Benito hears okay while Esteban responds practically zero to auditory stimuli.

So tonight I went to a very good ENT to try to get to the bottom of all this. He was extremely kind and helpful--if only all doctors were so!! For lack of further options, I'm considering going fully with his recommendations, which are:

Benito, almost 1 year old, still needs only one hearing aid. The usual types should work with him since he doesn't use his hands very well, and certainly not to play with his face/ears.

The news with Esteban wasn't so great, poor baby. He might need full hearing aid support until he's a couple of years old at least (he's approximately 5 months currently). The doctor suggested a certain type that's better for active babies. That's where I need help!! I'm not finding anything on the internet like the doctor described to me, two connected "vibrators" that sit behind the ear (rather than going in)? He would wear it over his head, connected by something that sounds like a headband. Anyone know anything about these types or willing to research it for us?? On Friday we have an appointment with the hearing aid people to fit Benito, so I'll of course consult with them, but I'm afraid that Bolivia might not have this kind. Now that I'm looking into it, the US is so far ahead of technology here, I'm afraid that it will not be available in the US either. And even if I DID find and get a set donated to us here, who in Bolivia would know how to regulate it?? Sigh. (And I already know the normal "internal" version is not going to be an option for him, because we've waited months for Benito's ears to be big enough for the tubes to fit in. They are at a loss here at how to make the "molds" small enough for young babies.)

Thanks for any help or leads!!!

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