It’s important to me that my kids are happy and enjoy the world and their lives around them. What seemed like just a “twin” thing turned into something so much more.
“They are twins, they probably just have their own language.”
“Nothing to worry about, they will be talking in no time.”
“There are multiple languages in the home, it is normal for kids to be delayed in speech.”
Just some of the comments received by the pediatrician… no concerns, they will get there.
Our oldest son was also delayed in speech, but once he started to go to a Montessori school, he made quick progress, was more clear and was talking more within the first year of his time there. We thought the twins would catch on quickly as well.
We were able to start Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) when they were three and hoped they would pick it up just as easily as our oldest.
I remember the first time we went in for the school hearing tests, they kept referring in both ears. When you get a refer in the hearing test, it’s always recommended that you do follow up screening with an audiologist.
We didn’t go in right away, both boys could “hear” us and anyone else when we called their name or asked them to do things. They just couldn’t converse with us yet.
On top of ECSE, we started them in private speech therapy once a week to make sure they continued to get additional support.
This past winter, I finally felt that there was more to it and was able to get an appointment with an audiologist to test the boys again. They again referred, but it did not look like there was anything physically wrong with their ear drum and the sound waves were bouncing back as they should. Both boys had just gotten over a cold so we were asked to come back in about a month to re-test since that can affect the results.
They were still referring in both ears at certain frequency levels so we were recommended to schedule a sedated ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) test.
A little nerve-wracking as you can imagine knowing your 4-year olds would be sedated and the complications that could come with that. We decided to do separate appointments since it would take about half a day for each boy.
After the testing, it was determined that both boys have mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss. They can hear everything around them but not as clear or as sharp as it should be. We needed to get them hearing aids to help with them hear better.
The best way to describe it is that we get glasses to make our vision to see more clearly, in their cases they need the hearing aids to help them hear more clearly.
After we got the results back, I felt a sense of relief. I don’t think as a parent you want to learn there is something that is affecting your child, but at the same time, with technology and medicine, I put faith into the fact that this will only make them feel better.
We are starting with loaner hearing aids to test out the brand and style for each boy. They were fitted a little while ago and you could see from the moment they had them on what a difference they made.
We learned how to put them in and how to clean them if needed. The boys need to wear them during all waking hours. Being new, we were warned that they may need a break from it all so it was okay to take breaks if needed, but only on our terms.
So far we’ve ran into the breaks and as long as we are firm with them on why they need to wear them, we allow short breaks during waking hours for them to take them off and make sure they are put on immediately after the break is done.
Even though it has been a short time, we can already see the improvement in both boys. I am so excited to see them really understand clearly what we are saying and see them start to put together longer sentences and try new words.
The information was provided back to our school district and our speech therapist. They will adjust their resources for the boys and make sure the hearing aids do not affect them in the classroom or during therapy.
They are expected to see even more improvement within the next six months.
To see their proud faces when we can understand them or say good job on when they practice their words, it’s all I need to know this was the best thing that could have come out of this.