Three years ago I was introduced to a local school whose primary mission is to educate children with partial to total hearing loss. I had a client who was involved with them and, let’s be honest, they threw amazing fundraisers that were awe inspiring, enlightening and a joy to attend.
This year I was asked to join the board of directors. They told me it was because of my financial acumen, but I’m pretty sure it was more attributable to my flexible schedule and access to charitable resources (yes, donations). Besides, they will find out soon enough that accounting is not my forte. By golly, she keeps rotating the balance sheet around like she doesn’t know which way is up.
To many, including myself at times, being on the board seemed like a random activity with no deeper connection other than a desire to help others.
A couple of months ago our pediatrician referred us to an early intervention specialist– known in the field as E/I. Lucie, it turns out, is a little far behind reaching some communication milestones. Little things that I don’t notice until watching other kids her age: pointing, associating words with objects, repeating phrases. And maybe, the pediatrician said, she should get her hearing checked.
I scoffed. She can hear. Most of the time. Some of the time. Right, Kate? Right?
In my time volunteering at the school, I learned that it takes some parents years to figure out that their child has hearing loss. In fact, hard of hearing kids are really perceptive and react to a speaker’s motions, changes in light, air pressure, vibrations and other sensations that occur when people talk to each other. This often gives off the false impression that a child is fully hearing.
This week we (okay, just Kate) finally made it to the appointment. The E/I specialists evaluated Lucie and then hooked her up to a machine to test her hearing. And somehow they decided that she may not have full auditory capabilities. Either that, or she has earwax. (Direct quote.)
So we’ll clean her ears. And keep working with her. And pray a little. And meet with the specialists again. And maybe see an ear/nose/throat doctor. And then just see what happens next.