Welcome to the blog about my deaf son. Josef is 11 weeks today and I thought I might as well write about the process of finding out about his deafness and what is happening in his life. I'm going to try to write this in chronological order until I get up to date and then post at least once a week (or try to, you know how these things are!!)
Josef was born on the 22nd October at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in King's Lynn. He was delivered by forceps after a normal pregnancy with no indication that he had anything wrong with his hearing. He was assessed under the NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme on the 23rd but both ears showed no response to the Automated Otoacoustic Emission (AOAE) screening test. This test basically sends a sound down the ear to the cochlear which echos the sound back. If the machine hears the echo all is well, if not its an indication that something within the ear is not working. We were told not to worry as he could have mucus in his ears so we didn't really think any more about it (did you know that you don't clean a baby when they are born nowadays? Those TV programmes showing babies being handed over all clean - lies I tell you LIES!)
Josef had another hearing test on the 24th which again showed no response to the AOAE so he had an additional test called the Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR) screening test. This test involves tiny little headphones being put on Josef and little probes attached to his skin, the probes look for electrical activity in the brain when sounds are played into the headphone.
Again Josef "failed" so we were told not to worry as he could still be "drying out" and that we were given an appointment to be reassessed on the 7th November in the outpatients department.
Next - Outpatients and Audiology