Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An opportunity to share my thoughts on a program that has changed my life. The Early Intervention program in my state offers (by law) services and therapy for those children birth to third birthday who have delays. Parents whose children receive services through Early Intervention have recently been asked to share their stories to encourage the continued support of Early Intervention programs. I wrote my story up all nice so that I could submit it, enjoy!
Here you can see Allie wearing her hearing aids... they're purple, and so are
 her ear molds (the part that sticks into her ear). Who could resist purple?
 After failing her newborn hearing screening and several other hearing tests, my child Allie was diagnosed with moderately severe – severe bilateral hearing loss at two and a half months old. At the time it seemed like things were all going so fast and that we had the time to take things slowly, we weren’t worried. Allie received her hearing aids two weeks later and we started on our journey with Early Intervention. In the beginning it was confusing and my husband and I did not know what we needed to do first. Thanks to the quick encouragement and help of Allie’s Audiologist, we set up our first evaluation meeting with Early Intervention within just a couple weeks of Allie’s diagnosis. Early Intervention has been an essential part of our lives ever since.

For the past two years we have been on a steady schedule of Early Intervention therapy; Allie sees an Aural Habilitation therapist at Children’s Memorial (via Early Intervention) once a week, and also sees a developmental therapist (who specializes in hearing loss) twice a month. These two therapists have helped us to learn and understand what our daughter needs. During each session we learn new tasks and ways to play at home that will help Allie to learn language in the best ways. Allie’s therapists have welcomed our families into the sessions too, so Allie’s grandma and uncles can see new ways to help her learn. As a result of all this hard work, and with the support and teaching from the Early Intervention therapists, Allie is right where she should be at her age for both receptive and expressed language. She talks nonstop, and is learning new words and phrases faster than we can keep up!

Without the help and constant guidance of the Early Intervention program I don’t know what we would have done. When Allie was first diagnosed we hadn’t a clue where to turn, or what to do. Now, we have guidance, and we have a plan. The very first day that the doctor told us that Allie had hearing problems I had wondered if I’d ever hear her say “Mama,” or if she’d ever hear my say “I love you.” I can’t express enough how important and helpful Early Intervention has been for our journey; not only do I hear Allie say “Mama,” but she also hears and says “I love you” in return. Please continue to support Early Intervention programs.



  1. Your post totally warms my heart for several reasons! A) I love seeing the photo of your daughter with her purple earmolds and hearing aids and her hair is up. It is so common with my students that they (or their parents) leave their hair down because they don't want anyone to see the hearing aids :-( Not too long ago, I had a student tell me that she took off her hearing aids for her school pic.

    B) I love to hear stories of Early Intervention and the fact that your daughter is age appropriate for her language skills! That's exactly how it is supposed to work! Of course, I must give you tons of credit for following up on the newborn hearing screening... my friend has a student that didn't get her hearing aids until 3 1/2 because there was no follow-up on the failed hearing screening! That was three years of language learning that was missed and had to be "caught up".

    Reading your post was a wonderful way to start my day!

  2. She is adorable! I know you are a proud mama!

    I wish we had something like that here in LA. My son, who also has a form of dwarfism, is completely blind in one eye. It is genetic and was most likely from birth. We didn't find out until he was 9 years old. Just like Sally mentioned, because it was diagnosed late he was very much behind in everything. He also developed learning problems as a result.

    I finally figured it out after several weeks of four hour long homework sessions. One night it simply dawned on me that maybe he couldn't read the stuff. He heard enough in class answer some questions but if he had to read to find them then that was a problem.

    All is well now. He is 15 and doing great!

  3. Wow, I love hearing such positive stories of early intervention. What a sweet girl!