When I was diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss at the severely profound level, I got my first pair of hearing aids when I was about 18 months (about 1 and a half years) old. Ever since I was a child, I have had speech therapy in my home environment and school.
The theme for 2023 established by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association “Building a Strong Foundation” resonates with me. I was lucky enough to have parents that allowed me to choose my path in terms of communication, whether it be American Sign Language or speaking English or both. Ultimately, I chose to learn how to use my voice and speak English because I wanted to “be a part of the family.”
About 2 of every 1,000 children that are born to hearing parents do have some detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears. Which verifies that hearing loss is common amongst children and families may not be aware of just how early signs may appear. Whereas about 15% of American adults do report some degree of difficulty in their hearing.
While the process itself is long and tasking, the reward is worth it in the end. The bridge was built for me to cross whether I am in an environment with my hearing or deaf peers.
There are several types of health plans available that would provide coverage for speech-pathology services: About Health Insurance (asha.org). There are also alternatives, should you not have any health coverage, such as schools or organizations devoted to hearing and speech/language.
A strong foundation is imperative to one’s success, however you choose to communicate. This is one pathway that you do not have to navigate alone.