Allie's Ears

Allie passed her newborn screening, but when she was two years old we noticed that her speech was not developing as well as we thought it should. We had her hearing tested just before she turned three. Our family has no history of hearing loss and so we were really not prepared for the news we received. We were shocked to find out that she had profound hearing loss in her right ear and mild to severe loss in her left ear. I will never forget the feeling I had as the audiologist went over the test results. It was so unbelievable. Here was a two-year-old who knew her colors and numbers, but couldn’t hear! Apparently she had been losing her hearing over time without us realizing it. We have been through many tests – including genetics testing – but no cause has been found for the hearing loss. The first two questions that we had - why and when - will probably never be answered. We moved right on to the next question - what now??

She was aided right away in her left ear and we went right to work in speech therapy at the HEAR center. We knew nothing about the process and what lay ahead for our family. Just when she had started to finally show some progress in her speech, she lost the rest of her hearing. We felt like the rug had been pulled out from under us again, but she was then a candidate for cochlear implants. She received bilateral implants on January 4, 2010 just after her fourth birthday and was activated just nine days later. The look on her face at her activation when she could hear again was priceless!

Allie now attends the Alabama School for Hearing and is showing great progress. She started turning to her name just weeks after her activation – locating sound is something she could never do with only one good ear before. She has even starting running to get the phone when it rings!

Our journey began only 18 months ago, but what a roller coaster it has been!  I didn’t know what a cochlear implant even was before. We didn’t know any families dealing with this or where to turn for information. We are grateful for the support we have received. We have a strong Christian faith so we have always known that God had a plan for Allie’s life. It has taken some turns we were not expecting, but we are looking forward to watching it unfold!

Hear more about Allie from her story featured on the Alabama School for the Hearing video

Written by Natalie, Allie's mom

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