The first hearing screen test which Theo had was called an automated oto-acoustic emissions test when he was 1 day old. He failed this. I remember sitting and seeing the line didnt move. I was told dont worry its the fact he was born via C-Section so it was just fluid. On day 2 they came back to retest. When an ear receives sound, the inner part, known as the cochlea, usually produces an echo. The screening equipment can pick up this echo. Once again a blank screen.
I was told he would need to come back in a few weeks to be retested. No way said I i wanted a test on the following week. Once agian he failed. I knew something was up when we entered the room and were met with people with sad faces.
Theres no history of deafness in either of our families but i just had this really bad feeling. They said we would be refeerd to Preston audiology in 3-4 weeks. I broke down and said i could never wait that long.
! week later we went to Preston where he had the second test called automated auditory brainstem response (AABR).
This measures activity in the auditory nerve and brainstem in response to sounds. Sensors were placed on Theos head and neck and I was told to keep him very still in my arm. Huge headphones were placed on his ears and a series of very loud clicking noises were played. Myself and stephen cried because we knew he wasnt responding. There and then we were told he had a Profound Loss and that hearing aids would not be an option
They told us we would still have to have hearing aids as thats the NHS protocol – 6 months before he can meet a cochlear implant guidelines.
He wore the cutest little blue hearing aids for a few weeks but he got no benefit so I stopped putting them on him.
At 8 Months Theo old 22/12/14( – our 2nd wedding anniversary)went under Sedation and had an EABR . The Electrical Auditory Brainstem Response (EABR) is a measurement of the ABR using an electrical stimulus. The purpose of the test is to determine if the auditory nerve responds as expected to electrical stimulation. EABRs are reportedly used presurgically to determine if a cochlear implant should be attempted and postsurgically to determine if the cochlear implant is working properly.
I will NEVER forget his surgeons face when he came into the room and told us Theo had not responded and therefore could never have a cochlear implant.