Journey of a parent of a hearing impaired child

My name is Babli and my son’s name is Arpan. Arpan was born on 26th May 2011. At the time of birth we did not know that he was hearing impaired. When Arpan was six months old all the family members felt that something was wrong. Arpan was not responding to our voices and also to the music that was played. Even when we played the music loud he would not respond. Six months passed like this as we had no knowledge about hearing impairment and due to this we lost a lot of time. Many people told us that we should not worry as there are many children who speak late and react late to sounds or voices. When Arpan was one year old we did not see any improvement in his listening and responding. Then we went to AIIMS – All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. There they conducted a hearing test and told that Arpan is hearing impaired. Doctor recommended us to get a hearing aid put for Arpan. Arpan had profound hearing loss (Greater than 90 dbs).We immediately got the hearing aid. During this period someone told us about SUNIYE. We decided to take Arpan to Suniye and start his speech therapy. The hearing aid was not of much use to Arpan and he was still not able to hear properly. He was aware of sounds, but was not able to comprehend the sound and therefore did not respond to the sounds.

After coming to Suniye, he started his therapy with Sarita Madam. Initially a lot of work was done on his auditory skills to develop his ability to hear. Arpan slowly started responding to the sounds and after few sessions he started saying small words. When he spoke the first word our family was very happy and we felt that actually today a child has taken birth in the family in the true sense. Slowly he learnt names of family members and would call out to all of them. Again hearing and speech were not optimum with the hearing aid as the hearing aid was not able to help him hear adequately. Arpan’s loss was profound so the doctors advised for a Cochlear Implant. At the age of three years Arpan had his Cochlear Implant in the left ear. After the Cochlear Implant Arpan continued coming to Suniye. Arpan was hearing very well and responded well to the therapy. By now Arpan developed a good vocabulary and could name people and things around him. Arpan could talk to his family members and also to people in the neighbourhood. As Arpan improved in his speech and communication skills with the continuous efforts of the teachers in Suniye, we thought of talking to a mainstream school nearby for his admission to the nursery. To our surprise the school was very helpful and readily gave admission in the nursery. Arpan enjoyed being with other children and started participating in all activities in school.

He is six and half years old now studying in Class 1 and is doing well. The teachers are very happy with his progress. He is also happy in the school and tries hard to learn new concepts. We meet the teachers regularly and get an update of the work done so that we can work on the concepts at home. The teachers tells us that Arpan tries to talk to his classmates and has many friends. He knows the names of all teachers and his class mates. He calls all his friends by their name. Every day he shares all the work done at school and also about other things that happen in school with us.

We are really thankful to Suniye from helping Arpan and us to reach this stage and will continue coming to Suniye for their support.

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