Charlie's first diagnosis when he was a baby, before we were even aware that he had Down Syndrome, was a moderate bilateral sensorineural hearing loss--a.k.a. a permanent hearing loss in both ears. We recieved this diagnosis when Charlie was 6 weeks old, and learned at that time that he would need hearing aids. At 5 months old Charlie finally got his hearining aids.
When Charlie was 10 month old we began to notice that he became agitated in noisy environments. We brought this up to the audiologist wondering if she needed to tweak the levels on his aids, but she felt it was probably just a kid thing. At that time he was testing right around the level of hearing we thought he had.
During a routine hearing test at 15 months old (April) Charlie suddenly began to react to even the quitest sounds. Baffled, the audiologist said we would need to do more testing. She said his type of hearing loss just doesn't improve... We took his hearing aids off after that visit, and they sit in a box in the top drawer of Charlie's dresser, unused.
In May of this year we switched audiologists to a team of Doctors that have experience treating children with Down Syndrome. They explained that while babies with Down Syndrome often do hear the sounds, they often do not react by turning to the sound right away. They were able to test Charlie by having one audiolist running the test while another sat right in front of Charlie to watch for his reactions. They found his hearing to be even better than we thought. Totally normal hearing.
Well, today we had a follow up test to check and see how things are going. Charlie was a very good boy, and let them do all the tests they needed to. He knew just what to do, and he passed with flying colors! We don't have to go back until he is 3!
Bottom line is, this is a MAJOR BLESSING! Ray and I were devestated when we learned that Charlie was hearing impaired. When we found out he had Down Syndrome we were doubly worried about how a hearing impairment would set him back. We never expected that his hearing would improve, especially to the point of being completely normal. I know my parents and grandparents prayed fervently that his hearing would be restored, and I can only think our Charlie was given a miracle. We couldn't be happier with the recent results, although we were not surprised at all. He hears every little noise, and his speech and language is coming along great. By the way, his newest word is "pot."