While I realize it is petty, one of the most upsetting aspects of Sonya’s hearing loss was the fact that she would need to wear hearing aids, and eventually cochlear implants.
I love the way Sonya looks and couldn’t process the fact that she would need external devices in order to hear. Above all, I feared how she would be perceived by others. The implants and hearing aids are visible and will cause people to question whether she is “a normal child.” I am ashamed to admit that it took several audiological visits to convince me that her ability to hear far outweighed such aesthetic differences.
When Sonya was one month old, she received a pair of loaner hearing aids from NYU. Aside from the fact that they blinked red lights to indicate they were on, they were actually very cute.
I realized then that my underlying fear – that these aids would somehow define my daughter – was unrealized. Sonya’s personality continued to shine, and the hearing aids did not take away from that. In fact, people didn’t even notice them – or if they did – they were drawn to her inner and outer beauty and the aids were only a side fact.
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