I'm David's mom. David was diagnosed deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other at age 2. He was deaf from birth, but as he was my first child, I had no idea!
He got his first of many hearing aids over the years at age 2.5. It took 6 months to get the first pair (a LONG time) because I was a very young mom and didn't know any better.
Over the next several years, I became a fierce advocate for my son. The most painful part of raising a deaf child was that it seemed that everyone found childhood deafness largely UNimportant. Adult-onset deafness isn't the same as childhood deafness. Much of learning takes place incidentally before we even arrive at school, let alone throughout our childhoods. It is devastating to a young mind.
When asked if she would prefer to be only blind or only deaf, Helen Keller replied "only blind" because "being blind cuts you off from *things*, but being deaf cuts you off from *people*." It is one of the most painful things a mom can go through: witnessing her child cut off from people as he grows up.
Years later, after so many years of being told that David was not eligible for cochlear implants, I was told (quite casually) that he may be indeed eligible!!!! I cried so hard that I was basically LIED to (at best, this information was totally withheld from me). Yes, it costs a LOT of money to get just one, but I was denied even the CHOICE of doing so. Had I known years ago, I would've been well on my way to saving the money to do so.
Why won't insurance pay for it? Over the years I've had both private and public health insurance for him. Medicaid won't pay for it because his "good" ear hears roughly 70% of what is spoken in a carefully controlled booth (that is, an audiologist's sound-proof booth! . . . because we all know that's how real life is lived! In a SOUND-PROOF BOOTH!) and that's "too good." Forget that his "bad" ear is almost totally deaf even with a hearing aid. It doesn't matter. I asked my private insurance carrier -- they follow government Medicaid rules. They won't pay for it either.
I'm deeply saddened about these wholly uninformed insurance rules, but even MORE that my son was ROBBED of his first most important 20 years of his life -- the most formative years!!! And really, all because I was a young single mom.
So, please help my social butterfly David get a cochlear implant so that he can hear, learn, and PARTICIPATE in LIFE! Thank you!
- Clink Haus
- Nathan Kros
- Vivian Resnick
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