In 2010 we had the pleasure of meeting with Chloe, a lovely 10-year old girl who had just been implanted with a Baha solution. Chloe was born with Down Syndrome and suffered from hearing loss. In this month’s guest blog, her mother Jane shares what’s happened since we last met, and the impact the Baha System has had on her daughter’s life.
“It’s been a while since you last heard about Chloe. She is now 14, in year nine at senior school and even more of a little madam than when we last met four years ago.
Unfortunately Chloe’s health hasn’t been very good the past two years. She has had some major operations which have left her bed bound for weeks, and in and out of hospitals. Chloe has shown incredible strength and determination, both because that’s the type of girl she is and because she was able to communicate effectively with hospital staff and myself.
This is all thanks to her Baha sound processor. Chloe’s language skills and attention skills have flourished over the last four years; her vocabulary has grown, she is learning new words each day and she is definitely more attentive to those talking to her (apart from when she chooses not to!). This meant the hospital staff was able talk her through what was going to happen and she could indicate her pain levels and talk to the doctors.
I dread to think how she would have coped six or seven years ago, when her hearing levels were so low, and she hardly had any language. The world would have been a very lonely and scary place for her.
Chloe still loves drama and attends a very good secondary school that specialises in drama so she can devote more time to her passion. She is still my drama queen and a budding actress, dancer and musician. Obviously she is becoming a young lady and her life is changing. Developing language and communication skills has played a big part in this and will continue to do so.
My one aim for my daughter has been to become as independent as her disability would allow her. The Baha has contributed to the success of this aim. She can order her food in restaurants. She can shop at the supermarket. She is also very good at being a typical teenage and slamming doors on me!
So am I pleased with the Baha? Yes, my only regret is that I didn’t push for it sooner. I would recommend it for any parent or young person who needs it. Read the literature, speak to the professionals and if you feel it right go for it! It opens many doors and not once have we looked back.”
Jane lives in Birmingham, UK. In 2013 she won the Birmingham Parent of the Year Award for her tireless work with a special needs support group, as well as caring for her own two children who both have special needs.