A Clinical Success: A Life-Altering Hearing Test - Hearing and Speech Agency

A Clinical Success: A Life-Altering Hearing Test

In the winter of 2008, parents of three-year-old twins, Ethan and Connor, were beginning to accept that their active, affectionate boys might truly be on the autism spectrum, as teachers and professionals had told them. They began the admissions process for Gateway School; a place that is perfect for children who have been diagnosed with disorders, such as autism, that hinder development of speech/language and limit learning. Ethan and Connor surely had trouble communicating, so it seemed like a good fit.

During the admissions process, however, the twins were brought to HASA for a series of tests. Their audiology test showed something astounding: both suffered from severe hearing loss that had never been diagnosed. Soon afterwards, autism was ruled out and the boys were fitted with bilateral hearing aids.

With the new diagnosis, Ethan and Connor’s parents turned their attention to Gateway’s unique and successful Listening and Spoken Language Preschool Program, “Little Ears, Big Voices,” where children with hearing loss learn to listen and communicate using spoken language. After almost a year in the preschool, the boys have learned to understand and interpret the sounds they hear through their hearing aids. “They have made enormous progress,” notes Gateway School teacher, Amanda Nealon. “They communicate and interact like typically developing pre-schoolers and when the time is right, they will do just fine in a mainstream school.”

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