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    Newborn Screening Unit
    Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI)
    PO Box 149347, MC-1918
    Austin, Texas 78714-9347


    Fax: 512-776-7125
    Toll-free: 800-252-8023, ext. 7726

    tehdi@dshs.texas.gov


Meet Ian Herring

By His Mother, Julie Herring

Ian was born at Harris Methodist Hospital HEB (Hurst-Euless-Bedford). My pregnancy with Ian was normal and there were no complications during labor or delivery. Thankfully, before leaving the hospital, Ian's hearing was screened. We were told that he did not pass and would need a rescreen a Harris Methodist Fort Worth. At two weeks of age, Ian was rescreened and again did not pass.

Toddler being held by his mother.At six weeks, Ian had a diagnostic Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test at Cooks Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. This test showed that Ian had a mild to moderate bilateral hearing loss. A second test confirmed these results.

Before Ian was six months old, he was fitted with hearing aids. The difference that the aids make is quite obvious. He can hear without them, but with them he is much more responsive to all types of sounds. He is now fourteen months old and is beginning to use language to communicate.*

Because of his hearing aids, he has developed his communication skills at a normal rate. It is still too early yet to tell if any sounds are distorted, but he is understanding what he hears.

The screening that Ian received has given him the chance to develop normally and prevented an unknown amount of stress for Ian and us. We have heard that an average child will be two and a half years old before being diagnosed with a hearing impairment. We have no doubt that it would have been at least that long before we would have known.

We would have worried that something was not quite right. Because he obviously hears, who can say how many tests Ian would have experienced before we found out the real problem. We hear about other parents feeling guilty about their child's hearing loss. Knowing from the beginning has given us the opportunity to do everything we can for Ian's development. We will never have to think, "if only we had known sooner."

* This story was originally published in April 2011.

Last updated September 29, 2017